Asked about signs of the temple’s destruction, JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More speaks of ordeals, cosmic signs, and the return of the Son of Man.
The disciples are enamored by the scale and beauty of the Jerusalem templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More and exclaim, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” (13:1). Jesus’ response is to teach about the temple’s coming destruction (13:2). PeterThe disciple who denied Jesus during his trial but later became a leader in proclaiming Jesus More, James, John, and AndrewOne of Jesus' disciples More ask about what sign will precede that event, and Jesus gives warnings about what will take place: others will come in his name, and wars, earthquakes, and famines will be accompanying signs (13:3-8). His followers will be handed over, receive beatings, and stand before leaders of the world, but “the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations” (13:10). There will be divisions within families, but the disciples hear that “it is not you who speak, but the HolyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More Spirit” (13:9-13). A desolating sacrilege will profane the temple along with many tribulations, including false messiahs and false prophets (13:14-23).
Cosmic signs in the sun, moon, stars, and powers in the heavens will attend the day when the Son of Man comes with great power and glory (13:24-27). Jesus’ teaching on the withering of the fig tree (11:12-26) likewise offers a sign of the imminence of all these things. Yet, in the midst of it all, Jesus’ promise holds true beyond measure: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (13:31). Jesus’ final words on watchfulness (13:32-37) draw us directly into the PassionPassion is the theological term used to describe Jesus' suffering prior to and including his crucifixion. The Passion Narrative (the portions of the Gospels that tell of the Last Supper, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus) are often read in church during Holy Week. More Narrative that follows (14:1-15:47). In a parableA parable is a brief story with a setting, an action, and a result. A prominent aspect of Jesus' teaching was telling parables to illustrate something about the kingdom, or reign, of God. More, the unexpected return of the master during the four watches of the night ushers readers into the Passion Narrative and the events that unfold in those four watches: evening (14:17-31), midnight (14:32-52), cockcrow (14:53-72), and dawn (15:1-20).