Jesus talks about future events
1 Then Jesus left God's Great House. While he was leaving, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Teacher, look at these great buildings! The stones in the walls of God's House are really strong!’
2 Jesus said to him, ‘Yes, look at all these large buildings! But I tell you, enemies will completely destroy them. Not even one stone will remain on top of another stone.’
3 After that, Jesus was sitting on the hill called the Mount of Olives. He could look across at God's Great House. Peter, James, John and Andrew went together to talk with him. The crowd was not there. 4 They said to Jesus, ‘Please tell us when all these things will happen. What will show us that they are soon going to happen?’
5 Jesus began to say to them, ‘Be careful! Some people will tell you things that are not true. Do not believe those people. 6 Many people will say that they have come on my behalf. They will say, “I am the Messiah!” Many people will believe their false words. 7 You will hear about wars. And there will be reports about wars in other places. Do not be afraid. Those things must happen, but that is not yet the end of everything. 8 People in one country will attack the people in another country. Kings and their armies will fight against other kings and their armies. The ground will move in many different places. Some people will be hungry, with no food. Those things are like the first pains that a mother has before her baby is born.
9 So, be careful! People will be against you. They will take you to stand in front of their leaders. They will punish you with whips in their meeting places. They will take you to stand in front of kings and rulers. This will happen because you are my disciples. You will tell them all the good news about me. 10 Yes, you must first tell the good news about me to people in every country. 11 When people take you to their leaders to show that you have done bad things, do not be afraid. Do not be troubled about what you should say. You should say the words that God gives you at that time. You will not be speaking your own words. Those words will come from the Holy Spirit.
12 At that time, a man will let people kill his own brother. A father will let people kill his own child. Children will be against their parents. They will even ask people to kill their parents. 13 All people will hate you because you are my disciples. But God will save the person who remains strong until the end.
14 There will be a time when you will see a very bad thing. It is the very bad thing that destroys good things. You will see it in a place where it should not be. (When you read this, you must understand what it means.) At that time, people in Judea must run away to the hills to hide. 15 A person who is on the roof of his house must not go down into the house. He must not stop to get anything from his home. 16 A person who is outside in his field must not go back to his home. He must not return even to fetch his coat.
13:14Jesus was talking about something that people would make. They would not pray to God but they would pray to it instead.
13:15At that time, people often sat on the roof of their house after they had finished their work. The roof was flat, and it was cool there. There were steps outside the house up to the roof.
17 That will be a bad time for women who are soon to have a baby. It will also be a bad time for those women who have little babies. 18 You must pray to God that this time of trouble will not happen in winter. 19 Very bad troubles will happen to people at that time and cause them a lot of pain. Nothing as bad has ever happened before, since God made the world. Nothing as bad will ever happen again. 20 The Lord God will cause those days of very bad trouble to come to an end. If he did not do that, there would be nobody still alive. But God will cause those days to be not so many. He will do that to help the people that he has chosen. 21 At that time, someone may say to you, “Look, here is the Messiah!” Or they may say, “Look, he is there!” If they say that, do not believe them. 22 Some people will even say, “I am the Messiah.” Other people will say, “I am a prophet from God.” But their words will be false. They will do strange and powerful things for people to see. If possible, they would even cause the people that God has chosen to believe in them. 23 So watch out! I have told you about all these things before they happen.
The time when the Son of Man returns
24 Then, after all these bad things have happened, the sun will become dark. The moon will not shine any more. 25 Stars will fall out of the sky. And the powerful things in the sky will move from their usual places.
26 Then people will see the Son of Man. He will come in the clouds. He will be very powerful and very beautiful. 27 Then he will send his angels. They will go in every direction, to every part of the earth and to every part of the sky. They will bring together all the people that God has chosen.
A lesson about the fig tree
28 Here is a lesson for you to learn about the fig tree. When the new branches on the tree start to grow, the leaves appear. Then you know that the summer will begin soon. 29 In the same way, you will see these strange things happening. Then you will know that the Son of Man will come very soon. He will be like someone at the door who is ready to come in. 30 What I say to you is true. The people who are alive now will not all die until all these things happen. 31 One day, the earth and the sky will have an end. But my words will be there for ever.
Nobody knows when the Son of Man will return to the world
32 Nobody knows the day or the hour when all these things will happen. Only God the Father knows when they will happen. The angels who are in heaven do not know. Even the Son does not know. 33 Watch carefully! Keep awake! You do not know the time when all these things will happen. 34 It is like when a man begins a journey. Before the master leaves his house, he gives authority to his servants. He tells each servant about the work that he should do. Then he tells the servant at the door to watch for his master's return.
35 So, you must watch carefully. You do not know when the master of the house will come back. He might arrive in the evening, or in the middle of the night. Or he might arrive early in the morning, or just before the sun rises. 36 When he arrives, he may surprise you. He may even find you asleep! 37 I am saying this to you. I am also saying this to everyone else. Always be ready!’