Contemporary English Version
The Temple Will Be Destroyed
24 After Jesus left the temple, his disciples came over and said, “Look at all these buildings!”
2 Jesus replied, “Do you see these buildings? They will certainly be torn down! Not one stone will be left in place.”
Warning about Trouble
3 Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him in private and asked, “When will this happen? What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?”
4 Jesus answered:
Don’t let anyone fool you. 5 Many will come and claim to be me. They will say that they are the Messiah, and they will fool many people.
6 You will soon hear about wars and threats of wars, but don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. 7 Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. People will starve to death, and in some places there will be earthquakes. 8 But this is just the beginning of troubles.
9 You will be arrested, punished, and even killed. Because of me, you will be hated by people of all nations. 10 Many will give up and will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will come and fool a lot of people. 12 Evil will spread and cause many people to stop loving others. 13 But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved. 14 When the good news about the kingdom has been preached all over the world and told to all nations, the end will come.
The Horrible Thing
15 Someday you will see that “Horrible Thing” in the holy place, just as the prophet Daniel said. Everyone who reads this must try to understand! 16 If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. 17 If you are on the roof[a] of your house, don’t go inside to get anything. 18 If you are out in the field, don’t go back for your coat. 19 It will be a terrible time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children. 20 And pray that you won’t have to escape in winter or on a Sabbath.[b] 21 This will be the worst time of suffering since the beginning of the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again. 22 If God doesn’t make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of God’s chosen ones, he will make the time shorter.
23 Someone may say, “Here is the Messiah!” or “There he is!” But don’t believe it. 24 False messiahs and false prophets will come and work great miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God’s chosen ones. 25 But I have warned you ahead of time. 26 If you are told that the Messiah is out in the desert, don’t go there! And if you are told that he is in some secret place, don’t believe it! 27 The coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning that can be seen from east to west. 28 Where there is a corpse, there will always be buzzards.[c]
When the Son of Man Appears
29 Right after those days of suffering,
“The sun will become dark,
and the moon
will no longer shine.
The stars will fall,
and the powers in the sky[d]
will be shaken.”
30 Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man.[e] All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth.
A Lesson from a Fig Tree
32 Learn a lesson from a fig tree. When its branches sprout and start putting out leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time has almost come.[f] 34 I can promise you that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens. 35 The sky and the earth won’t last forever, but my words will.
No One Knows the Day or Time
36 No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know.[g] Only the Father knows. 37 When the Son of Man appears, things will be just as they were when Noah lived. 38 People were eating, drinking, and getting married right up to the day that the flood came and Noah went into the big boat. 39 They didn’t know anything was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man appears.
40 Two men will be in the same field, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. 41 Two women will be together grinding grain, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. 42 So be on your guard! You don’t know when your Lord will come. 43 Homeowners never know when a thief is coming, and they are always on guard to keep one from breaking in. 44 Always be ready! You don’t know when the Son of Man will come.
Faithful and Unfaithful Servants
45 Who are faithful and wise servants? Who are the ones the master will put in charge of giving the other servants their food supplies at the proper time? 46 Servants are fortunate if their master comes and finds them doing their job. 47 You may be sure that a servant who is always faithful will be put in charge of everything the master owns. 48 But suppose one of the servants thinks that the master won’t return until late. 49 Suppose that evil servant starts beating the other servants and eats and drinks with people who are drunk. 50 If that happens, the master will surely come on a day and at a time when the servant least expects him. 51 That servant will then be punished and thrown out with the ones who only pretended to serve their master. There they will cry and grit their teeth in pain.
- 24.17 roof: In Palestine the houses usually had a flat roof. Stairs on the outside led up to the roof, which was made of beams and boards covered with packed earth.
- 24.20 in winter or on a Sabbath: In Palestine the winters are cold and rainy and make travel difficult. The Jewish people were not allowed to travel much more than half a mile on the Sabbath. For these reasons it was hard for them to escape from their enemies in the winter or on a Sabbath.
- 24.28 Where there is a corpse, there will always be buzzards: This saying may mean that when anything important happens, people soon know about it. Or the saying may mean that whenever something bad happens, curious people gather around and stare. But the word translated “buzzard” also means “eagle” and may refer to the Roman army, which had an eagle as its symbol.
- 24.29 the powers in the sky: In ancient times people thought that the stars were spiritual powers.
- 24.30 And there will be the Son of Man: Or “And it will be the Son of Man.”
- 24.33 the time has almost come: Or “he (that is, the Son of Man) will soon be here.”
- 24.36 and the Son himself doesn’t know: These words are not in some manuscripts.