20 "When you see soldiers camped all around Jerusalem, then you'll know that she is about to be devastated. 21 If you're living in Judea at the time, run for the hills. If you're in the city, get out quickly. If you're out in the fields, don't go home to get your coat. 22 This is Vengeance Day - everything written about it will come to a head. 23 Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Incredible misery! Torrential rage! 24 People dropping like flies; people dragged off to prisons; Jerusalem under the boot of barbarians until the nations finish what was given them to do.
The Coming of the Son of Man
25 "It will seem like all hell has broken loose - sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, 26 in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking. 27 "And then - then! - they'll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style - a glorious welcome! 28 When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!"
29 He told them a story. "Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. 30 When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. 31 The same here - when you see these things happen, you know God's kingdom is about here. 32 Don't brush this off: I'm not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too - these things will happen. 33 Sky and earth will wear out; my words won't wear out. 34 "But be on your guard. Don't let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, 35 for it's going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. 36 So, whatever you do, don't go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man." 37 He spent his days in the Temple teaching, but his nights out on the mountain called Olives. 38 All the people were up at the crack of dawn to come to the Temple and listen to him.