November 28 - Luke 21:5-9

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Luke 21:5-9 – Signs of the End of the Age

They were in the temple and had just observed a widow dropping two copper coins into the treasury, as a gift of love born from faith. It isn't surprising that the disciples might look around at the beauty of the structure and the amazing gifts that were part of it as people offered things to God.

But Jesus needed them to understand that the grandeur of the building and the beauty of the structure did not necessarily mean that all was well between God and his people. Israel was proud of its temple. It had become a source of security for them. If they made it beautiful enough, surely God was present, even when they refused to honor him.

Jesus had taught over and over that wealth and possessions were not the path to God. Ostentatious behavior on the part of the rich who donated great sums of money to the temple treasury would not get a man into heaven. The rich young ruler discovered that he had to give up everything in order to attain the kingdom of God. The Pharisees had to release their stranglehold on the Law and quit using it as a weapon.

These things, even something as awe-inspiring and beautiful as the Temple in Jerusalem were only temporal. They would soon see the destruction of this seemingly eternal structure.

The disciples pressed the issue. When would this happen? What will be the sign?

Even yet, they did not understand that Jesus was the sign. He warned them to be careful of false signs and false Messiahs. The end will not come right away … the destruction of the temple doesn't necessarily mean that the end is here.