Main point summary
When you see the desolating abomination, flee from the severe affliction, disbelieve the claims of false Christs, and anticipate the coming of the Son of Man.
“But when you see b the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be
( c let the reader understand),
then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
d Let the one who is on e the housetop not go down,
nor enter his house,
to take anything out,
and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.
And f alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!
Pray that it may not happen in winter.
For in those days there will be g such h tribulation as has not been i from the beginning of the creation that j God created until now, and never will be.
And if the Lord had not cut short the days,
no human being would be saved.
But for k the sake of the elect, whom l he chose,
he shortened the days.
And m then if anyone says to you,
‘Look, here is the Christ!’
or ‘Look, there he is!’
do not believe it.
n For false christs and false prophets will arise
and o perform signs and wonders,
p to lead astray, if possible, q the elect.
But r be on guard;
s I have told you all things beforehand.
“But in those days, after t that tribulation,
u the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and v the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see w the Son of Man coming in clouds x with great power and glory.
And then y he will send out the angels
and z gather a his elect from b the four winds, from c the ends of the earth d to the ends of heaven.
All indications of the severity of the difficulty.
The reason for the urgency, the lament for the pregnant, and the call to prayer.
Three main temporal markers: "But when you see" (14a) "And then" (21a) "But in those days" (24a)
Observations Jesus here is more concerned with exhortation than education . The disciples are not primarily supposed to learn about the order of events. They are supposed to learn about what it means to follow Jesus during the toughest of times. False Messiahs will arise before Jesus' return and attempt to lead people away from him—even true believers. They wish it were possible to deceive the elect permanently, but it is not. Verse 26 is a reference to Daniel 7:13ff. Questions Why the prayer about "winter"? (v.18) How should the phrase about "the stars will be falling from heaven" be understood, since we know that stars are huge and very far away from the earth? Takeaways Rightly taught, eschatology is practical. The coming of the Son of Man is a cosmos-shaking event. Warning people of coming trouble is an act of love to secure their faith.