The kingdom of God is near (Lk 21:31-21:31)

“So also,

When you see

These things

Taking place,

You will know

That the kingdom of God

Is near.”

 

οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

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?

Leaves on the trees (Lk 21:30-21:30)

“As soon as the trees

Sprout leaves,

You can see

For yourselves.

You know

That the summer

Is already near.”

 

ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη, βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν·

 

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?

The Son of Man (Lk 21:27-21:27)

“Then they will see

The Son of Man

Coming in a cloud

With power

And great glory.”

 

καὶ τότε ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλῃ μετὰ δυνάμεως καὶ δόξης πολλῆ

 

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?

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?

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?

No stones untouched (Lk 21:5-21:6)

“Jesus said.

‘As for these things

That you see,

The days will come

When not one stone

Will be left upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

εἶπεν Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε, ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν) that these things that they saw or were looking at (Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε,) would be different in the days to come (ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι).  Not one stone would be left upon another (ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ).  All would be thrown down (καταλυθήσεται).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, with Mark, chapter 13:2.  Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)?  Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone of the Temple buildings (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ).  Matthew said that Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς).  He asked them if they had not seen all these buildings (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα).  Then in a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), that was not in Luke or Mark, he told them that not one stone would be left on another stone here at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down or thrown down (ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται).  In fact, in 70 CE, within 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  However, threats against the Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE.  Have you ever seen a church or temple destroyed?

Show me the coin! (Lk 20:23-20:24)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Show me a denarius!

Whose head

And whose title

Does it bear?’

They said.

‘The Emperor Caesar’s.’”

 

εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς

Δείξατέ μοι δηνάριον· τίνος ἔχει εἰκόνα καὶ ἐπιγραφήν; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Καίσαρος.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to show him a denarius (Δείξατέ μοι δηνάριον), which was a Roman coin.  He asked them whose image or head and title or inscription did it have (τίνος ἔχει εἰκόνα καὶ ἐπιγραφήν)?  They said it was the Emperor Caesar’s head and title (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Καίσαρος).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:19-21, and in Mark, chapter 12:15-16, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the Roman poll tax.  Thus, they brought Jesus one of these small silver Roman coins, a denarius. (φέρετέ μοι δηνάριον).  Jesus then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin?  They answered him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ) that the image and inscription belonged to the Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρος).  Matthew indicated that Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the poll tax (ἐπιδείξατέ μοι τὸ νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου).  They brought or presented him with a small silver Roman coin, a denarius (οἱ δὲ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δηνάριον).  He then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin?  They answered (λέγουσιν) that the image and inscription belonged to Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρος).  This was a simple question with a simple answer. Jesus wanted them to bring him the Roman coin, a denarius, worth a little more than a US dollar.  He wanted to see what coin was being used for paying the Roman poll tax.  What kind of money do you use?