The Widow’s Gift
1Looking up, He saw the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury. 2And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in [proportionally] more than all of them; 4for they all put in gifts from their abundance; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
5As some were talking about the temple, that it was decorated with beautiful stones and consecrated offerings [of magnificent gifts of gold which were displayed on the walls and hung in the porticoes], He said, 6“As for all these things which you see, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another that will not be torn down.”
7They asked Him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to happen?” 8He said, “Be careful and see to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name [appropriating for themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me alone], saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. 9When you hear of wars and disturbances [civil unrest, revolts, uprisings], do not panic; for these things must take place first, but the end will not come immediately.”
Things to Come
10Then Jesus told them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and [deadly and devastating] pestilences (plagues, epidemics); and there will be terrible sights and great signs from heaven.
12“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13This will be a time and an opportunity for you to testify [about Me]. 14So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15for I will give you [skillful] words and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16But you will be betrayed and handed over even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17and you will be continually hated by everyone because of [your association with] My name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your [patient] endurance [empowered by the Holy Spirit] you will gain your souls.
20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [hostile] armies, then understand [with confident assurance] that her complete destruction is near. 21At that time, those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are inside the city (Jerusalem) must get out, and those who are [out] in the country must not enter the city; 22for these are days of vengeance [of rendering full justice or satisfaction], so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23Woe to those women who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For great trouble and anguish will be on the land, and wrath and retribution on this people [Israel]. 24And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).
The Return of Christ
25“There will be signs (attesting miracles) in the sun and moon and stars; and on the earth [there will be] distress and anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting from fear and expectation of the [dreadful] things coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with [transcendent, overwhelming] power [subduing the nations] and with great glory. 28Now when these things begin to occur, stand tall and lift up your heads [in joy], because [suffering ends as] your redemption is drawing near.”
Parable of the Fig Tree
29Then He told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they put out leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is near. 31So you too, when you see these things happening, know [without any doubt] that the kingdom of God is near. 32I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this generation [those living at that definite period of time preceding the second coming] will not pass away until everything takes place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
34“But be on guard, so that your hearts are not weighed down and depressed with the giddiness of debauchery and the nausea of self-indulgence and the worldly worries of life, and then that day [when the Messiah returns] will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35for it will come upon all those who live on the face of all the earth. 36But keep alert at all times [be attentive and ready], praying that you may have the strength and ability [to be found worthy and] to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [at His coming].”
37Now in the daytime Jesus was teaching in [the porches and courts of] the temple, but at night He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet. 38And early in the morning all the people would come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.