23“Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it.24For efalse messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.25See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.

26“So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it!27For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.28Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.

29“Immediately after the anguish of those days,

the sun will be darkened,

the moon will give no light,

the stars will fall from the sky,

and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

30And then at last, the fsign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

32“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near.33In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door.34I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.35Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

36“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

So, Lord, what are you saying to me?  First I hear that on his return, we won’t have to look for him, he will be everywhere all at once.  We won’t be able to miss him.  But really, that is true in the lives of all of us all the time.  God does reveal himself  to everyone, but we turn away.  And just as we are told not to run here or there looking for him because those are false Messiahs, we need to be careful not to have fold gods in our lives.  So again, God is everywhere, but on the last days Jesus’ physical presence will be revealed everywhere.

Now we have Jesus’ prediction about the end of the world.  Or so it would seem.  Much of this can be applied to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 60A.D. by Titus.  Most theologians seem to believe these prophecies apply to both Jerusalem and the end of the world.  I think that seems reasonable and it appears things will get very bad before they get very good.  How often does that occur in our own lives today?  When we suffer through something, aren’t we usually closer to God and those we love afterwards?

Now it wouldn’t be fair to ignore Jesus’ statement about all these things happening before “this generation” passes away.  That should raise a lot of eye brows.  We may be called by faith to accept that we don’t totally understand this, but I would like to offer a couple reasonable explanations.  Some say this refers to the predictions about the fall of Jerusalem which took place 39 or 40 years after Jesus said these words.  That is possible.  Another explanation is that the Greek word for generation also can be translation “nation” or “race of people”.  Then it would mean that the Jewish race would not disappear from the Earth till Jesus returned.  This makes a lot of sense since they are still here as a people despite incredible suffering and multiple attempts to destroy them.  I personally like this explanation best.  

Lord, open my eyes and heart so I see you all around me all the time.  Help me live knowing you could come back today, or be another couple thousand years, but you are always with me through your Holy Spirit.  Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*