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21. Signs of the End of the Age

1And he looked up, and saw the rich men that were casting their gifts into the treasury. 2And he saw a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than they all: 4for all these did of their superfluity cast in unto the gifts; but she of her want did cast in all the living that she had. 5And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said, 6As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 7And they asked him, saying, Teacher, when therefore shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when these things are about to come to pass? 8And he said, Take heed that ye be not led astray: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am he; and, The time is at hand: go ye not after them. 9And when ye shall hear of wars and tumults, be not terrified: for these things must needs come to pass first; but the end is not immediately. 10Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11and there shall be great earthquakes, and in divers places famines and pestilences; and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12But before all these things, they shall lay their hands on you, and shall persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name's sake. 13It shall turn out unto you for a testimony. 14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate beforehand how to answer: 15for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand or to gainsay. 16But ye shall be delivered up even by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. 18And not a hair of your head shall perish. 19In your patience ye shall win your souls. 20But when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her desolation is at hand. 21Then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter therein. 22For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people. 24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 25And there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the billows; 26men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption draweth nigh. 29And he spake to them a parable: Behold the fig tree, and all the trees: 30when they now shoot forth, ye see it and know of your own selves that the summer is now nigh. 31Even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh. 32Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished. 33Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 34But take heed to yourselves, lest haply your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come on you suddenly as a snare: 35for so shall it come upon all them that dwell on the face of all the earth. 36But watch ye at every season, making supplication, that ye may prevail to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. 37And every day he was teaching in the temple; and every night he went out, and lodged in the mount that is called Olivet. 38And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, to hear him.

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Christ Commendeth the Poor Widow.

1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.   2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.   3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:   4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

This short passage of story we had before in Mark. It is thus recorded twice, to teach us, 1. That charity to the poor is a main matter in religion. Our Lord Jesus took all occasions to commend it and recommend it. He had just mentioned the barbarity of the scribes, who devoured poor widows (ch. xx.); and perhaps this is designed as an aggravation of it, that the poor widows were the best benefactors to the public funds, of which the scribes had the disposal. 2. That Jesus Christ has his eye upon us, to observe what we give to the poor, and what we contribute to works of piety and charity. Christ, though intent upon his preaching, looked up, to see what gifts were cast into the treasury, v. 1. He observes whether we give largely and liberally, in proportion to what we have, or whether we be sneaking and paltry in it; nay, his eye goes further, he observes whether we give charitably and with a willing mind, or grudgingly and with reluctance. This should make us afraid of coming short of our duty in this matter; men may be deceived with excuses which Christ knows to be frivolous. And this should encourage us to be abundant in it, without desiring that men should know it; it is enough that Christ does; he sees in secret, and will reward openly. 3. That Christ observes and accepts the charity of the poor in a particular manner. Those that have nothing to give may yet do a great deal in charity by ministering to the poor, and helping them, and begging for them, that cannot help themselves, or beg for themselves. But here was one that was herself poor and yet gave what little she had to the treasury. It was but two mites, which make a farthing; but Christ magnified it as a piece of charity exceeding all the rest: She has cast in more than they all. Christ does not blame her for indiscretion, in giving what she wanted herself, nor for vanity in giving among the rich to the treasury; but commended her liberality, and her willingness to part with what little she had for the glory of God, which proceeded from a belief of and dependence upon God's providence to take care of her. Jehovah-jireh—the Lord will provide. 4. That, whatever may be called the offerings of God, we ought to have a respect for, and to our power, yea, and beyond our power, to contribute cheerfully to. These have cast in unto the offerings of God. What is given to the support of the ministry and the gospel, to the spreading and propagating of religion, the education of youth, the release of prisoners, the relief of widows and strangers, and the maintenance of poor families, is given to the offerings of God, and it shall be so accepted and recompensed.




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