In this section Jesus is speaking to the disciples about something that troubles many to this day; it all began innocently enough when they were noticing the amazing beauty of the Temple:
Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” (21:5-6)
In the verses that follow, Jesus tells them that the Temple and the entire city of Jerusalem will soon be utterly destroyed. The context of the passage is easy enough to see in the two verses above, yet this is a controversy in certain quarters today. You can view this however you like; I’m not going to argue about it. For our purposes here, I will only give a few general observations, since I have written on the subject extensively in the past…
There is a much more detailed parallel passage in Matthew 24-25 and for those who are interested in further reading; I would suggest you check out my comments on those two chapters.
The disciples ask a reasonable question:
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” (21:7)
In Matthew’s account the question is slightly different:
“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3b)
I mention this difference because the answer Jesus gives in Luke’s account is easier to understand when compared with Matthew’s account of the question.
Jesus answers the question about the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke 21:5-24 and talks about His Second coming in 21:24-36.
Notice that in His reply about the destruction of Jerusalem, that there really isn’t a particular sign about when it will happen, other than the fact that things will be going along more or less as always. There will be rumors of His coming, rumors about wars and calamities, natural disasters and all the rest, just like always, indeed just like any day’s news in our time. The only sure sign would be when there is an army beginning to surround the city, and when that happens run!
Of course history tells us that Jerusalem was utter destroyed by Roman Armies in 70 AD.
Relating to the Second Coming, His primary message is that we be ready whenever He comes. If you look very carefully, the “signs” He mentions for the Second Coming you’ll see that they are things that seem to happen quite a lot through history. In fact, every generation from the First Century until the 21st Century have believed His coming was right about at hand… but it still hasn’t taken place.
So what can do other than to be ready in case He comes today?
For further reading…