Luke 21:20-28 (NIV)
20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.
21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.
22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.
23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.
24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
26 Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
On verses 20-28: Here Jesus warns his disciples that chaotic and frightening times lay ahead of them before Jesus returns. In terms of specifics, however, as in the case of verses 8-19, it is not 100% clear exactly at what point in these verses Jesus transitions from talking about the impending fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. to talking about his return in verse 27-28, which is certainly an end time event. One could argue that verses 25-26 are most likely talking about the end times, but how much of verses 20-24 is talking about the end times and how much is referring to the already past destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?
For me the most important takeaway here is:
1. Here Jesus refers to himself in verse 27 as the Son of Man, one of his most frequently used titles for himself and a title which originally comes from Daniel 7:13-14.
2. When Jesus returns, He will come in a cloud with power and great glory (v27), an image we also see in Daniel 7:13-14.
Lord Jesus, thank You that though You came the first time as a suffering servant, when You come again and return to earth, You will come as a conquering king in the clouds with power and great glory. You are a king like no other. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!