Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But 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. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.
Comment: Now He is talking about a world event. Yesterday Jesus was sitting near and talking about the future of this magnificent building. Then His speech takes them into the future after the temple has been destroyed. Without fixing a time, He talks about catastrophic events, persecution, family disruptions. But He assures them that they will come through it unscathed, which sounds odd as they are to be imprisoned and bitterly persecuted. I wonder if they imagined that He must have been talking about their safety in eternity. Most of them were martyred for their faithfulness to Him.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then 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, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas 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. They 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.
Comment: Here He is talking about a Judean situation. He comes back to the present time for them. Jerusalem surrounded and the destruction of the temple was a different time event. They did see this in their life time. It occurred in AD70. That was nearly 40 years after He had foretold it. We still await the fulfilment of the first bit, although we seem to be living in something like the start of it.
Prayer: We want to see this great event fulfilled but we trust your timing, Father.