Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” He asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
– Matthew 24:1-8
Matthew, Mark and Luke all record a version of Jesus’ “Second Coming Discourse.” Along with material found in 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 2 Peter and the book of Revelation, constitutes the bulk of the N.T. teaching on the return of Christ. The King, having finished his final discourse in the temple, left it never to return. His ministry there was ended. His disciples were enamored with the structure of the temple and all its costly adornments. To them the appearance was glorious; but to their Lord it was a sad sight. Jesus tells His disciples that this beautiful temple would ultimately lay in ruins. This prompts His disciples to ask the question, “When?” Jesus answers them with signs that are equated to birth pains.
The Big Question
What prompted Jesus’ discourse on the end times? Why is it a common temptation to focus on physical buildings instead of spiritual kingdoms? Why would Jesus call the events here “the beginning of birth pains?” What events did Jesus describe as the birth pains increase in intensity and frequency?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.