Signs of the destruction of the Temple
As Jesus was leaving the Temple complex, the disciples noticed how ornate and impressive it was. One disciple exclaimed “Look, Teacher! This building has such massive stones!” Jesus said to him “Notice all of this now, because mark my words: the day is coming when not one stone will be left standing on another!”
A little while later, Peter, James, John, and Andrew approached him privately when he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, across from the Temple complex. They begged him to tell them when this destruction would happen, and what the warning signs would be.
Jesus said “Be alert so that you are not deceived, for many will come in my name saying ‘I am the Messiah’ and they will lead many people astray. Don’t be alarmed when you hear of wars and rumors of wars. These things have to occur, but the end isn’t happening yet. There will be battles between nations and kingdoms. There will be earthquakes and famines all over and there will be terrifying sights in the skies. But all these events are just the beginning of what is to come.
Then the authorities will grab you and hand you over to the local courts and you will be flogged in the synagogues. You will be brought before kings and governors because you follow me. This will give you an opportunity to reveal the Gospel, because it must be proclaimed to all nations. Therefore, don’t worry beforehand about what you are going to say, because the Holy Spirit will give you the words when you need them. You will have all the wisdom and words you need so that your enemies will not be able to contradict you.
At that time families will betray one another. You will be hated by everyone because you follow me but by your endurance you will be saved.”
MT 10:17-22, MT 24:1-10, MK 13:1-13, LK 12:11-12, LK 21:5-19
“As regards to exactly when the Day of Judgment will happen, no one knows, not angels, not the Son. Only the Father knows.”
MT 24:36, MK 13:32
“That time will be just like it was in the time of Noah and the flood. Right until the flood happened, people went on like they always had: eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, right up until the day Noah boarded the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all, sweeping away all their possessions. They didn’t know what was going to happen to them until it happened.”
MT 24:37-39a, LK 17: 26-27
“Just like it was in Lot’s time, people went on with their normal lives, doing all the usual things they always did. But right after Lot left Sodom, the whole town was destroyed by a rain of fire and sulfur from heaven. It will be just as sudden and surprising as that was to them when the Son of Man is revealed.”
“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing in the holy place, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader take note of this) then everyone in Judea must flee to the mountains. When you see that Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, know that it is time for its destruction. When that happens, a man standing on his roof must not come down to get anything out of his house. Also a man out in the fields should not return home to get his clothing. Those inside Jerusalem must escape, and those in the country must not enter the city because the days of vengeance have come to fulfill all the prophecies.”
MT 24:15-18, MK 13:14-16, LK 17:31, LK 21:20-22
“Remember what happened to Lot’s wife!”
“It will be very hard for women who are pregnant or nursing when this happens. Pray that you won’t have to escape in winter or on the Sabbath. For this will be a time of great trouble and stress, unlike anything that has happened since the creation of this world until now, and will never happen again! No one would survive that time if God didn’t limit those days, but he did limit them for the sake of those he chose. People will be cut down by swords and taken captive into all the nations, and the nations will trample Jerusalem until the end of that era.”
MT 24:19-22, MK 13:17-20, LK 21:24
“The coming of the Son of Man will be like this – two men will be in the field. One will disappear, and the other will remain. Two women will be grinding grain at the mill. One will disappear, and one will remain. Two people will be together in a bed. One will disappear, and the other will remain. Therefore, be on guard, because you don’t know when your Lord is coming.”
MT 24:39b-42, LK 17:34-36
His disciples asked “Where, Lord?”
Jesus answered, “The vultures will gather around the corpses.”
LK 17:37, MT 24:28
“Be ready to work and make sure your lamps are lit. You must be like servants waiting for their master to come back from the wedding banquet so they can immediately open the door for him when he knocks. The servants who are alert when he arrives will be blessed. Mark my words: he will prepare himself, have them sit at the table, and come serve them himself. If he arrives in the middle of the night or near dawn and finds them waiting for him, they will be blessed.”
“Know this: if the homeowner had known exactly when the thief was going to break into his house, he would have stayed at home and stayed awake so he could prevent his house from being robbed. You need to be ready in the same way, because the Son of Man will appear when you least expect it to happen.”
MT 24:43-44, LK 12:39-40
“Watch! Be alert and pray! You have no idea when it will happen. It is like a man who went on a journey and left his house in the hands of his servants. He left tasks for each of them and ordered the doorkeeper to keep watch. Be alert then, because you don’t know when the master will return; it could be any time of the day or night. If you aren’t alert, he could suddenly arrive and find you asleep. I say to you and to everyone: be alert!”
“The kingdom of heaven is like ten bridesmaids who went out to meet the groom with their lamps. Only half of them were wise and took oil with them. The groom took a while in coming and all of the bridesmaids fell asleep. They were suddenly awakened by a shout from someone announcing that the groom was coming. All the bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The ones who hadn’t prepared asked the others for oil because their lamps were going out. The ones who had prepared said ‘No, because there won’t be enough for all of us if we give you any.’ They told them to go buy more oil for themselves. While they were gone, the groom showed up and only the bridesmaids who had prepared were able to go with him to the wedding feast. The door was locked after them. When the rest of the bridesmaids arrived, they asked to be let in. The groom refused to open the door, saying ‘I don’t know you!’ Therefore, always be ready, because you don’t know the hour or the day.”
Look! The Messiah!
Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come. He answered, “You won’t be able to see when the kingdom of God comes because it is among you.”
