As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, "Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!"
Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, "Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?"
Jesus told them, "Don't let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah.' They will deceive many."
— Matthew 24:1-5 NLT
"When will all this happen?" That's a question that's been asked for ages, isn't it?! But Jesus didn't really answer that question in the way the disciples would have liked! In fact, there wasn't much about this whole deal they did like! The two scenes recounted here took place in front of the Temple as they were leaving it and on the Mount of Olives as they were overlooking the Temple. At that time, the Temple was the powerful reminder to all Jews of God's abiding presence among his people.
The disciples wanted to focus on the beauty of this Temple. But Jesus wanted them to focus on the permanence of the real Temple, himself! If they were to find God from now on, they must look to him! No one else was going to be able to save them! In fact, Jesus' message to us is still the same: "No building, no place can save you. Only I can save."
"But when is that going to be, Jesus?" We want to know the time, too. But Jesus doesn't give us the answer. Instead, he challenges us to be faithful and, despite the tumult of the times, to look to him and not be misled by all the false teachers and false prophets!
Holy Father, I find it so easy to trust in myself and in the things around me, especially my religious things. Help me Father to look to Jesus and rely on him as my only source of hope and future. Come Lord Jesus with power! In your name, Son of God, I pray. Amen.