“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Comment: The tribulation described referred to the time the temple was destroyed. ‘In those days after…’ is not given a time limit. In the New Testament the phrase ‘in the last days’ often means from the period from the Christ death/resurrection/ascension episode to His return as Judge, His Second Coming. As we know that time-period is already over two thousand years! But His return is stated here as a certain coming event.
The second paragraph above seems to me to flip back to the temple destruction episode. It talks about ‘this generation’ not passing away before it happens and that is usually considered in the 30-40 year range. From Jesus speaking the above to the destruction of the temple by Titus was historically a bit less than 40 years. They are given the agricultural example of the fig tree to warn them to be aware, and then they are given the emphatic statement that Christ’s words are more sure than the solidarity and stability of the universe!
Prayer: Help me to realize that the future is in Your hands, O God!