8 And 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. 9 And 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.
10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 and there shall be great earthquakes, and in divers places famines and pestilences; and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they shall lay their hands on you, and shall persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, [a]bringing you before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 It shall turn out unto you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate beforehand how to answer: 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand or to gainsay. 16 But ye shall be [b]delivered up even by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you [c]shall they cause to be put to death. 17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 18 And not a hair of your head shall perish. 19 In your [d]patience ye shall win your [e]souls. (American Standard Version)
- a. Luke 21:12 Greek you being brought.
b. Luke 21:16 Or, betrayed
c. Luke 21:16 Or, shall they put to death
d. Luke 21:19 Or, stedfastness
e. Luke 21:19 Or, lives
“And 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.” (21:8) Observe here, Christ does not gratify his disciples’ curiosity, but acquaints them with their present duty; namely, to watch against deceivers and seducers, who should have the impudence to affirm themselves to be Christs, saying, I am Christ: some Christs personal, or the Messiah; others Christs doctrinal, affirming their erroneous opinions to be Christ’s mind and doctrine: Take heed that ye be not deceived, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ.
Observe farther, the signs which our Saviour gives of Jerusalem’s approaching destruction, namely, the many broils and commotions, the civil disorders and dissensions, that should be found among the Jews immediately before: Ye shall hear of wars and commotions, and see fearful sights, and great signs from heaven. Josephus declares, that there appeared in the air chariots and horsemen skirmishing, and that a blazing star in fashion of a sword hung over the city for a year together.
Hence learn, that war, pestilence, and famine, are judgments and calamities inflicted by God upon a sinful people for their contempt of Christ and gospel grace. Ye shall hear of war, famine, and pestilence. (Burkitt)
“And not a hair of your head shall perish.” (21:18) Nothing really valuable to them should be lost or destroyed; but, amidst all these trials and dangers, their ultimate welfare and happiness were perfectly secure. (Abbot) This is a proverbial expression, denoting that they should not suffer any essential injury. This was strikingly fulfilled in the fact that in the calamities of Jerusalem there is reason to believe that no Christian suffered. Before those calamities came on the city they had fled to Pella, a city on the east of the Jordan. Mt 24:18. (Barnes)