When will this be? (Lk 21:7-21:7)

“They asked him.

‘Teacher!

When will this be?

What will be the sign

That this is about

To take place?’”

 

ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε, πότε οὖν ταῦτα ἔσται, καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι;

 

Luke indicated that some vague “they” or the disciples of Jesus asked him (ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν), calling him teacher (λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε) when these things would happen (πότε οὖν ταῦτα ἔσται).  What would be the sign that this was about to take place (καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι)?  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:3.  Only Matthew brought up the question of the Parousia (παρουσία) or second coming of Jesus.  He said that Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives (Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), just east of Jerusalem, where he could see the Jerusalem Temple.  Some unnamed disciples came to Jesus privately (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ κατ’ ἰδίαν).  They wanted to know when would these things, like the Temple being destroyed, take place (λέγοντες Εἰπὲ ἡμῖν, πότε ταῦτα ἔσται)?  What would be the sign that Jesus was coming again in the Parousia (καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας).  On top of that, they wanted to know about the end of the world or the completion of the ages (καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος).  Matthew combined the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Second coming of Jesus, and the end of the world together.  Rather than unnamed disciples, as in Matthew, Mark, chapter 13:3-4 explicitly mentioned the two sets of brother apostles, who were speaking privately with Jesus.  Mark, like Matthew, said that Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives (Καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ τοῦ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), just east of Jerusalem, since the Temple was opposite them (κατέναντι τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  In Mark, these apostolic leaders, Peter (Πέτρος), James (καὶ Ἰάκωβος), John (καὶ Ἰωάνης), and Andrew (καὶ Ἀνδρέας), questioned Jesus privately (ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν κατ’ ἰδίαν).  Mark did not combine the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Second coming of Jesus, and the end of the world together, since he concentrated on the destruction of the Temple.  Mark said that these big four apostles wanted to be told (Εἰπὸν ἡμῖν) when would these things take place (πότε ταῦτα ἔσται)?  What would be the sign (καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον) that all these things were going to finally happen (ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα συντελεῖσθαι πάντα)?  They wanted the inside scoop about what was coming up.  After all, they were the important leaders among the followers of Jesus.  Do you like information about the future?

Only one of two women (Lk 17:35-17:35)

“There will be two women

Grinding meal together.

One will be taken

And the other left.”

 

ἔσονται δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό, ἡ μία παραλημφθήσεται ἡ δὲ ἑτέρα ἀφεθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that there would be two women grinding meal together (ἔσονται δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό).  One will be taken (ἡ μία παραλημφθήσεται) and the other left (ἡ δὲ ἑτέρα ἀφεθήσεται).  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 24:41, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that there would be two women grinding meal together (δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐν τῷ μύλῳ).  Only one would be taken or admitted (μία παραλαμβάνεται), while the other would be left or dismissed (καὶ μία ἀφίεται).  Not everyone would like this Parousia or end times.  Someone would be left behind.  What happens to the people left behind?  Just ask Jerry B. Jenkins (1949-) and Tim LaHaye (1926-2016), since they wrote 16 novels from 1995-2007 based on the theological theme of the end times.  Jenkins also published 40 children’s books on the left behind idea from 1998-2004.  What do you believe about the end times?

Just like Noah (Lk 17:26-17:26)

“Just as it was

In the days

Of Noah,

So too

It will be

In the days

Of the Son of Man.”

 

καὶ καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Νῶε, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου

 

Next Luke indicated that Jesus said that just as it was in the days of Noah (καὶ καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Νῶε), so too it would be (οὕτως ἔσται) in the days (καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις) of the Son of Man (τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  There is something similar, almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:37, but nothing about Noah in Mark, thus indicating a Q source.  Jesus said via Matthew that the days of Noah in Genesis, chapters 6-11, (ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε) were considered to be the days of sinfulness.  The Parousia or second coming of the Son of Man (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be similar to the end of the sinning days with the flood (ὡς γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ταῖς πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ).  Luke, unlike Matthew, did not use the word Parousia (ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), just the days of the Son of Man (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  However, they both had the comparison with the time of Noah.  What influence does Noah have in your life?

The Son of Man will be like lightning (Lk 17:24-17:24)

“As the lightning

Flashes

And lights up

The sky

From one side

To the other,

So will the Son of man

Be in his day.”

 

ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἀστράπτουσα ἐκ τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰς τὴν ὑπ’ οὐρανὸν λάμπει, οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that as the lightning flashes (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἀστράπτουσα) and lights up the sky (ἐκ τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν) from one side of the sky to the other (εἰς τὴν ὑπ’ οὐρανὸν λάμπει), so will the Son of man be (οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) in his day (ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word ἀστράπτουσα that means to lighten and flash forth.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:27, indicating a Q source, about the Son of Man coming like lightening, but in a more succinct way.  In Matthew, Jesus said that as the lightning came from the east (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν) but flashed or shined in the west (καὶ φαίνεται ἕως δυσμῶν), so the Parousia or the second coming of the Son of Man would happen (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Wherever the corpse was (ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα), there the vultures gathered (ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί).  The Son of Man was a clear reference to Jesus in his return, the Parousia, who would return like a flash of lightening.  The vultures or eagles were a reference to the Roman soldiers with their eagle symbols.  There was nothing about the corpses and the eagles or vultures here in Luke, just the lightning flash.  However, later in this chapter, verse 37, there was a mention of the corpses and these vultures.  Are you afraid of lightning?

