When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem with be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24)
Perhaps the only time we know the immediate future is when a pet or loved one is near death. In a month or so, they won’t be with us any longer. It’s a privilege to be with and care for them, but it’s also sad knowing we won’t see them until we’re in heaven.
The Bible tells us God kept the time of Jesus’ second coming to Himself (see Matthew 24:36) but otherwise shared every future event with Jesus. He knows every disappointment that every human will cause Him but also the coincidences and people we’ll meet to change our lives if we pray and follow Him.
Josephus, the historian, told us the Roman army encircled Jerusalem in stages from spring until August of 70 AD when Titus ordered a wall to be built around Jerusalem. Prior to the wall those who listened to Jesus’ warning fled to the mountains. Those who didn’t listen died by the sword or were taken prisoner. Jesus predicts the Jews will continue to be trampled on until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. We learned in Romans 11:25 that Israel experienced a hardening which will continue until the full number of Gentiles has come into God’s Kingdom. Then all of Israel will be saved because of the covenant and God’s mercy, and Jesus will rule from the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).
Jesus is sad about the upcoming Roman destruction of Jerusalem. He cried thinking about it as he rode through Jerusalem on a donkey. The Jews consistently failed to abide the covenant and exercised their free will to retain power in the temple built for God. The best Jesus can do is warn his disciples how dreadful it will be for nursing mothers and pregnant women and tell them to leave when the Romans surround Jerusalem.
We learn from this Scripture Jesus provides hope and our best future. When we have a relationship with God through Jesus with prayer and Bible study, we won’t disappoint Him as the Jews did. In return, He’ll nudge us and unite His Spirit with ours to lead us down our best path.
Father God, thank you for hope, Your love, and our relationship. Help me to learn from You and Your Word and lead me down my best path. I don’t want to disappoint you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.