J.C. Ryle on “Times of the Gentiles”

J.C. Ryle comments on Luke 21:24 as follows:

We should mark, lastly, in this passage, our Lord’s words about the times of the Gentiles. We read that He said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” A fixed period is here foretold, during which Jerusalem was to be given over into the hands of Gentile rulers, and the Jews were to have no dominion over their ancient city. A fixed period is likewise foretold which was to be the time of the Gentiles’ visitation, the time during which they were to enjoy privileges, and occupy a position something like that of Israel in ancient days. Both periods are one day to end. Jerusalem is to be once more restored to its ancient inhabitants. The Gentiles, because of their hardness and unbelief, are to be stripped of their privileges and endure the just judgments of God. But the times of the Gentiles are not yet run out. We ourselves are living within them at the present day. The subject before us is a very affecting one, and ought to raise within us great searchings of heart. While the nations of Europe are absorbed in political conflicts and worldly business, the sands in their hour-glass are ebbing away. While Governments are disputing about secular things, and Parliaments can hardly condescend to find a place for religion in their discussions, their days are numbered in the sight of God. Yet a few years, and “the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled.” Their day of visitation will be past and gone. Their misused privileges will be taken away. The judgments of God shall fall on them. They shall be cast aside as vessels in which God has no pleasure. Their dominion shall crumble away, and their vaunted institutions shall fall to pieces. The Jews shall be restored. The Lord Jesus shall come again in power and great glory. The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ, and the “times of the Gentiles” shall come to an end.

Ryle, J.C. (2010-06-13). The Gospel of Luke (Kindle Locations 6691-6705).

I’m actually quite surprised at just how many commentators in the history of the church, most of which preceding the rise of dispensational theology, have understood texts like Luke 21:24 to refer, in some sense, to the restoration of Israel.

© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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