The fall of Jerusalem (Lk 21:24-21:24)

“They will fall

By the edge

Of the sword.

They will be

Taken away

As captives

Among all the gentile nations.

Jerusalem

Will be trampled on

By the gentiles,

Until the time

Of the gentiles

Was fulfilled.”

 

καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης καὶ αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα, καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν, ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν.

 

Only Luke has this unique saying of Jesus.  Jesus said that these people would fall by the edge of their swords (καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης).  They would be taken away as captives among all the gentile nations (καὶ αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα).  Jerusalem would be trampled on by the gentiles (καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν), until the time of the gentiles was completed (ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν).  Falling by the edge of the sword meant death.  It is not clear what is meant by this time of the gentiles.  Perhaps this was when the foreign armies, the Roman army invaded and overwhelmed Jerusalem in 70 CE.  Luke seemed to tie the end times to the fall of Jerusalem.  What do you think the end of the world will be like?

Great distress (Lk 21:23-21:23)

“Woe to those

Who are pregnant!

Woe to those

Who are nursing infants!

In those days,

There will be

Great distress

On the earth.

There will be

Wrath against this people.”

 

οὐαὶ ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις· ἔσται γὰρ ἀνάγκη μεγάλη ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ὀργὴ τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said woe to those who would be pregnant (οὐαὶ ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις) or nursing infants (καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις) in those days (ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις).  There would be a great distress (ἔσται γὰρ ἀνάγκη μεγάλη) on the earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), as there would be wrath or anger against this people (καὶ ὀργὴ τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ).  This is the same, almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:17, and Matthew, chapter 24:19.  All three synoptic gospels have the same wording for this curse.  According to Mark, the cursed ones (οὐαὶ δὲ) would be those women who were pregnant with a baby in their womb (ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις) or those women nursing infants (καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις) in those days (ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις), during the end times.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the cursed ones (οὐαὶ δὲ) would be those women who were pregnant with a baby in their womb (ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις) or those women nursing infants (καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις) during the end times, in those days (ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις).  There would be no earthly future for their infants.  However, Mark and Matthew did not mention anything about great distress or anger, but it might be assumed.  Luke, on the other hand, did not mention like Mark chapter 13:18, and Matthew, chapter 24:20, that it would be better if this was not in the winter time or on the Sabbath.  Is it a distressful time for women who are pregnant or nursing?

Fulfillment (Lk 21:22-21:22)

“These are the days

Of vengeance,

A fulfilment

Of all that is written.”

 

ὅτι ἡμέραι ἐκδικήσεως αὗταί εἰσιν τοῦ πλησθῆναι πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα.

 

Only Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that these were to be the days of vengeance or avengers (τι ἡμέραι ἐκδικήσεως αὗταί εἰσιν), a fulfilment of all that is written (τοῦ πλησθῆναι πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα).  The age of Avengers: End Game has come, right now at your local movie theater.  It is interesting to note the similarity of end times and the adventures of the avengers.  The days of wrath or Day of Yahweh would come as it was written in the Hebrew scriptures, especially the Old Testament Jewish prophets.  Do you know anything about the Avengers?

 

Leave the city (Lk 21:21-21:21)

“Then those in Judea

Must flee

To the mountains.

Those inside the city

Must leave it.

Those out in the country

Must not enter the city.”

 

τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη, καὶ οἱ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῆς ἐκχωρείτωσαν, καὶ οἱ ἐν ταῖς χώραις μὴ εἰσερχέσθωσαν εἰς αὐτήν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that those in Judea (τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) should flee to the mountains (φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη).  Those people inside the city (καὶ οἱ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῆς) ought to leave it (ἐκχωρείτωσαν).  Once again, this a unique term of Luke, ἐκχωρείτωσαν that means to depart, withdraw, go out, or flee.  Also, those out in the country (καὶ οἱ ἐν ταῖς χώραις), should not enter the city (μὴ εἰσερχέσθωσαν εἰς αὐτήν).  This is exactly the same, word for word in Mark, chapter 13:14, and in Matthew, chapter 24:16, except that Luke added this idea about not coming into the city.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that those people in Judea (τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) should flee or escape to the mountains or the hills (φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη).  Matthew was exactly the same.  Jesus said that those people in Judea (τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) should flee or escape to the mountains or the hills (φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη).  Head to the hills!  Maybe this is a reference to the Jewish revolt in 66-70 CE, when many Jews fled Judea as the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed.  They were to get out of Dodge, leave the city of Jerusalem.  Have you ever had to flee from some place?

Jerusalem surrounded (Lk 21:20-21:20)

“When you see Jerusalem

Surrounded

By army camps,

Then know

That its desolation

Has come near.”

 

Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε κυκλουμένην ὑπὸ στρατοπέδων Ἱερουσαλήμ, τότε γνῶτε ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ ἐρήμωσις αὐτῆς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when they would see Jerusalem (Ἱερουσαλήμ) surrounded by military army camps (Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε κυκλουμένην ὑπὸ στρατοπέδων), then they should know (τότε γνῶτε) that its desolation was near (ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ ἐρήμωσις αὐτῆς).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer that used the word στρατοπέδων that meant a military camp, an army, or an encamped army.  Perhaps, this was a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:15, and in Mark, chapter 13:14.  Mark said that Jesus warned them that when they saw the desolating sacrilege or cursed devastation (Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως) standing or set up in the place where it should not be (ἑστηκότα ὅπου οὐ δεῖ), those reading this should understand (ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω) what was happening.  Matthew indicated that Jesus warned that when they saw the desolating sacrilege or cursed devastation (Ὅταν οὖν ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως) standing in the holy place (ἑστὸς ἐν τόπῳ ἁγίῳ), they would understand (ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω) what was happening.  Only Matthew explicitly and specifically mentioned the prophet Daniel (τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Δανιὴλ τοῦ προφήτου), chapter 9:27 and chapter 11:31, talking about the desolating abomination in the Temple.  In 175 BCE, the prince, King Antiochus IV Epiphanes came to destroy the high priest Onias III, and the city of Jerusalem with its sanctuary during the war against the Maccabees uprising.  During that time, the sacrifices and offerings ceased in the Temple.  Instead, they had these terrible abominations and desolations of the false idols.  Thus, the reference to Daniel is both eschatological, about the end times, as well as a reference to the political religious revolt of the Maccabees nearly two centuries earlier.  Have you ever seen a religious shrine or church destroyed?

Endurance (Lk 21:19-21:19)

“By your patient endurance,

You will gain

Your lives.”

 

ἐν τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὑμῶν κτήσεσθε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that by their patient endurance (ἐν τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὑμῶν), they would gain or acquire (κτήσεσθε) their lives (τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:13, and Matthew, chapter 10:22, and chapter 24:13.  Mark indicated that endurance was important.  Jesus said that the one who endured or stayed firm to the end would be saved (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται).  Matthew had the same idea in chapter 10:22.  If they were able to be endure to the end (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος), they would be saved, rescued, or healed (οὗτος σωθήσεται).  Jesus said that the one who endured or stayed firm to the end would be saved (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται).  Luke did not use the word saved (σωθήσεται) but gained or acquired (κτήσεσθε) their lives.  Are you good at endurance?

Not lose a hair (Lk 21:18-21:18)

“But not a hair

Of your head

Will perish.”

 

καὶ θρὶξ ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν οὐ μὴ ἀπόληται·

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that not a hair of their heads (καὶ θρὶξ ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν) would perish or be destroyed (οὐ μὴ ἀπόληται).  This saying only appears in Luke and nowhere else in the other gospel stories.  Why would these disciples not suffer even a hair from the top of their heads, while others would be suffering?  There is no easy answer.  They would somehow be saved from these persecutions.  Do you have good hair?

