[Talking to his disciples about coming conflicts and disasters, Jesus continued:] "The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about — the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place." (Reader, pay attention!) "Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones."
— Matthew 24:15-22 NLT
As Jesus talks about the destruction of Jerusalem, he reminds the disciples to be alert to some signs that would signal the time for Jerusalem's ultimate destruction. Two messages stand out in this passage:
- God loves people and does not want them lost.
- God still remains in control even during difficult times.
Almighty God, I don't know when my time of testing will come, but give me strength to face that time and emerge through it as your faithful child, no matter what anyone else says about me or does to me! Please protect my heart from any capitulation to what is evil. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.