May 27. Jesus Foretells the Destruction of Jerusalem

Mt. 24:1-28; Mk. 13:1-23; Lk. 21:5-24

As Jesus and the apostles left the temple after He had finished speaking, some of the apostles commented on the beauty of the temple and the stones that were used in its construction. It has been reported that it took ten thousand skilled workmen forty-six years to build the temple. Some of the stones were nearly seventy feet long, twelve feet high and eighteen feet wide. The inside was very elaborately decorated.

Jesus informed the disciples that in days to come, not one stone would be left upon another. Being troubled by this revelation, they asked after arriving at the Mount of Olives, when this would take place and what signs would indicate that it was about to happen. Since this was to be such a big event, they associated it with the end of time and also asked about His second coming.

Several things would take place before the destruction of Jerusalem: There would be many who would say that they were the Christ; wars and rumors of wars would take place; great natural disturbances and disasters would occur; the apostles and others would suffer great persecutions; the gospel of the kingdom would be preached to the entire world and the Roman armies would occupy the city.

Jesus warned that the siege of Jerusalem would be so intense that they should flee into the mountains. Those on the housetops and in fields would not have time to go inside and get clothes. Expectant and nursing mothers would have a hard time escaping. If it were wintertime, travel and survival in the mountains would be difficult.

This tribulation would be greater than any since the creation and there would never be another like it. Jesus did indicate that God would intervene and prevent the complete destruction of the Jews and the infant church. History recorded that one million, one hundred thousand people were killed and ninety-seven thousand were taken captive. Many of these prisoners were tortured and crucified until they ran out of crosses and places to put the crosses.