THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS IN GLORY
5And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, He said,
6“As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
7And they asked him,
“Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”
8And He said,
“See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. 9And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”
10Then He said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
12But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.
13This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
16You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your lives.
20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.
21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.
23Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
This beautiful prophecy cannot be fully understood, unless the three versions of the same event, described in the synoptics are read (Matthew 24; Mark 13).
But from the three of them, as from this narrative of Luke, the prophecy of the coming persecution of believers, the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, and the imminent return of Christ, is openly and clearly prophesied by Lord Jesus.
Before those who held the Temple of Jerusalem and the Holy City as the incomparable sign of the presence of God in Judea; Lord Jesus burst their bubble by foretelling of their coming destruction at the hands of the gentiles, whom they considered less before God.
1 – Jesus foretold that many will come pretending to be the Messiah, confusing some of the unrighteous; and also foretells of many wars and widespread aggression all over the world, but that still, that will not be the end (v.8-9).
2 – Later, Lord JESUS prophecies of world wars (First-Second- a Third one?) (v.10); many natural disasters at great scale, so much from Earth as from heaven. And also hunger and pests all over the world (v.11).
3 – BUT BEFORE all these things come to this condition; Lord Jesus warns his apostles, and through them, to all of us believers in Him, that we will attract rejection from the unbelievers, who may come from even within our own families, and will deliver us to the authorities, putting us in prison and even condemning us to death (v.12, 16-17)
4 – Regarding those martyrs, openly Jesus promised not only to the immediate disciples that were with Him that day, but also to all the believers through the ages, that a special grace will be granted to us by the will of GOD, through the Holy Spirit, guiding us in how to answer by word and action to our prosecutors, giving thus testimony of the reality of JESUS CHRIST as LORD and SAVIOUR, not through human effort, but by the power of God (v.13-15). But even in the case of those executed for God’s glory, they will not fall, unless God allows it, proving God that He will receive them in his Kingdom (v.18-19).
5 – After this historical bracket, Jesus retakes the narrative of the end of times, and jumps to the destruction of Jerusalem which took place in the year 70CE, and the later diaspora, until the times of the gentiles is fulfilled (v.20-24).
6 – Finally Lord JESUS describes the times of the very end, before his return.
He describes what we are told again and again in Scripture, the darkening of the Sun and Moon and stars, as a universal testimony of the end of nature as we know it, announcing a ‘New Heaven and a New Earth’ (2Peter 3:13); and also a special maritime reaction, aggressive and fearsome to humanity (Sunamies?) (v.25-26).
7 – Finally, JESUS will appear in glory before the whole world, coming down with his millions of angels (v.27).
Lord JESUS encourages us to persevere to the end, and to be cheerful, because when we see this starting to happen, as we see it now, we should know that our redemption is near (v.19-28).