 

Hated by everyone (Lk 21:17-21:17)

“You will be hated

By all

Because of my name.”

 

καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they would be hated or detested (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι) by all people (ὑπὸ πάντων) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  There was something similar, word for word, in Matthew, chapter 10:22, and chapter 24:9, and in Mark, chapter 13:13.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that they would be hated (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι) by all people (ὑπὸ πάντων) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  Jesus, via Matthew, told his disciples that they would be hated or detested by everyone (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  They would be hated and detested (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι) by all the gentile nations (ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  This was tough talk because it was not going to be easy to be a disciple of Jesus after he was gone.  Have you had anyone hate or dislike you because you were a Christian?

Family betrayal (Lk 21:16-21:16)

“You will be betrayed

Even by parents,

Brothers,

Relatives,

And friends.

They will put

Some of you

To death.”

 

παραδοθήσεσθε δὲ καὶ ὑπὸ γονέων καὶ ἀδελφῶν καὶ συγγενῶν καὶ φίλων, καὶ θανατώσουσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they would be betrayed (παραδοθήσεσθε), even by their parents (καὶ ὑπὸ γονέων), their brothers (καὶ ἀδελφῶν), their relatives (καὶ συγγενῶν), and their friends (καὶ φίλων).  They would put some of them to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν).  This was something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:21, and Mark, chapter 13:12, probably based on Micah, chapter 7:6, where the prophet warned that they should not trust anyone.  Micah said that the son was treating his father with contempt.  The daughter was against her mother.  The daughter-in-law was against her mother-in-law.  Their worst enemies were not outside, but in their very own house.  This was a time and a place where you could not trust anyone, even your friends, family, and lovers.  You had to be careful with everyone.  Jesus, via Mark, seemed to indicate the same thing.  Brother would betray or hand over his brother to death (καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον).  A father would hand over or betray his child to death (καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον).  Children would rise up against their parents (ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς).  They would have them put to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς).  Matthew only had the vague “they” betraying one another.  Jesus warned them that many of his followers would fall away, stumble, or be scandalized (καὶ τότε σκανδαλισθήσονται πολλοὶ).  They would betray or abandon each other (καὶ ἀλλήλους παραδώσουσιν), even hating and detesting one another (καὶ μισήσουσιν ἀλλήλους).  Family disputes would arise over Jesus.  This was a far cry from love your neighbor.  Have you ever had a religious dispute within your own family?

Wisdom (Lk 21:15-21:15)

“I will give you

Words

And wisdom,

That none of your opponents

Will be able

To withstand

Or contradict.”

 

ἐγὼ γὰρ δώσω ὑμῖν στόμα καὶ σοφίαν, ᾗ οὐ δυνήσονται ἀντιστῆναι ἢ ἀντειπεῖν ἅπαντες οἱ ἀντικείμενοι ὑμῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he would give them (ἐγὼ γὰρ δώσω ὑμῖν) words or more precisely a mouth to speak (στόμα) wisdom (καὶ σοφίαν) that none of their opponents (ᾗ οὐ… ἅπαντες οἱ ἀντικείμενοι ὑμῖν) would be able to withstand (δυνήσονται ἀντιστῆναι) or contradict (ἀντειπεῖν).  Mark chapter 13:11, and Matthew, chapter 10:20, had a somewhat similar saying of Jesus.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to say (τοῦτο λαλεῖτε) whatever would be given to them (ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν) at that hour in time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ).  They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Holy Spirit would be speaking (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) for them.  Matthew, also indicated that Jesus said that they would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Spirit of their Father would be speaking through them (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν).  Both Mark and Matthew emphasized that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father, would speak for them and through them, so that they did not have to worry or prepare anything beforehand.  Luke never mentioned the Holy Spirit, who otherwise appeared quite often in this gospel, like Mark and Matthew did.  Instead, Luke emphasized that Jesus himself would give them important words of wisdom.  Have you ever gotten words from the Holy Spirit?