We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 24:1-8
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."
As had no doubt happened on other visits to Jerusalem, the disciples are so impressed by the beauty and amazing architecture of the temple and its surroundings that they can't help drawing Jesus' attention to the splendor. So they must be truly shocked as Jesus tells them that in the near future those buildings that seem so majestic and permanent would be completely destroyed.
Deeply troubled by Jesus' words, the disciples want to know when these events would unfold. Jesus warns them not to be deceived by those who claim to have that answer. In today's disturbing state of world affairs, Jesus' words should also be an encouragement to us. No matter the events we see occurring around us, the future is entirely in God's hands, and we can completely trust him to keep his promises about our eternal security.