A Widow’s Contribution
1Looking up, Jesus saw people, especially the rich, dropping their gifts into the temple offering box. 2He noticed a poor widow drop in two small coins. 3He said, “I can guarantee this truth: This poor widow has given more than all the others. 4All of these people have given what they could spare. But she, in her poverty, has given everything she had to live on.”
Jesus Teaches His Disciples
(Matthew 24:1–35; Mark 13:1–31)
5Some ⌞of the disciples⌟ were talking about the temple complex. They noted that it was built with fine stones and decorated with beautiful gifts. So Jesus said, 6“About these buildings that you see—the time will come when not one of these stones will be left on top of another. Each one will be torn down.”
7The disciples asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? What will be the sign when all this will occur?”
8Jesus said, “Be careful that you are not deceived. Many will come using my name. They will say, ‘I am he!’ and ‘The time is near.’ Don’t follow them!
9“When you hear of wars and revolutions, don’t be terrified! These things must happen first, but the end will not come immediately.”
10Then Jesus continued, “Nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be terrible earthquakes, famines, and dreadful diseases in various places. Terrifying sights and miraculous signs will come from the sky.
12“Before all these things happen, people will arrest and persecute you. They will hand you over to their synagogues and put you into their prisons. They will drag you in front of kings and governors because of my name. 13It will be your opportunity to testify to them. 14So make up your minds not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15I will give you words and wisdom that none of your enemies will be able to oppose or prove wrong.
16“Even parents, brothers, relatives, and friends will betray you and kill some of you. 17Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me. 18But not a hair on your head will be lost. 19By your endurance you will save your life.
20“When you see armies camped around Jerusalem, realize that the time is near for it to be destroyed. 21Then those of you in Judea should flee to the mountains. Those of you in Jerusalem should leave it. Those of you in the fields shouldn’t go back into them. 22This will be a time of vengeance. Everything that is written about it will come true.
23“How horrible it will be for women who are pregnant or who are nursing babies in those days. Indeed, the land will suffer very hard times, and its people will be punished. 24Swords will cut them down, and they will be carried off into all nations as prisoners. Nations will trample Jerusalem until the times allowed for the nations ⌞to do this⌟ are over.
25“Miraculous signs will occur in the sun, moon, and stars. The nations of the earth will be deeply troubled and confused because of the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26People will faint as they fearfully wait for what will happen to the world. Indeed, the powers of the universe will be shaken.
27“Then people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28“When these things begin to happen, stand with confidence! The time when you will be set free is near.”
29Then Jesus used this story as an illustration. “Look at the fig tree or any other tree. 30As soon as leaves grow on them, you know without being told that summer is near. 31In the same way, when you see these things happen, you know that God’s kingdom is near.
32“I can guarantee this truth: This generation will not disappear until all this takes place. 33The earth and the heavens will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
No One Knows When the Earth and the Heavens Will Disappear
34“Make sure that you don’t become drunk, hung over, and worried about life. Then that day could suddenly catch you by surprise 35like a trap that catches a bird. That day will surprise all people who live on the earth. 36Be alert at all times. Pray so that you have the power to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand in front of the Son of Man.”
37During the day Jesus would teach in the temple courtyard. But at night he would go to the Mount of Olives (as it was called) and spend the night there. 38All of the people would get up early to hear him speak in the temple courtyard.