Daily Family Worship

Luke 21: The Widow’s Mite and Future Events

by | Mar 7, 2024

luke 21

In the first four verses of this chapter, what a charming contrast is here sketched against the picture which Jesus drew of the Pharisees! In the eyes of the world, the contribution of the poor widow was meager and worthless, while the gifts of the hypocrites were costly and great; but in the eyes of the Savior, their offerings were comparatively worthless, and she gave more than they all. As a matter of fact, she had brought only two small coins, worth less than half a cent; but they were all that she had.

With this scene in mind, let us be encouraged to know that our Lord looks upon the heart. He counts that which we rightly give for the relief of the poor, and for the support of His worship, as being given unto Him – even if it is small. Our Savior looks with pleasure upon whatever we have in our hearts to give; and He estimates the value of our gift – not by its worldly monetary value – but by the motive, love, and sacrifice involved. The influence of this poor woman is still moving multitudes toward the treasury of the Lord, even to this day. And even if we have absolutely nothing else that we can give, the very poorest of Christ’s children still have two mites to offer Him; for they have a soul and a body! May He persuade and enable us to offer both unto Him, and then how happy shall we be in His acceptance of them!

During the days of His earthly ministry, Jesus frequently predicted His death – and also His return to glory. He saw clearly before him a cross; but on the distant horizon, He knew that there was a throne. Again and again, He had warned the Jews that their rejection of Him and His call to repentance would result in the destruction of Jerusalem and the anguish of their nation. And just as frequently, He had told His disciples that although He was to die and rise again, yet a long period of time would pass before He would return in glory to establish his heavenly Kingdom.

But Jesus’ great and final discourse relating to these future events was delivered at the close of His last day of public controversy and teaching (verses 5-38). As He sat with His disciples on the slope of the Mount of Olives, and as He looked westward and saw the sun sinking behind the majestic buildings of the sacred city; He knew that the night of spiritual darkness was now rapidly gathering over the nation, and that His own day of earthly ministry was done. And He knew that the true dawning would not break for the world until He – the great Sun of righteousness – would arise in true glory, and return to begin the peace and joy and splendor of His glorious and everlasting Kingdom. Therefore, He told His disciples, with much detail, about the approaching destruction of Jerusalem; and He also spoke of His own return after the long years of faithful service and eager waiting which were appointed for His followers.

With great curiosity, the Savior’s listeners asked Him concerning the time when the great desolations would be. He answered with clearness and fullness, as far as was necessary to teach them their duty; for all knowledge is desirable, as far as it is useful for practice. Although spiritual judgments are the most common in these Gospel-times, God does still make use of temporal judgments upon nations and individuals that rebel against His authority.

Jesus also told His disciples about the hard things that they would be called to suffer for His name’s sake; but He encouraged them to bear up under their trials, and to go on in their work – notwithstanding the opposition that they would meet with. God stands by His servants in such times of persecution, and assists them and strengthens them. Although we may be losers for Christ in regard to this world’s goods, yet we shall not – we cannot! – be losers in the end!

Just as surely as the growth of the fig tree is a sign of the coming of summer, so also was the fulfillment of this prophecy in its immediate relation to the Jews. When these things literally came to pass upon Jerusalem, they became a certain sign that the prophecy – in its more full and final application – will be fulfilled just as surely at the end of the world. Jesus intended to bring home to our hearts that we must live in expectation of His second coming. We may be as sure of this as we are of summer’s arriving after the budding of the trees.

Jesus further told His disciples that “this generation” – this state of things that we live in – “shall not pass away” until all that He has spoken of shall be fulfilled. This outward world – which we deem so sure – shall fail and utterly vanish, but Christ’s words “shall not pass away!” His words of prophecy shall surely take effect. What a motive we have here for sobriety and watchfulness! Let us take heed so that whenever our King unexpectedly returns, He may find us always ready. Let us watch always, and pray always. Let us always be on our guard against sin; and let us always remember that God is present to help us, and that He invites us to lean upon Him for help and safety. Thus may we be accounted worthy to escape “all these things that shall come to pass” (verse 36) – not worthy for our own sakes, and not worthy by our own righteousness; but worthy for Jesus’ sake, and worthy through that righteousness which is ours through faith in Him alone!

O Lord our God! We beseech You for grace to take heed so that whenever Christ unexpectedly returns, He may find us always ready! We pray that You would strengthen us to watch and pray continually, so that the glorious Day may not come upon us unawares. Amen.

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