21
True Giving
1As Jesus looked up, he saw some rich people putting their gifts into the Temple money box. 2Then he saw a poor widow putting two small copper coins into the box. 3He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow gave more than all those rich people. 4They gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had to live on.”
The Temple Will Be Destroyed
5Some people were talking about the Temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts offered to God.
But Jesus said, 6“As for these things you are looking at, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another. Every stone will be thrown down.”
7They asked Jesus, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
8Jesus said, “Be careful so you are not fooled. Many people will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the One’ and, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t follow them. 9When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid, because these things must happen first, but the end will come later.”
10Then he said to them, “Nations will fight against other nations, and kingdoms against other kingdoms. 11In various places there will be great earthquakes, sicknesses, and a lack of food. Fearful events and great signs will come from heaven.
12“But before all these things happen, people will arrest you and treat you cruelly. They will judge you in their synagogues and put you in jail and force you to stand before kings and governors, because you follow me. 13But this will give you an opportunity to tell about me. 14Make up your minds not to worry ahead of time about what you will say. 15I will give you the wisdom to say things that none of your enemies will be able to stand against or prove wrong. 16Even your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends will turn against you, and they will kill some of you. 17All people will hate you because you follow me. 18But none of these things can really harm you. 19By continuing to have faith you will save your lives.
Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed
20“When you see armies all around Jerusalem, you will know it will soon be destroyed. 21At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains. The people in Jerusalem must get out, and those who are near the city should not go in. 22These are the days of punishment to bring about all that is written in the Scriptures. 23How terrible it will be for women who are pregnant or have nursing babies! Great trouble will come upon this land, and God will be angry with these people. 24They will be killed by the sword and taken as prisoners to all nations. Jerusalem will be crushed by non-Jewish people until their time is over.
Don’t Fear
25“There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On earth, nations will be afraid and confused because of the roar and fury of the sea. 26People will be so afraid they will faint, wondering what is happening to the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to happen, look up and hold your heads high, because the time when God will free you is near!”
Jesus’ Words Will Live Forever
29Then Jesus told this story: “Look at the fig tree and all the other trees. 30When their leaves appear, you know that summer is near. 31In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that God’s kingdom is near.
32“I tell you the truth, all these things will happen while the people of this time are still living. 33Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have spoken will never be destroyed.
Be Ready All the Time
34“Be careful not to spend your time feasting, drinking, or worrying about worldly things. If you do, that day might come on you suddenly, 35like a trap on all people on earth. 36So be ready all the time. Pray that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen and that you will be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
37During the day, Jesus taught the people in the Temple, and at night he went out of the city and stayed on the Mount of Olives. 38Every morning all the people got up early to go to the Temple to listen to him.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.