Fifth narrative

Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem and taught in the Temple there, debating with the chief priests and religious leaders.  Then he spoke about the coming kingdom of heaven and the future end times.

Jesus finally went to Judea, where he cured large crowds of people.  The Pharisees questioned him about divorce.  Jesus reiterated the importance of marriage, as he spoke about Moses and divorce.  After hearing the response of Jesus about divorce, his disciples wondered why they should marry at all.  Jesus explained about different kind of eunuchs.

The children came forward to Jesus and he blessed them.  He warned against wealth.  To gain eternal life you had to keep the commandments.  They wanted to know which commandments?  The great commandment was not a problem.  However, Jesus asked them to give up their possessions, so that the rich young man walked away.  It was hard for rich people to enter the kingdom like a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Who could be saved?  The response was that all things are possible with God.  Peter wanted to know about the disciples and the eternal life reward, so that Jesus told them that the first shall be last and vice versa.

Then Jesus presented the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.  He hired the first laborers, and then late in the day a second group, a third group and finally a fourth group of laborers.  The last group hired got a full day’s pay.  The first group hired were upset when they got the same as the last group hired.  This brought up the problem of generosity versus fairness, as Jesus explained the parable.

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus predicted what was going to happen to him in Jerusalem.  The mother of the sons of Zebedee wanted to know if her two sons, James and John, could be the greatest, on either side of Jesus.  Jesus pointed out the difficulties and said that only the Father set up the seating arrangements.  This led to ten angry men as they resented the two trying to be first.  Jesus reminded them about servant leadership, as the Son of Man was going to give up his life.

There were great crowds at Jericho where Jesus found two blind men asking for mercy, so he healed them.  Then began the final ministry in Jerusalem with a triumphal entry.  Jesus sent two disciples from Bethpage to get a donkey and a colt because he needed them.  Thus, the prophecy of Zechariah might be fulfilled.  They brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus.  Then crowds welcomed the Son of David into Jerusalem as they began to wonder who this man was?

Jesus went into the Temple and chased out the money changers to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.  When he cured people in the Temple, the chief priests were angry, but the little children praised him.

Then Jesus went to Bethany.  The next morning, he was hungry.  He saw a fig tree, but it had no figs, so he cursed the fig tree as it withered because of his faith.

People began to question where did Jesus get his authority?  Jesus responded with a question for a question.  He asked them about the value of the baptism of John.  They gave a timid response.  Then he told the parable about the two sons.  The first son said no at first, and then did the work, while the second son said yes and did not do the work.  Which son did the will of his father?  Thus, they did not believe John the Baptist.

Then Jesus told the parable about the wicked tenants.  This absentee land owner of the vineyard sent people to collect his rent.  Instead, the tenants beat and killed the landowner’s slaves.  He sent a second group that was also killed.  Then the tenants killed the landowner’s son.  Finally, the landowner came to take back his vineyard, citing Psalm 118 about the kingdom of God and the falling cornerstone.  The Pharisees understood this parable and tried to arrest Jesus.

Jesus continued to speak in parables.  This parable was about the king who gave a great wedding banquet.  However, the invited guests refused to come to the wedding banquet.  He sent out a second invitation to the wedding banquet, but they refused the second invitation also.  They treated his slaves badly.  The king was angry and sent out new invitations to the wedding feast.  Finally, a man without a wedding garment showed up, but he threw him out of the feast.  The explanation of this parable was that many are called, but few are chosen.

Next the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by flattering him.  They asked him a question about taxes.  Jesus gave a harsh response as he had a dialogue about the Roman coin about whose image was on it.  Give Caesar his due.  The Pharisees and their disciples left.

However, the Sadducees asked a question about the resurrection.  There was a law about marrying the brother of a dead man.  There was a woman who married seven brothers, who was her husband in the resurrection?  Jesus responded that there was no marriage in the resurrection.  The living God of their ancestors would show them the way.  The crowd was astonished.

The Pharisees regrouped and wanted to know what is the greatest commandment?  Jesus responded about the two great commandments to love God and your neighbor.  Then Jesus asked the Pharisees a question.  Was the Christ the son of David?  Then who was the Lord for David?  After that there were no more questions for Jesus.

Jesus then cursed the Scribes and Pharisees.  He told his disciples to do what they say, but not what they do.  They tied up heavy burdens on the people.  They wore special clothing and sought the places of honor.  They want to be called Rabbis.  No one was your father or master.  Greatness comes with humility.  They tried to lock people out of heaven as they shut it off.  Even when they tried to make converts, they are like blind guides and fools.  They swore by the altar or the gift of the altar.  They swore by heaven, but they had forgotten the law.  They wanted the gnat out your eye but had a camel in their own eye.  They worried about the outside of the cup instead of the inside.  They were like whitewashed tombs.  They proclaimed reverence for the tombs of the prophets, but they were like their sinning ancestors. They were like serpents.  They would kill the prophets.  They spread innocent blood.  Soon the house of Jerusalem would be desolate.

