The Widow's Two Mites.
1. looked up—He had "sat down over
against the treasury" (Mr 12:41),
probably to rest, for He had continued long standing as he taught in
the temple court (Mr 11:27),
and "looking up He saw"—as in Zaccheus' case, not quite
the rich, &c.—"the people," says
12:41 "cast money into the
treasury, and many rich east in much"; that is, into chests deposited
in one of the courts of the temple to receive the offerings of the
people towards its maintenance (2Ki 12:9; Joh 8:20).
2. two mites—"which make a farthing"
12:42), the smallest Jewish
coin. "She might have kept one" [Bengel].
3. And he said—"to His disciples," whom
He "called to Him" (Mr 12:43),
to teach from it a great future lesson.
more than … all—in proportion to
her means, which is God's standard (2Co 8:12).
4. of their abundance—their
superfluity; what they had to spare," or beyond what they
of her penury—or "want" (Mr 12:44)—her deficiency, of what
was less than her own wants required, "all the living she had."
12:44) still more
emphatically, "all that she had—her whole subsistence."
Note: (1) As temple offerings are needed still for the
service of Christ at home and abroad, so "looking down" now, as then
"up," Me "sees" who "cast in," and how much. (2) Christ's
standard of commendable offering is not our superfluity, but our
deficiency—not what will never be missed, but what costs us
some real sacrifice, and just in proportion to the relative amount of
that sacrifice. (See 2Co 8:1-3.)
Lu 21:5-38. Christ's
Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem and Warnings to Prepare for
His Second Coming, Suggested by It—His Days and Nights during His Last Week.
5-7. (See on Mt
8. the time—of the Kingdom, in its full
go … not … after them—"I
come not so very soon" (2Th 2:1, 2)
9-11. not terrified—(See Lu 21:19;
end not by and by—or immediately, not
yet (Mt 24:6; Mr 13:7): that is, "Worse must come before all
10. Nation, &c.—Matthew and Mark
24:8; Mr 13:8) add, "All
these are the beginning of sorrows," or travail pangs, to which heavy
calamities are compared (Jer 4:31,
12. brought before, &c.—The book of
Acts verifies all this.
13. for a testimony—an opportunity of
18. not a hair … perish—He had
just said (Lu 21:16)
they should be put to death; showing that this precious promise
is far above immunity from mere bodily harm, and furnishing a key to
the right interpretation of the ninety-first Psalm, and such like.
Matthew adds the following (Mt 24:12):
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many," the many or, the
most—the generality of professed disciples—"shall wax
cold." But he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Sad
illustrations of the effect of abounding iniquity in cooling the love
of faithful disciples we have in the Epistle of James, written
about this period referred to, and too frequently ever since (Heb
10:38, 39; Re 2:10). "And
this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a
witness, and then shall the end come" (Mt 24:14). God never sends judgment without
previous warning; and there can be no doubt that the Jews, already
dispersed over most known countries, had nearly all heard the Gospel
"as a witness," before the end of the Jewish state. The same principle
was repeated and will repeat itself to the end.
20, 21. by armies—encamped armies, that
is, besieged: "the abomination of desolation" (meaning the Roman
ensigns, as the symbols of an idolatrous, pagan, unclean power) "spoken
of by Daniel the prophet" (Da 9:27)
"standing where it ought not" (Mr 13:14). "Whoso readeth [that prophecy] let him
understand" (Mt 24:15).
Then … flee, &c.—Eusebius says the Christians fled to
Pella, at the north extremity of Perea, being "prophetically
directed"; perhaps by some prophetic intimation still more explicit
than this, which still would be their chart.
23. woe unto—"alas for."
with child, &c.—from the greater
suffering it would involve; as also "flight in winter, and on the
sabbath," which they were to "pray" against (Mt 24:20), the one as more trying to the body,
the other to the soul. "For then shall be tribulation such as was not
since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be"—language not
unusual in the Old Testament for tremendous calamities, though of this
it may perhaps be literally said, "And except those days should be
shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect's sake
those days shall be shortened" (Mt 24:21, 22). But for this merciful "shortening,"
brought about by a remarkable concurrence of causes, the whole nation
would have perished, in which there yet remained a remnant to be
afterwards gathered out. Here in Matthew and Mark (Mt 24:24; Mr
13:22) are some particulars
about "false Christs," who should, "if possible"—a
precious clause—"deceive the very elect." (Compare 2Th 2:9-11;
24. Jerusalem … trodden down …
until, &c.—Implying (1) that one day Jerusalem shall
cease to be "trodden down by the Gentiles" (Re 11:2), as then by pagan so now by Mohammedan
unbelievers; (2) that this shall be at the "completion" of "the times
of the Gentiles," which from Ro 11:25
(taken from this) we conclude to mean till the Gentiles have had their
full time of that place in the Church which the Jews in their
time had before them—after which, the Jews being again
"grafted into their own olive tree," one Church of Jew and Gentile
together shall fill the earth (Ro 11:1-36). What a vista this opens up!
25-28. signs, &c.—Though the
grandeur of this language carries the mind over the head of all periods
but that of Christ's second coming, nearly every expression will be
found used of the Lord's coming in terrible national judgments, as of
Babylon, &c.; and from Lu 21:28, 32, it seems undeniable that its
immediate reference was to the destruction of Jerusalem, though
its ultimate reference beyond doubt is to Christ's final
28. redemption—from the oppression of
ecclesiastical despotism and legal bondage by the total subversion of
the Jewish state and the firm establishment of the evangelical kingdom
21:31). But the words are of
far wider and more precious import. Matthew (Mt 24:30) says, "And then shall appear the
sign of the Son of man in heaven," evidently something distinct
from Himself, mentioned immediately after. What this was intended to
mean, interpreters are not agreed. But as before Christ came to destroy
Jerusalem, some appalling portents were seen in the air, so before His
personal appearing it is likely that something analogous will be
witnessed, though of what nature it is vain to conjecture.
32. This generation—not "this nation,"
as some interpret it, which, though admissible in itself, seems very
unnatural here. It is rather as in Lu 9:27.
34-37. surfeiting, and drunkenness—All
animal excesses, quenching spirituality.
cares of this life—(See on Mr 4:7; Mr 4:19).
36. Watch … pray, &c.—the two
great duties which in prospect of trial are constantly enjoined. These
warnings, suggested by the need of preparedness for the tremendous
calamities approaching, and the total wreck of the existing state of
things, are the general improvement of the whole discourse,
carrying the mind forward to Judgment and Vengeance of another kind and
on a grander and more awful scale—not ecclesiastical or political
but personal, not temporal but eternal—when all safety and
blessedness will be found to lie in being able to "STAND BEFORE THE Son of Man" in the glory of His
37, 38. in the daytime—of this His last
abode in the mount—that is, at Bethany