Questions From the Disciples
Verse 1 – Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!”
I assume as they left the temple, the disciples made comments of how beautiful and massive the stones were. Archaeologists have found the stones were 42 feet long, 11 feet high, and 14 feet deep, weighing over a million pounds.
Verse 2 – And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Around 20 B.C., Herod the Great began to remodel and rebuild the temple, which had stood for nearly 500 years since the days of Ezra. Herod made the building one of the most beautiful buildings in Jerusalem – not to honor God, but to appease the Jews. It was not completed until A.D. 64. Jesus prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70, when the Roman’s completely destroyed the temple and the entire city of Jerusalem.
Verse 3 – Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately,
Verse 4 – “Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
Verse 5 – And Jesus, answering them, began to say, “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Verse 6 – “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.
There will be those coming who will proclaim to be the Messiah. We already have seen this, one in particular in Waco Texas several years back. Now there is one in Russia who claims he is Jesus reincarnated, and has thousands of followers.
Verse 7 – “And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled, for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.
Verse 8 – “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.
This list here, nations rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and earthquakes in various places, is only the beginning, followed along with famines. And yes, we have been seeing these things for a good while, but the end is not yet.
Verse 9 – “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. And you will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.
Jesus is talking to the disciples about what is going to happen before the temple in Jerusalem is destroyed. These things that He listed in verse 8, also would take place when the Roman’s destroyed Jerusalem and everything in it including the temple.
Our vision of persecution can not be limited to what happens to us. Christians around the world are persecuted daily for their belief in Christ. However, I believe it will continue to get worse as we approach the coming day of our Lord and Savior.
Verse 10 – “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
Verse 11 – “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry before hand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
These verses have a two-fold meaning. Speaking to His disciples and us today when we give a testimony of why we follow Christ. We are not to be afraid, because the Holy Spirit is in the Christian to give encouragement and speech.
Verse 12 – “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
There is coming a day when a Christian will become an out-law. Children will rise against their own parents and parents will turn their children into the authorities for believing in Christ.
Verse 13 – “And you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
There is already such a hatred for Christians in this country, but I don’t believe we’ve seen the worse of it yet. Severe trials and persecutions are going to sift true Christians in the coming years. Our faith will be challenged to the point of wanting to give up, but don’t! Stay faithful to the One who holds all things, till the end. The apostles held true till death.
Verse 14 – “But when you see the abomination of desolation; spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not: (let the reader understand), “then those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
This prediction will happen twice, once in our past history and again in the future. Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the sacred temple altar (Daniel 9:27; 11:30, 31), in A.D. 70 when the Roman general Titus placed an idol on the site of the burned out temple after the destruction of Jerusalem. For the other abomination of desolation, read Revelation 13.
Verse 15 – “And let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house.
Verse 16 – “And let him who is in the field not go back to get his garment.
Verse 17 – “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those with nursing babies in those days!
Verse 18 – “And pray that your flight may not be in the winter.
Verse 19 – “For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
This time that Jesus is referring to, will exceed what was experienced in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 .
Verse 20 – “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
There will be people saved during this tribulation time. Revelation 7:14 – And I said to him (one of the elders), “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Verse 21 – “Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.
Verse 22 – “For false christ’s and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Here again is another good reason to “Know Your Bible!” How are you going to know you are being deceived unless you know the truth? These last days are not going to be easy for any believer. For him who has understanding, more will be given!
Verse 23 – “But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.
It’s all in the Bible, Old Testament and the New. There will be no excuse for not knowing what is happening. Our God gives the believer a Spirit of discernment to know the difference between truth and deception.
The Second Coming
Verse 24 – “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
Verse 25 – “the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in heaven will be shaken.
Isaiah 13:9, 10 – Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. (Verse 10 ) For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.
Verse 26 – “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Verse 27 – “And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
This represents the great harvest at the end of this world, when the angels – reapers shall be sent forth to separate the wicked from the just.
Parable of the Fig Tree
Verse 28 – “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts for leaves, you know that summer is near.
Verse 29 – “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, at the very doors.
Verse 30 – “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Two-fold meaning again. At the beginning of this chapter, one of Jesus disciples was talking about the large stones of the temple. Jesus is telling them that there will be some standing here now that will see the destruction of this temple and the destruction of Jerusalem which took place 40 years from then. Then when He goes on to tell about all the things concerning the “tribulation,” He’s talking to the generation that would see all these things He mentioned, come to pass. And that could very well be this generation, present time.
Verse 31 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Therefore, everything that is predicted in scripture, including the events Jesus just mentioned, will come to pass – all the revelation of God, all the words of Him who is Truth.
Verse 32 – “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
When Jesus said that He didn’t know the time of the end, He was affirming His humanity. Of course the Father and Jesus are one. The emphasis of this verse is not on Jesus lack of knowledge, but rather on the fact that no one knows, but God. No one can predict by Scripture or science the exact day of Jesus return, but will know its near when these signs take place. Jesus is teaching that preparation, not calculation, is needed.
Verse 33 – “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
This was teaching the disciples and us the time and hour is hidden from us. Therefore, watch the signs, read and study the Bible, and pray continuously, earnestly seeking guidance.
Verse 34 – “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
Verse 35 – “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning –
Verse 36 – “lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.
Verse 37 – “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
This chapter was not given to promote discussions on prophetic timetables, but to stimulate right living for God in a world where He is largely ignored!