The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
Observations & Reflections
Up until this point Jesus had not yet taught in the Temple about the “day of the Lord”. He also has not mentioned the future of the Temple. In the stat of Luke’s 21st chapter Jesus is going to get apocalyptic and it appears that not many will fully understand his words.
First and foremost, we must recall that the Temple was completely destroyed in 70 CE, but the Romans. It is possible that Jesus foretold this event. It is possible that he as also speaking of the future Temple that will exist in the end of time. The reason why the later is a possibility is because Jesus seems to indicate that this destruction event will happen after Jesus’ return (indicated by verses 8-37).
Matthew and Mark also contain this passage but they don’t clear up the issue any. They are all very close in wording and chronology. So when will the Temple be destroyed and rebuilt? I would suggest that Jesus is referring to the near future, 70 CE. This is because in just a few verses Jesus references the destruction of Jerusalem.
When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. (Luke 21:20)
However, we know that Jesus does not return “coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” That is predicted to come later, at least by John the author of Revelation. Jesus’ words seem to indicate that he was returning imminently. This is why his followers, even Paul, all believed he would return within their lifetimes. Jesus also said about these things,
32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
So what happened?
It is hard to say what specifically happened in the time-line and why their appears to be a great delay in Jesus’ return. One day, however, we will get to ask him ourselves. This is one question I do not know the answer to.
|Matthew 24:1-8||Mark 13:1-8||Luke 21:5-11|
|24:1 Jesus went out from|
the temple, and was going on his way.
His disciples came to him to
show him the buildings
of the temple.24:2 But
he answered them, “You
see all of these things,
don’t you? Most certainly
I tell you, there will not
be left here one stone on
another, that will not be
24:3 As he sat on the
24:4 Jesus answered
24:5 For many will come
24:6 “You will hear of
24:8 But all these things
|13:1 As he went out of the temple,|
one of his disciples said to him,
“Teacher, see what kind
of stones and what kind
of buildings!”13:2 Jesus
said to him, “Do you see
these great buildings?
There will not be left here
one stone on another,
which will not be thrown
down.”13:3 As he sat on the
Mount of Olives opposite
the temple, Peter, James,
John, and Andrew asked
him privately,13:4 “Tell
us, when will these
things be? What is the
sign that these things are
all about to be fulfilled?”
13:5 Jesus, answering,
13:7 “When you hear of
13:8 For nation will rise
|21:5 Some of his disciples were remarking|
about how the temple was adorned
with beautiful stones and
with gifts dedicated to God.
But Jesus said,21:6 “As for what you see here,
the time will come when not one stone
will be left on another;
every one of them will be thrown down.”21:7 “Teacher,” they asked,
“when will these things happen?
And what will be the sign
that they are about to take place?”21:8 He replied:
“Watch out that you are not deceived.
For many will come in my name,
claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’
Do not follow them.
21:9 When you hear of wars and uprisings,
21:10 Then he said to them:
21:11 There will be great earthquakes,
[Featured image from TruthUnveiled777 on youtube]