Luke 21

* Christ commends a poor widow. (1-4) His prophecy. (5-28)

Christ exhorts to watchfulness. (29-38)

1-4 From the offering of this poor widow, learn that what we

rightly give for the relief of the poor, and the support of

God's worship, is given unto God; and our Saviour sees with

pleasure whatever we have in our hearts to give for the relief

of his members, or for his service. Blessed Lord! the poorest of

thy servants have two mites, they have a soul and a body;

persuade and enable us to offer both unto thee; how happy shall

we be in thine accepting of them!
5-28 With much curiosity those about Christ ask as to the time

when the great desolation should be. He answers with clearness

and fulness, as far as was necessary to teach them their duty;

for all knowledge is desirable as far as it is in order to

practice. Though spiritual judgements are the most common in

gospel times, yet God makes use of temporal judgments also.

Christ tells them what hard things they should suffer for his

name's sake, and encourages them to bear up under their trials,

and to go on in their work, notwithstanding the opposition they

would meet with. God will stand by you, and own you, and assist

you. This was remarkably fulfilled after the pouring out of the

Spirit, by whom Christ gave his disciples wisdom and utterance.

Though we may be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot be

losers by him, in the end. It is our duty and interest at all

times, especially in perilous, trying times, to secure the

safety of our own souls. It is by Christian patience we keep

possession of our own souls, and keep out all those impressions

which would put us out of temper. We may view the prophecy

before us much as those Old Testament prophecies, which,

together with their great object, embrace, or glance at some

nearer object of importance to the church. Having given an idea

of the times for about thirty-eight years next to come, Christ

shows what all those things would end in, namely, the

destruction of Jerusalem, and the utter dispersion of the Jewish

nation; which would be a type and figure of Christ's second

coming. The scattered Jews around us preach the truth of

Christianity; and prove, that though heaven and earth shall pass

away, the words of Jesus shall not pass away. They also remind

us to pray for those times when neither the real, nor the

spiritual Jerusalem, shall any longer be trodden down by the

Gentiles, and when both Jews and Gentiles shall be turned to the

Lord. When Christ came to destroy the Jews, he came to redeem

the Christians that were persecuted and oppressed by them; and

then had the churches rest. When he comes to judge the world, he

will redeem all that are his from their troubles. So fully did

the Divine judgements come upon the Jews, that their city is set

as an example before us, to show that sins will not pass

unpunished; and that the terrors of the Lord, and his

threatenings against impenitent sinners, will all come to pass,

even as his word was true, and his wrath great upon Jerusalem.
29-38 Christ tells his disciples to observe the signs of the

times, which they might judge by. He charges them to look upon

the ruin of the Jewish nation as near. Yet this race and family

of Abraham shall not be rooted out; it shall survive as a

nation, and be found as prophesied, when the Son of man shall be

revealed. He cautions them against being secure and sensual.

This command is given to all Christ's disciples, Take heed to

yourselves, that ye be not overpowered by temptations, nor

betrayed by your own corruptions. We cannot be safe, if we are

carnally secure. Our danger is, lest the day of death and of

judgment should come upon us when we are not prepared. Lest,

when we are called to meet our Lord, that be the furthest from

our thoughts, which ought to be nearest our hearts. For so it

will come upon the most of men, who dwell upon the earth, and

mind earthly things only, and have no converse with heaven. It

will be a terror and a destruction to them. Here see what should

be our aim, that we may be accounted worthy to escape all those

things; that when the judgements of God are abroad, we may not

be in the common calamity, or it may not be that to us which it

is to others. Do you ask how you may be found worthy to stand

before Christ at that day? Those who never yet sought Christ,

let them now go unto him; those who never yet were humbled for

their sins, let them now begin; those who have already begun,

let them go forward and be kept humbled. Watch therefore, and

pray always. Watch against sin; watch in every duty, and make

the most of every opportunity to do good. Pray always: those

shall be accounted worthy to live a life of praise in the other

world, who live a life of prayer in this world. May we begin,

employ, and conclude each day attending to Christ's word,

obeying his precepts, and following his example, that whenever

he comes we may be found watching.
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