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Luke 21 The Voice (VOICE)

21 And then He turned His attention from the religious scholars to some wealthy people who were depositing their donations in the offering boxes. A widow, obviously poor, came up and dropped two copper coins in one of the boxes.

Jesus: I’m telling you the truth, this poor widow has made a bigger contribution than all of those rich fellows. They’re just giving from their surplus, but she is giving from her poverty—she’s giving all she has to give.

Some people were impressed with the temple’s opulence—the precious stones and expensive decorations—but Jesus countered their observations.

Jesus: Go ahead, look around, and be impressed; but days are coming when one stone will not be left standing on another. Everything here will be demolished.

Crowd: When will this happen, Teacher? What signs will tell us this is about to occur?

Jesus: Be careful. It’s easy to be deceived. Many people will come claiming to have My authority. They’ll shout, “I’m the One!” or “The time is now!” Don’t take a step in their direction. You’ll hear about wars and conflicts, but don’t be frightened at all because these things must surely come, although they don’t signify the immediate coming of the end. 10 You can count on this: nation will attack nation, and kingdom will make war on kingdom. 11 There will be disturbances around the world—from great earthquakes to famines to epidemics. Terrifying things will happen, and there will be shocking signs from heaven. 12 But before any of this happens, they will capture you and persecute you. They’ll send you to synagogues for trial and to prisons for punishment; you’ll stand before kings and government officials for the sake of My name. 13 This will be your opportunity—your opportunity to tell your story. 14 Make up your mind in advance not to plan your strategy for answering their questions, 15 for when the time comes, I will give you the words to say—wise words—which none of your adversaries will be able to answer or argue against. 16 Your own parents, brothers, relatives, and friends will turn on you and turn you in. Some of you will be killed, 17 and all of you will be hated by everyone for the sake of My name.

18 But whatever happens, not a single hair of your heads will be harmed. 19 By enduring all of these things, you will find not loss but gain—not death but authentic life.

20 Here’s how you will know that the destruction of Jerusalem and her temple is imminent: Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies. 21 When that happens, there’s only one thing to do: if you’re in Judea, flee to the mountains; and if you’re inside the city, escape; and if you’re outside the city, stay there—don’t enter— 22 because the time has come for the promised judgment to fall. 23 How sad it will be for all the pregnant women, for all the nursing mothers in those days! All the land of Israel and all her people will feel the distress, the anger, falling on them like rain. 24 The sword will cut some down, the outsider nations will take others captive, and this holy city, this Jerusalem, will be trampled upon by the outsiders until their times are fulfilled.

25 There will be earth-shattering events—the heavens themselves will seem to be shaken with signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars. And across the earth the outsider nations will feel powerless and terrified in the face of a roaring flood of fear and foreboding, crashing like tidal waves upon them. 26 “What’s happening to the world?” people will wonder. The cosmic order will be destabilized. 27 And then, at that point, they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and blazing glory. 28 So when the troubles begin, don’t be afraid. Look up—raise your head high, because the truth is that your liberation is fast approaching.

29 (continuing with a parable) Look over there at that fig tree—and all the trees surrounding it. 30 When the leaves break out of their buds, nobody has to tell you that summer is approaching; it’s obvious to you. 31 It’s the same in the larger scheme of things. When you see all these things happening, you can be confident that the kingdom of God is approaching. 32 I’m telling you the truth: this generation will not pass from the scene before everything I’m telling you has occurred. 33 Heaven and earth will cease to exist before My words ever fail.

34 So be careful. Guard your hearts. They can be made heavy with moral laxity, with drunkenness, with the hassles of daily life. Then the day I’ve been telling you about might catch you unaware and trap you. 35 Because it’s coming—nobody on earth will escape it. 36 So you have to stay alert, praying that you’ll be able to escape the coming trials so you can stand tall in the presence of the Son of Man.

37-38 Through this whole period of time, He taught in the temple each day. People would arrive at the temple early in the morning to listen. Then, at day’s end, He would leave the city and sleep on Mount Olivet.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Luke 21 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Widow’s Offering

21 Jesus was in the temple,[a] observing all the wealthy wanting to be noticed as they came with their offerings. He noticed a very poor widow dropping two small copper coins in the offering box. “Listen to me,” he said. “This poor widow has given a larger offering than any of the wealthy. For the rich only gave out of their surplus, but she sacrificed out of her poverty and gave to God all that she had to live on.”

The Signs of the End of the Age

Some of the disciples remarked about the beauty of the temple. They pointed out all the lovely adornments and how it was built with excellence from the gifts given to God.

Jesus said, “The day will come that everything you admire here will be utterly destroyed. It will all become a heap of rubble!”

