Some people were talking about the Temple and the fine stones and votive offerings with which it was adorned.
He said, “These things which you are gazing at — The time will come when not one stone of them will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
“Master,” they said, “when will it all come about? What will be the sign when it is due to happen?”
He said, “Take care that you are not misled. For many will come claiming my name and saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The Day is upon us.’ Do not follow them.
“And when you hear of wars and insurrections, do not fall into a panic. These things are bound to happen first, but the end does not follow immediately. Nation will make war upon nation, kingdom upon kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and famines and plagues in many places; in the sky terrors and great portents.
“But before all this happens they will set upon you and persecute you. You will be brought before synagogues and put in prison; you will be haled before kings and governors for your allegiance to me. This will be your opportunity to testify. Make up your minds not to prepare your defense beforehand, because I myself will give you power of utterance and a wisdom which no opponent will be able to resist or refute. Even your parents and brothers, your relations and friends, will betray you. Some of you will be put to death, and you will be hated by all for your allegiance to me. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By standing firm you will win true life for yourselves.
“But when you see Jerusalem encircled by armies, then you may be sure that her destruction is near. Then those who are in Judea must take to the hills; those who are in the city itself must leave it; and those who are in the country must not enter — because this is a time of retribution, when all that stands written is to be fulfilled.
“Alas for women who are with child in those days, or have children at the breast. For there will be great distress in the land and a terrible judgment upon this people. They will fall at the sword’s point; they will be carried captive into all countries; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by foreigners until their day has run its course.
“Portents will appear in Sun, Moon, and stars. On Earth, nations will stand helpless, not knowing which way to turn from the roar and surge of the sea. Men will faint with terror at the thought of all that is coming upon the world; for the celestial powers will be shaken.
“And then they will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and glory. When all this begins to happen, stand upright and hold your heads high, because your liberation is near.”
He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree, or any other tree. As soon as it buds, you can see for yourselves that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all this happening, you may be sure that the reign of God is near.
“I tell you this: The present generation will live to see it all. Heaven and Earth will pass away; my words will never pass away.
“Keep a watch on yourselves; do not let your minds be dulled by dissipation and worldly cares, so the great Day closes upon you suddenly like a trap; for that day will come on all people, wherever they are, the whole world over. Be on the alert, praying for strength to pass safely through these imminent troubles and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.”
His days were given to teaching in the Temple; and then he would leave the city and spend the night on the hill called ‘Olivet’. And in the early morning, people flocked to hear him in the Temple.