Contemporary English Version
A Widow’s Offering
21 Jesus looked up and saw some rich people tossing their gifts into the offering box. 2 He also saw a poor widow putting in two pennies. 3 And he said, “I tell you that this poor woman has put in more than all the others. 4 Everyone else gave what they didn’t need. But she is very poor and gave everything she had.”
The Temple Will Be Destroyed
5 Some people were talking about the beautiful stones used to build the temple and about the gifts that had been placed in it. Jesus said, 6 “Do you see these stones? The time is coming when not one of them will be left in place. They will all be knocked down.”
Warning about Trouble
7 Some people asked, “Teacher, when will all this happen? How can we know when these things are about to take place?”
8 Jesus replied:
Don’t be fooled by those who will come and claim to be me. They will say, “I am Christ!” and “Now is the time!” But don’t follow them. 9 When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end.
10 Nations will go to war against one another, and kingdoms will attack each other. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in many places people will starve to death and suffer terrible diseases. All sorts of frightening things will be seen in the sky.
12 Before all this happens, you will be arrested and punished. You will be tried in your meeting places and put in jail. Because of me you will be placed on trial before kings and governors. 13 But this will be your chance to tell about your faith.
14 Don’t worry about what you will say to defend yourselves. 15 I will give you the wisdom to know what to say. None of your enemies will be able to oppose you or to say that you are wrong. 16 You will be betrayed by your own parents, brothers, family, and friends. Some of you will even be killed. 17 Because of me, you will be hated by everyone. 18 But don’t worry![a] 19 You will be saved by being faithful to me.
Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed
20 When you see Jerusalem surrounded by soldiers, you will know that it will soon be destroyed. 21 If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. If you are in the city, leave it. And if you are out in the country, don’t go back into the city. 22 This time of punishment is what is written about in the Scriptures. 23 It will be an awful time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children! Everywhere in the land people will suffer horribly and be punished. 24 Some of them will be killed by swords. Others will be carried off to foreign countries. Jerusalem will be overrun by foreign nations until their time comes to an end.
When the Son of Man Appears
25 Strange things will happen to the sun, moon, and stars. The nations on earth will be afraid of the roaring sea and tides, and they won’t know what to do. 26 People will be so frightened that they will faint because of what is happening to the world. Every power in the sky will be shaken.[b] 27 Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28 When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.
A Lesson from a Fig Tree
29 Then Jesus told them a story:
When you see a fig tree or any other tree 30 putting out leaves, you know that summer will soon come. 31 So, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom will soon be here. 32 You can be sure that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all of this takes place. 33 The sky and the earth won’t last forever, but my words will.
34 Don’t spend all of your time thinking about eating or drinking or worrying about life. If you do, the final day will suddenly catch you 35 like a trap. That day will surprise everyone on earth. 36 Watch out and keep praying that you can escape all that is going to happen and that the Son of Man will be pleased with you.
37 Jesus taught in the temple each day, and he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. 38 Everyone got up early and came to the temple to hear him teach.