Luke 21
True Giving
1Jesus saw some rich people putting their gifts into the Temple money box.# A special box in the Jewish place for worship where people put their gifts to God. 2Then Jesus saw a poor widow. She put two small copper coins into the box. 3He said, “I tell you the truth. This poor widow gave only two small coins. But she really gave more than all those rich people. 4The rich have plenty; they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had. And she needed that money to live on.”
The Temple Will Be Destroyed
5Some of the followers were talking about the Temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts offered to God.
6But Jesus said, “The time will come when all that you see here will be destroyed. Every stone will be thrown down to the ground. Not one stone will be left on another!”
7Some followers asked Jesus, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What will show us that it is time for them to take place?”
8Jesus said, “Be careful! Don’t be fooled. Many people will come using my name. They will say, ‘I am the Christ’ and, ‘The right time has come!’ But don’t follow them. 9When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid. These things must happen first. Then the end will come later.”
10Then he said to them, “Nations will fight against other nations. Kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. 11There will be great earthquakes, sicknesses, and other terrible things in many places. In some places there will be no food for the people to eat. Fearful events and great signs will come from heaven.
12“But before all these things happen, people will arrest you and treat you cruelly. They will judge you in their synagogues and put you in jail. You will be forced to stand before kings and governors. They will do all these things to you because you follow me. 13But this will give you an opportunity to tell about me. 14Don’t worry about what you will say. 15I will give you the wisdom to say things so that none of your enemies will be able to show that you are wrong. 16Even your parents, brothers, relatives and friends will turn against you. They will kill some of you. 17All people will hate you because you follow me. 18But none of these things can really harm you. 19You will save yourselves by continuing strong in your faith through all these things.
Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed
20“When you see armies all around Jerusalem, then you will know that it will soon be destroyed. 21At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains. The people in Jerusalem must get out. If you are near the city, don’t go in! 22These are the days of punishment to make come true all that is written in the Scriptures. 23At that time, it will be hard for women who are pregnant or have nursing babies! Great trouble will come upon this land, and God will be angry with these people. 24Some will be killed by the sword and taken as prisoners to all nations. Jerusalem will be crushed by non-Jewish people until their time is over.
Don’t Fear
25“Amazing things will happen to the sun, moon, and stars. On earth, nations will be afraid because of the roar and fury of the sea. They will not know what to do. 26People will be so afraid they will faint. They will wonder what is happening to the whole world. Everything in the sky will be changed. 27Then people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to happen, don’t fear. Look up and hold your heads high because the time when God will free you is near!”
My Words Will Live Forever
29Then Jesus told this story: “Look at the fig tree and all the other trees. 30When their leaves appear, you know that summer is near. 31In the same way, when you see all these things happening, then you will know that God’s kingdom is coming very soon.
32“I tell you the truth. All these things will happen while the people of this time are still living! 33The whole world, earth and sky, will be destroyed; but the words I have said will never be destroyed!
Be Ready All the Time
34“Be careful! Don’t spend your time feasting and drinking. Or don’t be too busy with worldly things. If you do that, you will not be able to think straight. And then that day might come when you are not ready. 35It will close like a trap on all people on earth. 36So be ready all the time. Pray that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen. And pray that you will be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
37During the day, Jesus taught the people in the Temple. At night he went out of the city and stayed on the Mount of Olives. 38Every morning all the people got up early to go to the Temple to listen to him.
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