Jesus predicts God turning over the kingdom to Gentiles (21:33-44).
Christ condemns the chief teachers of Israel (23:1-36).
Christ predicts the city’s destruction (23:38).
Christ begins His prophecies.
All the buildings in the temple complex will be knocked down. 1-2.
Later, the disciples ask two questions. The second question is compound. (24:3).
First exhortation: “Don’t let anyone deceive you.”
Many will come and successfully deceive people. (4-5). History only preserves a few names (Anthronges, Simon bar Kohkbar), there must have been more.
These disciples will hear about real wars, and rumors of wars. They should not be frightened. (6). There would be famines and earthquakes. These were all Braxton Hicks [false labor pains]. (7-8)
Then, a time of persecution (9-14). Rome picked up after Israel went down.
Roman persecution: “At first several were seized, who confessed, and then by their discovery a great multitude of others were convicted and executed.” Tacitus, speaking of persecution of Christians under Nero. Annals of Tacitus, book 1.15.
Persecution would come with other ills: apostasy, internal betrayals, false prophets, love for Christ turns cold. However, genuine believers would stand firm to the end of their lives, and by that faith be saved.
If Christ is still answering their first question, and I think He was, then the “end” (14) is the end of the Temple and the Jewish system. Romans 10:18 – the Gospel had spread through the known “world” by the time Paul wrote Romans in 56-57 A.D. Rome unintentionally broke the Jews’ power to systematically persecute believers.
Christ was already prophetically looking beyond the immediate situation. God was preparing to judge and set-aside the nation of Israel, until a future date.
Jesus in this section was straight-forwardly answering their first question from 24:3. Not everything in this chapter is about the end-times.
Israel’s glorious restoration was not the next event on God’s time-table. The Jewish disciples had a very hard time accepting that (Acts 1:6), especially because the Church Age was a new revelation.