Today's Bible Reading: Luke 21
Selected Biblical Text
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, "Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him. (Luke 21:1-4, 37-38 ESV)
Thinking and Reflecting
The Olivet Discourse of this chapter is an important teaching. It tells about the future destruction of the temple by the Roman army in AD 70. It puts the coming of the kingdom into a specific time perspective and anticipates the end of time and the final judgment. The chapter is worthy of study and should not be passed over lightly (the parallel passages are found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13).
In the midst of such a challenging study, it is easy to lose sight of the "parentheses" that are included in Luke's Gospel -- the story that introduces the chapter and the story that concludes the chapter. First, the story of the widow's offering (21:1-4) is one final nail in the coffin of the Jewish leaders. They are anything but leaders -- they are leeches who take advantage of and abuse the neediest persons in Jewish society. Second, the last two verses of the chapter (21:37-38) reflect the mountainplace-marketplace rhythm of Jesus' life that we observed in Luke 5. Jesus' time with God at night on the mount empowers his temple teaching. Important principles are here -- authentic leadership, sacrifice, generosity, and time alone with God. Pick one specific principle or concept from these verses to pray about today. Keep it in mind, think about it, and pray about it throughout the day to strengthen your Christian walk.
Which of the concepts in our text do you most need to focus on in your Christian life? Thinking of that one specific area, what outcomes do you desire? What kind of personal growth would you like to experience? How will working on the area you have identified change your life?
Dearest Heavenly Father, Creator God, bless my life this day as I strive to become more like Jesus. Teach me your ways, guide my paths. Instill me with a greater desire for time together with you, empower my life with your presence. In Jesus' name and by his power I ask it. Amen.