“Master, tell us,” they asked, “when exactly will this happen? Can you tell us what warning sign to look for when it is about to take place?”

Jesus responded, “Deception will run rampant with many who will appear on the scene, saying I have sent them, or saying about themselves, ‘I am the Messiah!’[b] And the doomsday deceivers will say, ‘The end of the age is now here!’ But listen to me. Don’t be fooled by these imposters.

“There will also be many wars and revolutions on every side, with rumors of more wars to come. Don’t panic or give in to your fears, for these things are bound to happen. This is still not the end yet.”

10 Jesus continued, There will be upheavals of every kind. Nations will go to war against each other and kingdom against kingdom— 11 and there will be terrible earthquakes, seismic events of epic proportion, resulting in famines in one place after another. There will be horrible plagues and epidemics, cataclysmic storms[c] on the earth, and astonishing signs and cosmic disturbances in the heavens. But before all of this happens, you will be hunted down and arrested, persecuted by both civil and religious authorities, and thrown into prison. 12–13 And because you follow me, you will be on trial before kings and governmental leaders as an opportunity to testify to them in my name. 14–15 Yet determine in your hearts not to prepare for your own defense. Simply speak with the words of wisdom that I will give you that moment, and none of your persecutors will be able to withstand the grace and wisdom that comes from your mouths.

16 “You can expect betrayal even by your parents, your brothers, your relatives and friends—and yes, some of you will die as martyrs. 17 You will be hated by all because of my life in you.[d] 18 But don’t worry. My grace will never desert you or depart from your life.[e] 19 And by standing firm with patient endurance you will find your souls’ deliverance.”

The Destruction of Jerusalem

20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know for sure that its devastation is imminent.[f] 21 At that time all who are living in Judea must flee to the mountains. Those who live inside the city gates, go out and flee, and those who live outside the city must not enter it seeking refuge. 22 For these are the days of God’s vengeance to fulfill what has been written[g] against Jerusalem. 23 It will be extremely difficult for pregnant women and for those nursing little ones in that day, for there will be great persecution and wrath against this nation. 24 Many will be cut down by the sword or scattered as prisoners in many countries. And Jerusalem shall be trampled down by nations until the days of world empires come to an end.”

The Coming of the Son of Man

25 “Expect to witness amazing and perplexing signs throughout the universe with the sun, the moon, and the stars.[h] The raging of the sea will bring desperation and turmoil to many nations. 26 Earthquakes[i] will bring panic and disaster. What men see coming to the earth will cause the fear of doom to grip their hearts, for they will even see the powers of the heavenly realm shaken!

27–28 “And at last, when you see how the Son of Man[j] comes—surrounded with a cloud, with great power and miracles, in the radiance of his splendor, and with great glory and praises[k]—it will make you jump for joy! For the day of your full transformation[l] has arrived.”

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

29–30 Jesus gave his disciples this parable:

“Haven’t you observed the fig tree, or any tree, that when it buds and blooms you realize that the season is changing and summer is near? 31 In the same way, when you see these prophetic signs occurring, you realize the earth is yielding to the fullness of God’s kingdom realm. 32 I assure you, the end of this age will not come until all I have spoken comes to pass. 33 Earth and sky will wear out and fade away before one word I speak loses its power or fails to accomplish its purpose.”

Guard Your Hearts

34 “Be careful that you never allow your hearts to grow cold. Remain passionate[m] and free from anxiety and the worries of this life. Then you will not be caught off guard by what happens. Don’t let me come and find you drunk or careless in living like everyone else. 35 For that day will come as a shocking surprise to all, like a downpour[n] that drenches everyone, catching many unaware and un-prepared. 36 Keep a constant watch over your soul, and pray for the courage and grace to prevail over these things that are destined to occur and that you will stand before the presence of the Son of Man with a clear conscience.”

37 Each day, Jesus taught in the temple, and he spent his nights on the Mount of Olives. 38 And all the people came early to the temple courts to listen to the words[o] he taught.


