Luke indicated that Jesus said to be on guard or aware (Προσέχετε δὲ ἑαυτοῖς), so that their hearts should not be weighed down (μή ποτε βαρηθῶσιν ὑμῶν αἱ καρδίαι) with dissipation (ἐν κραιπάλῃ), drunkenness (καὶ μέθῃ), and the daily worries of this life (καὶ μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς). Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use this term κραιπάλῃ, that means drunken nausea or drunken dissipation. Thus, the day of the end times would not suddenly catch you unexpectedly (καὶ ἐπιστῇ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς αἰφνίδιος ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:43 and Mark, chapter 13:35. Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to be aware (Βλέπετε) and alert all the time (ἀγρυπνεῖτε), because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the end times (γὰρ πότε ὁ καιρός ἐστιν) would come. Luke, chapter 12:39-40, also had something similar about the thief at night. Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant. They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν), because they did not know on what day (ὅτι οὐκ οἴδατε ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ) the Lord was coming (ὁ κύριος ὑμῶν ἔρχεται). Therefore, they had to be ready or prepared (διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ὑμεῖς γίνεσθε ἕτοιμοι) for the coming of the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται) because he would be coming at an unexpected hour (ὅτι ᾗ οὐ δοκεῖτε ὥρᾳ). This is also similar to the parable ending in Matthew, chapter 25:13, about the virgins at the wedding being vigilant. This was a simple message to be vigilant all the time, because your end or the end of the world could happen at any time. Are you ready to go?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that when you see all these things taking place (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα), they should know (γινώσκετε) that the kingdom of God was near (ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:33, and in Mark, chapter 13:29, except that Luke mentioned that the Kingdom of God was near, not that he was near. Mark said that Jesus explained that when they saw these things like the budding trees, they should know that he, the Son of Man, was near. The end times were coming. When they saw all these things happening (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα), they should know that the end or he was near, at the gates to their city or the doors to their houses (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἐπὶ θύραις). Matthew indicated that Jesus explained that when they saw these things, like the budding trees, they should know that he, the Son of Man, or the kingdom was near. The end times were coming. When they saw all these things happening (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ὅταν ἴδητε πάντα ταῦτα), they should know the end or he was near, at the gates to their city or the doors to their houses (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἐπὶ θύραις). Luke said the Kingdom of God, not he or it, was near, since there would be prior signs indicating what was to come. Luke was also more generic. Can you discern the signs of the times?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the trees sprout leaves (ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη), they can see and know for themselves (βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε) that summer was already near (ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν). This was almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:32, and Mark, chapter 13:28. Mark indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς ἁπαλὸς γένηται), it would put forth its leaves (καὶ ἐκφύῃ τὰ φύλλα). Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν). Matthew indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς γένηται ἁπαλὸς), the tree would put forth its leaves (καὶ τὰ φύλλα ἐκφύῃ). Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος). In other words, the early leaves on a tree indicated that summer was coming. Let’s hope that summer keeps on coming. Do you like spring time?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that then they would see (καὶ τότε ὄψονται) the Son of Man (τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) coming in a cloud (ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλῃ) with power (μετὰ δυνάμεως) and great glory (καὶ δόξης πολλῆ). This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:30, and in Mark, chapter 13:26. Mark said that they would all see or experience the Son of Man (καὶ τότε ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) coming in the clouds (ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλαις) with his great power (μετὰ δυνάμεως πολλῆς) and glory (καὶ δόξης). Matthew indicated that Jesus had an introductory comment that the sign of the Son of Man would appear in the heavens (καὶ τότε φανήσεται τὸ σημεῖον τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν οὐρανῷ). Then all the tribes or races of people on the earth would mourn or lament (καὶ τότε κόψονται πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς). After these phrases, then came the common element that they would all see or experience the Son of Man (καὶ ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) coming on the clouds of heaven (ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) with his power (μετὰ δυνάμεως) and great glory (καὶ δόξης πολλῆς). The clouds were the common place where theophanies in the Old Testament occurred, as Yahweh often appeared in a cloud on a mountain. The Son of Man is a reference to Jesus himself as a Hebrew Messianic figure. What do you know about the Second Coming of Jesus?
Luke had a section of this warning from Jesus that was unique, yet the last phrase was similar to the other synoptics. Jesus said that people would faint (ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων) from fear (ἀπὸ φόβου) and expectations (καὶ προσδοκίας) over what was coming upon the world (τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ). Luke was the only one to use this Greek term ἀποψυχόντων, meaning to leave off breathing, fainting, breathing out of life, dying, or dismayed. The powers of the heavens would be shaken (γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται). Thus, this last phrase is like Mark, chapter 13:25, and Matthew, chapter 24:29, who were word for word the same. Mark indicated that Jesus said that the powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς σαλευθήσονται), while Matthew said precisely the same thing. The powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται). They were going to experience big time problems, in this time of complete darkness, during this celestial disturbance. Do you worry about the sky above you?
ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν,
Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that bad days were coming to Jerusalem (ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ). Jesus said that it would come to them when their enemies would put up a barricade against them (καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι). They would surround them (καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε) so that they would be hemmed in on every side (καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν). This is the only Greek biblical use of the word περικυκλώσουσίν that means to hem them in on every side, encircle, surround, or encompass. Jesus was using the words and images of the ancient Israelite prophets against Jerusalem. Isaiah, chapter 29:1-3, called Jerusalem Ariel, a symbolic name for Jerusalem and its altar. Isaiah, warned Jerusalem about what was going to happen to it. Yahweh was going to encamp against it and set up siege works against it. They would be able to speak only from below the earth and the dust. Their voices would be reduced to a whisper, like a ghost in the middle of this dust pile. Jeremiah, chapter 6:6-8, warned Jerusalem that its enemies were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem, because this city needed to be punished. There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her. Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around. Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus, it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning. Ezekiel, chapter 4:1-3, also condemned Jerusalem with Ezekiel’s symbolic action. A voice told Ezekiel to be an expert model Lego builder of the siege of Jerusalem. Ezekiel, the son of man, was to take a brick and portray the city of Jerusalem. He was to put the siege works with a siege wall against this city. He was to put a ramp and camps against this city with battering rams all around it. Then he was to take an iron plate and make an iron wall between himself and the city, looking at it. Thus, there was a state of siege, a sign for the house of Israel. Ezekiel was part of the exiles from 598 BCE before the taking of Jerusalem and the second captivity in 587 BCE. Of course, here this was allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Roman soldiers putting down a revolution in Judea. Luke would have known about this at the time of his writing. Have you ever seen a city destroyed?
Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge. Luke indicated that Jesus said there was a widow in that city (χήρα δὲ ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ). She kept coming to this bad judge (καὶ ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτὸν). She said (λέγουσα) that she wanted justice or restitution (Ἐκδίκησόν με) against her opponent or adversary (ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀντιδίκου μου). Widows were the powerless and vulnerable in Jewish society, since they had lost the support of their husbands. People would always be reminded to help the poor and the widows, as they were considered the same class of people, since generally, older women without husbands were poor. This particular widow had a case against someone, so that she kept coming back to his bad judge to achieve justice or vengeance on her part. Have you ever sued anyone?
Luke indicated that they asked Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες λέγουσιν αὐτῷ), addressing him as Lord (Κύριε), where was this going to happen (Ποῦ)? Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that where the body or the corpse was (Ὅπου τὸ σῶμα), there the vultures would gather (ἐκεῖ καὶ οἱ ἀετοὶ ἐπισυναχθήσονται). This was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:28, perhaps indicating a Q source. However, this saying was after the comment about the Son of Man coming like lightning. Jesus, via Matthew, said that wherever the corpse was (ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα), there the vultures would gather (ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί). The vultures or eagles were a reference to the Roman soldiers with their eagle symbols. Thus, Luke ended the remarks of Jesus about the end times. Are you comfortable talking about the end of the world?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that on that day (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) of the coming of the Son of Man at the end times, anyone on the housetop (ὃς ἔσται ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος), who has belongings in the house (καὶ τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ), must not come down to take them away (μὴ καταβάτω ἆραι αὐτά). Likewise, anyone in the field (καὶ ὁ ἐν ἀγρῷ ὁμοίως) must not turn back to the things left behind (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω). This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:17-18, and Mark, chapter 13:15-16. Mark indicated that Jesus said that during these end times, the people on the housetop or roofs of their houses (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος) should not go down (μὴ καταβάτω) and enter their house (μηδὲ εἰσελθάτω τι) to take anything out of there (ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ). It would be useless to do so, as the world was coming to an end. If they were in the field working (καὶ ὁ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν), they were not to turn back or return to their house (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω) to get or take a coat or outer garment (ἆραι τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ). Jesus, via Matthew, said that during this end time, the people on the housetop or roofs of their houses (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος) should not go down (μὴ καταβάτω) to take things out of their houses (ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ). If they were in the field working (καὶ ὁ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ), they were not to turn back or return to their house (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω ὀπίσω) to get or take a coat or outer garment (ἆραι τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ). They had no need for clothes because the end was near. What would you want to take from your house if the world was coming to an end?
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus also mentioned Lot from Genesis, chapter 19:24. Jesus said that on the day when Lot left Sodom (ᾗ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐξῆλθεν Λὼτ ἀπὸ Σοδόμων), it rained fire (ἔβρεξεν πῦρ) and sulphur or brimstone (καὶ θεῖον) from heaven (ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ). It destroyed all of them (καὶ ἀπώλεσεν πάντας). It would be like those days on the day (κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔσται ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ) that the Son of Man would be revealed (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀποκαλύπτεται). In other words, the destruction of the world at the time of Noah and the destruction of the town of Sodom at the time of Lot were a foretaste of the end times. It would come unexpectedly. However, the conclusion was to be expected. The comparison was explicit. The Son of Man would come like in the olden days of destruction. Are you prepared for the coming of the Son of Man at the end times?