Summary: Focus on eternal matters not just the here and now.
As we had noted earlier, when Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem, He was welcomed as the New King of Israel. People, including the Disciples of Christ, were expecting Jesus to take charge, get rid of the Roman Empire, and bring back the Glory of Israel like it was during the rule of King David!
Ever since Adam and Eve sinned against God, we humans desire freedom to have beautiful things in life, from clothes to jewelry, to dwelling places and to modes of transportation. Because of sin, all humans have this need to have more. Of course God still provides and takes care of His people but humans always wants more. Even today, you and I want more stuff, even though we already have plenty of stuff!
I want to invite you to a party! I plan to rent a big dumpster soon and just throw away a lot of our stuff; you are all invited to claim any of the stuff we throw away, but you will have to stay and help us clean the house!!
In our passage today, Jesus understands our needs but speaks of what really is important. Please open your Bibles to Luke 21, page…
Read along with me v1-19……
First of all, let us note that Jesus did not condemn riches and wealth; but Jesus warned about attitudes toward riches and wealth! What did Jesus say about attitudes to riches and material wealth?
v4 – the widow was commended over all the wealthy people; why? Was it because she gave more than anybody else?
The widow only gave 2 small coins and the rich likely gave thousands!
The widow was commended because she gave all that she had!
Now, there are 2 major things we can say about this widow who gave all she had to live on; what are they??
She gave all because, The widow loved God and trusted God to provide for her!
Now look again at v5. How did the disciples respond to Jesus’ commendation of the widow?
It’s like, the commendation towards the widow didn’t matter because all the disciples cared about was how beautiful and fancy the temple was!
Again, the disciples were still focused on a revived Kingdom for Israel with all its physical glory! They didn’t want to lose what they had and they wanted more; after all, it was promised to them!
But what did Jesus say about all the physical glory of Israel?
v6 – all the physical glory of Israel will topple down!
In general, what do you think Jesus was trying to tell the disciples from v6??
Do not depend on physical beauty and wealth!
Now look again at v7…..
At first glance, it just looks like the disciples were really curious about the future; but I think Jesus’ immediate response has something to say about their attitudes. Jesus did not give them a direct answer but warnings.
Again, the disciples were looking for a Messiah who will reign over all; and so, it was possible that the disciples were actually thinking and asking indirectly, “You are the Promised King to us! We want to reign with you now! Can’t we enjoy all these things first?” The disciples were still just concerned about the here and now!
And so, Jesus warns them:
v8 - do not be deceived by many false spiritual leaders
Let us note: who was Jesus talking to here??
Followers of Jesus Christ can be deceived by others! Focus directly on Christ! And what technique will deceivers use? – they will tickle people’s ears with what people desire for, more stuff to have. False teachers will focus on health and wealth; you can have it right now!
Christians are to focus directly on Christ no matter the circumstances on earth!
v9 – there will be unrest in the world but do not be frightened!
v10-19 states that in spite of troubles in the world and for the Christian, the Christian will still speak of and be protected by Jesus Christ! But what were the main instructions for the Christian in this passage?
Look again at v14-15…
If you can summarize those 2 verses with one statement, how would you phrase it??
May I suggest this: Trust and be confident of Jesus’ presence and words!
And what do you think “stand firm” in v19 means??
The only foundation is Jesus Christ! – All other ground is sinking sand!
These words from Jesus Christ to His disciples were written over 2000 years ago. Do they apply to us Christians today? The disciples 2000 years ago were at awe at how beautiful the Temple was built with people’s offerings? Do Christians today get fascinated with church buildings and all the fancy gadgets available? The disciples 2000 years ago were living with the here and now and not really impacted of what was to come. Any Christians today just live for the here and now?