Finally, there were the predictions about the end times.  Jesus left the Temple as he predicted its destruction.  What are the signs of the Parousia?  There would be the beginning of the great suffering so that they should not be lead astray.  There would be rumors of wars in those troubled times.  They would be persecuted for the sake of Jesus.  There would be betrayals and false prophets.  Love would grow cold.  Endurance would be necessary.  The importance of Daniel the prophet was emphasized.  In Judea, they would flee to the housetops.  It would be too late for the people in the fields.  This would be the wrong time to be pregnant or nursing.  There would be great tribulation, but the days would be short.

The end was coming because there would be false Christs and people looking for the Messiah.  The Son of Man would come on the clouds as the darkness in the skies appeared.  There would be a gathering of the chosen ones.  Using the parable of the fig tree, they could tell that the end was near.  This generation would pass away, but Jesus’ words would not pass away.  No one knew the day, since it would be like in the days of Noah.  Only one would be taken and the other left, so be ready.  Be a wise and faithful slave, not a wicked slave.

Jesus told the parable of the ten bridesmaids where half were wise and half foolish.  They all fell asleep.  When the bridegroom came, they all got up.  However, the foolish ones had no oil and wise ones said that there was not enough oil for both of them.  When the foolish left to get oil, they shut the door.  When they came back, the bridegroom said that he did not know them.  Thus, you do not know the day.

Next Jesus told the parable of the talents.  A man entrusted his assets to his slaves.  He gave them money.  One slave added five more talents, another added two more talents, but the third slave dug a hole and buried his money.  The master settled their accounts.  The slave with five talents got five more talents.  The slave with two talents got two more talents.  The slave with one talent was rebuked and punished.  Thus, there will be rewards and punishments at the end times.

In the last judgment, the Son of Man would appear in glory.  There would be sheep and goats, with the sheep on the right hand.  They had taken care of him.  They wondered when they had done this.  The Son of Man replied that they took care of him when they cared for the least of his brothers.  Then he told the goats on his left side to depart from him because they had not taken care of him when they did not care for the lowly people.  Thus, there would be eternal punishment or eternal reward.

Only one taken (Mt 24:40-24:41)

“Then two men

Will be in the field.

One will be taken.

One will be left.

Two women

Will be grinding

Meal together.

One will be taken.

One will be left.”

 

τότε ἔσονται δύο ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, εἷς παραλαμβάνεται καὶ εἷς ἀφίεται

δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐν τῷ μύλῳ, μία παραλαμβάνεται καὶ μία ἀφίεται.

 

This is exactly the same, almost word for word, in Luke, chapter 17:34-35, except that Luke has the men in bed instead of in the field.  Jesus said that there would be two men in the field (τότε ἔσονται δύο ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ).  However, only one would be taken or admitted (εἷς παραλαμβάνεται), while the other would be left or dismissed (καὶ εἷς ἀφίεται).  There would be two women grinding meal together (δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐν τῷ μύλῳ).  Only one would be taken or admitted (μία παραλαμβάνεται), while the other would be left or dismissed (καὶ μία ἀφίεται).  Not everyone would like this Parousia or end times.

The days of Noah (Mt 24:37-24:39)

“As in the days of Noah were,

So too,

Will be the coming

Of the Son of Man.

As in those days,

Before the flood,

They were eating.

They were drinking.

They were marrying.

They were giving in marriage,

Until the day

When Noah

Entered the ark.

They knew nothing

Until the flood came.

It swept them all away.

Thus,

Will be the coming

Of the Son of Man.”

 

ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε, οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου

ὡς γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ταῖς πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ τρώγοντες καὶ πίνοντες, γαμοῦντες καὶ γαμίζοντες, ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας εἰσῆλθεν Νῶε εἰς τὴν κιβωτόν

καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν ἕως ἦλθεν ὁ κατακλυσμὸς καὶ ἦρεν ἅπαντας, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

 

There is something similar, almost word for word, in Luke, chapter 17:26-28, but nothing about Noah in Mark.  The days of Noah in Genesis, chapters 6-11, (ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε) were considered to be days of sinfulness.  The Parousia or second coming of the Son of Man (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be similar to the end of the sinning days with the flood (ὡς γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ταῖς πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ).  They were eating (τρώγοντες), drinking (καὶ πίνοντες), marrying (γαμοῦντες), and giving in marriage (καὶ γαμίζοντες) right up until the day when Noah entered the ark (ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας εἰσῆλθεν Νῶε εἰς τὴν κιβωτόν).  They knew nothing (καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν) until the flood came (ἦλθεν ὁ κατακλυσμὸς) and hit them by sweeping them all away (καὶ ἦρεν ἅπαντας).  Thus, it will be like that when the Son of Man comes again at the Parousia (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Just as at the flood in the time of Noah put an end to the sinfulness of men and brought about a new creation, so too would the coming Parousia of the Son of Man bring an end to sinfulness and inaugurate a new kind of creation.