[Jesus continued:] "Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear."
— Matthew 24:32-35 NLT
As Jesus addresses the disciples' two questions from Matthew 24:3, he returns now to the question about when the Temple will be destroyed. Unlike the days of the Son of Man's surprising return in glory to be seen by all people, there will be clues of Jerusalem's destruction. A believer paying attention to things like the ordinary, everyday signs of the seasons will be able to see this destruction coming. Jerusalem's enemies will march against her. They will seek to destroy her, her influence, and her power. This will happen in the very generation of people with whom Jesus is talking at the moment.
This was true. Christians saw the mounting crisis between Rome and Jerusalem. When they saw Jerusalem was going to be surrounded by armies, they left and their lives were preserved but Jerusalem was devastated and the Temple was destroyed.
But Jesus' key point here is not the destruction of Jerusalem. Anything man-made can also be man-destroyed and time-eroded and is destined for decay. But Jesus' words, God's words, are eternal. They are firm and sure and a foundation on which to build our lives.
Almighty and Eternal God, I offer myself to you because I believe that you alone have what is lasting, good, true, and dependable. Forgive me for taking your word so much for granted. Thank you for everyone who has given his or her life to make sure I can have a copy of the Bible in words easy for me to understand. I know that nothing around me will last as long as your word. Please convict my heart so I will cherish it. May my life be found true to your eternal Word, Jesus. In his name, I pray. Amen.