The Widow’s Two Mites
There are certain scenarios in the Bible that stick with you, ones that come to your mind again and again. The widow’s two mites is one for me. I know the biblical situation is about a poor woman giving money, but I don’t think this story is about money at all. I think it’s about our talents. Some people are given many advantages, talents, and skills. Some have just a few. But we all have a choice about whether to use what we have for the glory of God or not.
Again and again since I have been saved, I have felt inadequate for the jobs that God has called me to do. But, I just keep telling God that I’m giving Him what I have. Recently, my pastor was ill, and we had another pastor come to preach. He preached on the loaves and the fishes and how a little boy’s tiny lunch, given in faith, was a feast for thousands in the hands of the Master. I think of my two mites the same way. I give what I have, and He can multiply it to do amazing things.
The End of the Age
This whole section matches Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse. It talks about the things that would shortly come to pass in Jerusalem, but it is also a type and shadow of what will happen just before the return of Christ to earth. It all starts when someone makes a comment about how beautiful the temple was. Jesus returns with the following:
“These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”Luke 21:6
Of course, the temple couldn’t remain standing. Jesus was the one-time sacrifice for all sins and the end to the Old Testament way of doing things. God was about to judge Jerusalem for her sins, and the people would be scattered for two thousand years. He even tells them not to try to stay and fight. The destruction is set, so they had better flee. He does give them a bit of hope, though. He tells them that the Gentiles will trample the city until their time is done. That means it was just temporary. And, of course, we know from history that the Jews, did, in fact, take possession of Israel again. It happened on May 14, 1948. Nineteen years later on June 27, 1967, as a result of the Six Day War, they again inhabited Jerusalem.
Signs of Impending Judgement
Many of the signs of the coming judgement of Jerusalem are also playing out in our newsfeeds today as a dual fulfillment as we await His second coming.
“Then He said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.”Luke 21:10-11
We have had not one but two world wars since those times. Earthquakes seem to be increasing in both number and frequency, and new diseases like AIDS, bird flu, and Ebola were unheard of a few years ago, not to mention that giant increase in cancer victims.
“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.”Luke 21:12
Christians were persecuted right after the time of Christ, and again today, Christian persecution is at an all-time high. In fact, according to a BBC News article from May of this year, it is at “near genocide levels.” If and when persecution does come to our area, it’s important to remember Jesus’ advice in Luke 14-15, “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Luke 21:25-26
Think about the great number of blood moons and eclipses just lately. Also, consider the great floods and rivers turning red like blood. Of course the biggest signs are yet to come as we get closer and closer to our Lord’s return.
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.Luke 21:27
Watch for Signs
Then Jesus gives a final parable about a fig tree. When it starts to bud, you know that summer is near. Likewise, when we start to see these signs, we know judgement is near. Then he says that everything will take place before “this generation” passes away. The temple was destroyed in 70 AD, just about 40 years after Jesus’ prediction. As for us, we know that the fig tree is a symbol for Israel itself. Now that the Jews are back in the land and occupying Jerusalem, one might be able to count a generation from that time to get an approximate date for this final judgement.
The final section is a warning. We must be watchful and take care that we don’t get too involved with the things of the world because this time will come unexpectedly for those who aren’t paying attention. And finally, almost like reminding us that we need to give all we have, He lets us know that we must pray always:
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you maybe counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”Luke 21:26