The Temple Will Be Destroyed
1Jesus was leaving the Temple. One of his followers said to him, “Look, Teacher! This Temple has beautiful buildings with very big stones.”
2Jesus said, “Do you see all these great buildings? Every stone will be thrown to the ground. Not one stone will be left on another.”
3Later, Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives. He was alone with Peter, James, John, and Andrew. They could all see the Temple. They asked Jesus, 4“Tell us, when will all these things happen? And what will show us that the time has come for them to happen?”
5Jesus said to them: “Be careful that no one fools you. 6Many people will come and use my name. They will say, ‘I am the One.’ And they will fool many. 7You will hear about wars and stories of wars that are coming. But don’t be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes. 8Nations will fight against other nations. Kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat. And there will be earthquakes in different places. These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born.
9“You must be careful. People will arrest you and take you to court. They will beat you in their synagogues. You will be forced to stand before kings and governors, to tell them about me. This will happen to you because you follow me. 10But before these things happen, the Good News must be told to all people. 11When you are arrested and judged, don’t worry about what you should say. Say the things God gives you to say at that time. It will not really be you speaking. It will be the Holy Spirit.
12“Brothers will turn against their own brothers and give them over to be killed. Fathers will turn against their own children and give them over to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and cause their parents to be killed. 13All people will hate you because you follow me. But the person who continues to be strong until the end will be saved.
14“You will see ‘the horrible thing that destroys.’# Mentioned in Daniel 9:27; 12:11 (cf. Daniel 11:31). You will see this thing standing in the place where it should not be.” (You who read this should understand what it means.) “At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains. 15If a person is on the roof# In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer. of his house, he must not go down to take anything out of his house. 16If a person is in the field, he must not go back to get his coat. 17At that time, it will be hard for women who are pregnant or have nursing babies. 18Pray that these things will not happen in winter. 19This is because those days will be full of trouble. There will be more trouble than there has ever been since the beginning, when God made the world. And nothing as bad will ever happen again. 20God has decided to make that terrible time short. If that time were not made short, then no one would go on living. But God will make that time short to help his special people whom he has chosen. 21At that time, someone might say to you, ‘Look, there is the Christ!’ Or another person might say, ‘There he is!’ But don’t believe them. 22False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will do these things to the people God has chosen. They will do these things to try to fool them, if that is possible. 23So be careful. For I have warned you about all this before it happens.
24“During the days after this trouble comes,
‘The sun will grow dark.
And the moon will not give its light.
25The stars will fall from the sky.
And everything in the sky will be changed.’ Isaiah 13:10; 34:4
26“Then people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27The Son of Man will send his angels all around the earth. They will gather his chosen people from every part of the earth.
28“The fig tree teaches us a lesson: When its branches become green and soft, and new leaves begin to grow, then you know that summer is near. 29So also when you see all these things happening, then you will know that the time is near, ready to come. 30I tell you the truth. All these things will happen while the people of this time are still living. 31The whole world, earth and sky, will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.
32“No one knows when that day or time will be. The Son and the angels in heaven don’t know. Only the Father knows. 33Be careful! Always be ready!# Some Greek copies continue, “and pray.” You don’t know when that time will be. 34It is like a man who goes on a trip. He leaves his house and lets his servants take care of it. He gives each servant a special job to do. One servant has the work of guarding the door. The man tells this servant always to be watchful. This is what I am now telling you. 35You must always be ready. You don’t know when the owner of the house will come back. He might come in the evening, or at midnight, or in the early morning, or when the sun rises. 36He might come back quickly. If you are always ready, then he will not find you sleeping. 37I tell you this, and I say this to everyone: ‘Be ready!’”