Luke Chapter 21

The Widow’s offering: 
(Read Luke 21:1-4)
In this chapter we read the story of the widow’s offering.  While Jesus was in the Temple, he saw a poor widow dropping two copper coins in the treasury.  He said “I assure you, this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them”.  Jesus taught a lot about the deceptiveness of riches to his disciples (Matthew 6:19-21).  He reminded them that in God’s sight our financial giving is evaluated by the heart behind the gift.  The widow gave all she had and trusted the Lord for her needs.  Her devotion to the Lord was total and complete.  God is not impressed with our financial status but about our faith and worship regardless of the amount we give. In our giving our motives are important. God will bless a cheerful giver. We should give because God has so graciously and generously given to us.  Nobody can out-give God.  When we give, others are helped and understand that our faith is deeper than mere words. To learn more, read Mark 12:41-44.
The Olivet Discourse:
(Read Luke 21:5-28)
The disciples were talking about the beautiful work of the Temple. But Jesus predicted the time leading up to the destruction of it.  It happened in AD. 70.  He also spoke about the events preceding the Great Tribulation period when the Antichrist will enter the temple to set himself up as God (2 Thessolonians 2:3-4).  The disciples asked “When will all this take place?”  Jesus said “For many will come in my name, claiming to be the Messiah and do not believe them”. There will be great earthquakes and famine.  There will be persecution and everyone will hate you.  But you will be protected.  The promises of protection and blessings do not necessarily refer to our physical blessings. The blessing we experience today is spiritual in nature.   The believers will experience persecution and hatred today.  If we expect God to take away all our pain and suffering, we will be disappointed.  In this discourse Jesus was preparing his disciples to have a proper perspective on suffering.  Jesus promised that he would come again to deliver them from their distresses. Meanwhile it is important that they should be watching and waiting for Christ’s return. To learn more, read note on Mark 13. Pray for wisdom to understand God's plan for the future. 
The Parable of the Fig Tree:
(Read Luke 21:29-38)
Because Jesus is returning to the earth, he calls us to be on guard against the deceptive teachings and cares of this life.  He reminds us to resist false teaching and speculation about the future. The fig tree is symbolic of the nation of Israel. Israel’s formation as a nation in 1948, may be a sign of the nearness of Christ’s return. God will protect the Jewish believers during the great tribulation period (Revelation 12:13-17).   They will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. When you see these events, you can be sure that the Kingdom of God is near.  Jesus assured that this generation will not pass away until these events have taken place (Luke 21:32).  The scholars suggest that the word “this generation” can be translated “this age or this nation”. Christians should be alert because that day will come upon everyone suddenly.  Pray that you may have strength to escape all these things and stand before the Son of Man.  Jesus is coming again to set all things right. Only those who stay awake can resist the deceitfulness of sin and Devil (1 Peter 5:8).   Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will disappear but my words will remain forever". To learn more read Matthew 24.