Then he spoke to the disciples. “Soon you will miss days like this, where the Son of Man is among you. People will say ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ Don’t listen to them or go where they show you. False messiahs and false prophets will gain prominence and will mislead a lot of people by performing great signs and wonders. Even the elect are at risk of being led astray by them.
I’ve told you everything in advance so that you can be on your guard. This way if they say ‘Look, he’s in the wilderness’ or ‘He’s in the inner rooms’, you’ll know not to believe what they say and you’ll stay where you are.
The Son of Man will come in the same way that lightning flashes from one side of the sky to the other, lighting it all up.”
MT 24:23-27, MK 13:21-23, LK 17:20-24
The coming of the Son of Man
“Just after the tribulation of those days, the sun and moon will become dark, stars will fall from the skies, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. The nations will be bewildered by the roaring sea and the immense waves. People will tremble because they are afraid of what is about to happen, because everything in the sky is breaking apart.
Then they will see the signs of the Son of Man appearing among the clouds with great power and glory. He will send forth his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather up those he has called from the four winds from the ends of the earth and sky.
Many people will lament, but as for you, when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near.”
MT 24:29-31, MK 13:24-27, LK 21:25-28
The parable of the fig tree
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: when you notice that its branches are tender and leaves are sprouting, you know that it is almost summer. In the same way, when you see all the signs that I have told you about happening, then you know that the kingdom of God is near, at the very threshold! Mark my words: after all this happens this era will come to an end. Heaven and earth will fade away, but what I have said will last forever.”
MT 24:32-35, MK 13:28-31, LK 21:29-33
Rewards and punishment
Peter asked, “Lord, are you saying this parable just for our benefit or for everyone?”
Jesus answered, “Who is the kind of person who his master would put in charge of his household to make sure that everyone who lives there gets fed on time? It is the wise and faithful servant who the master finds working when he comes home. Mark my words: the master will put that kind of servant in charge of everything he owns.
However, if a servant starts to think to himself ‘My master won’t be back for a long time,’ and begins to beat the people he is supposed to look after, and to spend his time getting drunk at parties, the master will return at a surprise day and hour. He will discipline the servant severely and put him with other untrustworthy people, and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The servant who knew what his master wanted him to do and didn’t rise to the occasion or act upon his master’s wishes will be severely punished. However, the one who didn’t know what his master wanted and acted badly will be beaten less severely. More is expected of those people who have been given a lot. Even more than that is expected for those who have been entrusted with more.”
MT 24:45-51, LK 12:41-48
The need for watchfulness
“Be on your guard so that the day I come again will not surprise you. Be careful that your wits are not dulled from partying or worrying about the problems of this life. That day will come to all who live on this earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may be given the strength to get through all that is to happen so that you may stand in my presence.”
Jesus went to the Temple complex to teach during the day, and the crowds would come early in the morning to listen to him. In the evening he would go to the Mount of Olives to rest.
The sheep and the goats
“The Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory when he comes in triumph and all the holy angels will be him. All the people of the world shall be gathered before him, and he will separate them in the same way that a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King shall say to the sheep, ‘You who are blessed by my Father in heaven, come into the kingdom that has been prepared for you since the beginning of the world.
This is because when I was hungry you gave me food. When I was thirsty you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger you made me feel welcome. When I was naked you clothed me. When I was sick you took care of me, and when I was in prison you visited me.’
Then those who are righteous will reply, ‘Lord, when did we do all these things?’ And the King will answer, ‘Be assured, whatever you did to take care of the poorest member of my kingdom, you did to me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you cursed ones, and go into the eternal fire that is reserved for the devil and his minions!
For when I was hungry, you left me to starve. When I was thirsty you gave me nothing to quench my thirst. When I was a stranger you ignored me. When I was naked you didn’t share your clothes. When I was sick and in prison you didn’t take care of me.’
Then they too will answer, ‘Lord when did we see you and not do these things?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Be assured, whatever you did not do to take care of the poorest member of my kingdom, you did not do for me either.’
And then they will go away to their eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into everlasting life.”
The anointing at Bethany
Jesus was staying in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had a serious skin disease. They gave a dinner in honor of him there. Martha was serving, and Lazarus, the one Jesus had raised the dead, was reclining at the table with him. Mary, Martha’s sister, approached Jesus with an alabaster jar filled with a pound of pure and expensive fragrant oil called nard.
She broke the jar open and poured the oil on his head and feet while he was reclining at the table, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the oil’s fragrance.
The disciples were indignant about this. Judas Iscariot, the one who was going to betray him, spoke up to scold Mary, saying “Why wasn’t this expensive perfume sold and the money given to the poor, rather than being wasted like this?”
Jesus said “Why are you bothering her? What she has done for me is very noble. She has saved this oil for the day of my burial, which she has now prepared me for by anointing my body. The poor will always be with you for you to take care of, but I won’t. I assure you, what this woman has done for me will be told in memory of her wherever the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world.”
MT 26:6-13, MK 14:3-9, JN 12:1-8
Judas talks with the authorities
Then Satan entered Judas’ heart to make him betray Jesus.
JN 13:2, LK 22:3
Judas left and went to speak with the chief priests and Temple police, asking them “How much are you willing to pay me if I turn Jesus over to you?” Delighted by this, they offered him 30 pieces of silver. He accepted their offer and began looking for a time to hand Jesus over to them when nobody was around.
MT 26:14-16, MK 14:10-11, LK 22:4-6
The decision to kill Lazarus
A large number of people in the crowd learned that Jesus was present. They had come not only to see Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, the man that Jesus had brought back to life. Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well. This was because many Jews began to stop following the Jewish leaders and believed in Jesus after seeing Lazarus alive.