Luke 21

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord’s Discourse about the Future of Israel

Luke 21

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Lesson Number 54

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The future of Israel was predicted by the Lord’s prophecy.
  2. The future of Israel was predicted by the Lord’s parable.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t be caught off guard.


  1. Why did the Lord say that the widow gave more than the rich people who were putting larger amounts into the treasury?
  2. Outline the Lord’s discourse in this chapter.
  3. Who was the audience for this discourse?
  4. What are the “times of the Gentiles”?
  5. Who does the fig tree represent in the parable?


  1. Because in God’s eyes the amount you give is determined by how much you have left.
  2. - vs 8-19: The general conditions that will characterize the future from the time of Christ all the way until the end times - vs 20-24: The details of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD - vs 25-28: The signs that will precede the Lord’s 2nd Coming
  3. This discourse in context was not addressed to the Church, but to the Lord’s Jewish disciples in answer to their questions about the Jewish Temple, Jerusalem, and the nation of Israel.
  4. The times of the Gentiles began when Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon conquered Jerusalem and destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 586 BC. The Jewish people have controlled Jerusalem for relatively brief periods of time, but overall, Jerusalem has been subject to continual Gentile invasion and domination. The times of the Gentiles will continue until the Lord returns and liberates Jerusalem and sets up His earthly kingdom.
  5. The fig tree represents Israel, as it does in other Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures (Hosea 9:10 and Luke 13:6, for example).


  1. It is important to realize that the Lord’s discourse here was given to a Jewish audience. Read back over the section. Imagine some of the bad interpretations that could occur if we believed this teaching was for the Church.
  2. Sport coaches are known for saying, “Keep your eye on the ball.” Based on the parable of the fig tree we could say, “Keep your eye on Israel.” Do you keep up-to-date with news in the Middle East? Remember that future end time events will all occur there. Keep your eye on Israel.


  1. The Lord’s warning in vs 34-38 was addressed specifically to the Jewish people. But we can apply this warning to ourselves as we wait for the rapture. Let’s not waste our lives and squander our limited time. Let’s keep alert and pray as we remember that we are going to stand before the Lord. The Lord could return for His Church at any time!

Key Verses

  • “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.” Luke 21:8
  • “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:27-28
  • “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

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