  1. Luke 21:1 This would have been in the courtyard of the temple, where men and women came to deposit their contributions to the temple treasury. Historians say there were thirteen trumpet-mouthed boxes used in the courtyard for offerings.
  2. Luke 21:8 Translated from the Aramaic, it literally states, “I Am! The Messiah!”
  3. Luke 21:11 As translated from the Aramaic. Only one Greek manuscript adds, “great storms.”
  4. Luke 21:17 The Greek says, “because of my name.”
  5. Luke 21:18 Although quite different from the Greek manuscripts, this is the literal translation of the Aramaic figure of speech, “Grace will not leave your head.”
  6. Luke 21:20 This was fulfilled in AD 70 when Jerusalem was left desolate by Roman armies. Some historians estimate that more than one million Jews were slaughtered at that time and up to one hundred thousand were taken captive to other nations.
  7. Luke 21:22 See 1 Kings 9:6-9; Dan. 9:26; Hos. 9:7; Mic. 3:12.
  8. Luke 21:25 See Isa. 13:10; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 2:10.
  9. Luke 21:26 The word earthquakes is found only in Aramaic manuscripts.
  10. Luke 21:27 The title “Son of Man” was used frequently when Jesus spoke of himself. Note that he is not the “son of a man,” but the Son of God who became a man.
  11. Luke 21:27 “Praises” is only found in Aramaic manuscripts.
  12. Luke 21:27 The Greek word is “redemption” or “liberation.” It speaks of the total transformation of our body, soul, and spirit when we see him as he is.
  13. Luke 21:34 The Aramaic text says, “Beware that your hearts never grow cold.”
  14. Luke 21:35 Greek manuscripts have “like a snare.” The Aramaic text states, “like a downpour.”
  15. Luke 21:38 The Greek text is logos. The Aramaic is literally “manifestation.”
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Luke 21 Living Bible (TLB)

21 As he stood in the Temple, he was watching the rich tossing their gifts into the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small copper coins.

“Really,” he remarked, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them combined. For they have given a little of what they didn’t need, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

Some of his disciples began talking about the beautiful stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls.

But Jesus said, “The time is coming when all these things you are admiring will be knocked down, and not one stone will be left on top of another; all will become one vast heap of rubble.”

“Master!” they exclaimed. “When? And will there be any warning ahead of time?”

He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you. For many will come announcing themselves as the Messiah,[a] and saying, ‘The time has come.’ But don’t believe them! And when you hear of wars and insurrections beginning, don’t panic. True, wars must come, but the end won’t follow immediately— 10 for nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and famines in many lands, and epidemics, and terrifying things happening in the heavens.

12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of special persecution, and you will be dragged into synagogues and prisons and before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 But as a result, the Messiah will be widely known and honored.[b] 14 Therefore, don’t be concerned about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such logic that none of your opponents will be able to reply! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends will betray you and have you arrested; and some of you will be killed. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are mine and are called by my name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 For if you stand firm, you will win your souls.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. 21 Then let the people of Judea flee to the hills. Let those in Jerusalem try to escape, and those outside the city must not attempt to return. 22 For those will be days of God’s judgment,[c] and the words of the ancient Scriptures written by the prophets will be abundantly fulfilled. 23 Woe to expectant mothers in those days, and those with tiny babies. For there will be great distress upon this nation[d] and wrath upon this people. 24 They will be brutally killed by enemy weapons, or sent away as exiles and captives to all the nations of the world; and Jerusalem shall be conquered and trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of Gentile triumph ends in God’s good time.

25 “Then there will be strange events in the skies—warnings, evil omens and portents in the sun, moon and stars; and down here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 The courage of many people will falter because of the fearful fate they see coming upon the earth, for the stability of the very heavens will be broken up. 27 Then the peoples of the earth shall see me, the Messiah,[e] coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand straight and look up! For your salvation is near.”

29 Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. 30 When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. 31 In the same way, when you see the events taking place that I’ve described you can be just as sure that the Kingdom of God is near.

32 “I solemnly declare to you that when these things happen, the end of this age[f] has come. 33 And though all heaven and earth shall pass away, yet my words remain forever true.

34-35 “Watch out! Don’t let my sudden coming catch you unawares; don’t let me find you living in careless ease, carousing and drinking, and occupied with the problems of this life, like all the rest of the world. 36 Keep a constant watch. And pray that if possible you may arrive in my presence without having to experience these horrors.”[g]

37-38 Every day Jesus went to the Temple to teach, and the crowds began gathering early in the morning to hear him. And each evening he returned to spend the night on the Mount of Olives.


  1. Luke 21:8 will come announcing themselves as the Messiah, literally, “will come in my name.”
  2. Luke 21:13 the Messiah will be widely known and honored, literally, “it shall turn out unto you for a testimony.”
  3. Luke 21:22 days of God’s judgment, literally, “days of vengeance.”
  4. Luke 21:23 upon this nation, literally, “upon the land,” or “upon the earth.”
  5. Luke 21:27 the Messiah, literally, “the Son of Man.”
  6. Luke 21:32 this age, literally, “this generation.”
  7. Luke 21:36 pray . . . you may arrive in my presence without having to experience these horrors, or “pray for strength to pass safely through these coming horrors.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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