December 4th, 2006
In the world’s economy, value is determined by money, power, education and social status. Jesus’ view of things is upside down. His is an upside down economy. A small gift given by a widow is considered to be greater than a large gift given by a wealthy person. It’s so easy for us to see ourselves in comparison to those around us. It’s easy to find someone who is more talented, who has more money, and to feel that we have nothing to offer. But despite any of these things, in the Jesus economy each person is valuable and has something to offer, and the highest value can be offered by using it all.
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 21
21:1 From a distance he could see rich people putting gifts into the treasury. 21:2 He noticed a poor widow throwing in two small coins. 21:3 He said, “I can guarantee that this poor widow put in more than anyone else, 21:4 because they all put in gifts for God from their wealth, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.”
21:5 Some people were talking about the temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts. He said, 21:6 “You can see these things, but a time is coming when every stone will be thrown down so that not a single stone will be left on top of another.” 21:7 They asked, “Teacher, when will this happen? What sign will show that these things are about to take place?”
21:8 He said, “Be careful not to be led astray, because many people will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is at hand.’ Don’t follow them. 21:9 When you hear of wars and disturbances, don’t be terrified, because these things must happen first, but the end won’t come immediately.”
21:10 He said, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 21:12 But before all these events occur, people will arrest you and persecute you, handing you over to synagogues and prisons, putting you on trial before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 21:13 It will be an opportunity for you to testify. 21:14 So make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to answer, 21:15 because I will give you words and wisdom which all your accusers will not be able to withstand or contradict. 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will cause some of you to be killed. 21:17 You will be hated by all people for my name’s sake. 21:18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 21:19 By your endurance you will win your lives.
21:20 “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is imminent. 21:21 Then anyone in Judea should escape to the mountains. Anyone in the city should leave, and anyone in the country should not not enter the city. 21:22 Those will be days of vengeance, to fulfill everything which has been predicted. 21:23 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days! There will be great distress in the land, and wrath upon the people. 21:24 They will die by the edge of the sword, and be taken as captives to foreign lands. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the age of the Gentiles comes to an end. 21:25 There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth nations will become restless, confused by the roaring seas and waves. 21:26 People will faint with fear in anticipation of the things which are happening to the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 21:27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. 21:28 But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is arriving.”
21:29 He told them a parable, “See the fig tree, and all the trees. 21:30 When they start budding, you see it and know that summertime is approaching. 21:31 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you should know that the Kingdom of God is near. 21:32 I can guarantee that this generation will not end until all of this happens. 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.
21:34 “So be careful not to allow your attention to be taken up by carousing, drunkenness and cares of this life, because that day will come on you suddenly. 21:35 It will come like a trap to everyone living on the surface of the whole earth. 21:36 So be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all the things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
21:37 Each day Jesus was teaching in the temple, and each night he would go out and spend the night at the place called the Mount of Olives. 21:38 The people came early each morning to hear him in the temple.
Entry Filed under: Generosity