Vugt: The destruction of Jerusalem

THE Gospel of Luke says: Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury of the Temple. He also saw a poor widow, who dropped in two small coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For all of them gave an offering from their plenty; but she, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on.

While some people were talking about the Temple, remarking that it was adorned with fine stonework and rich gifts, Jesus said to them, “The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; and will be torn down”. And they asked him, “Master, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?”

Jesus then said, “Take care not to be deceived, for many will come claiming my title and saying, ‘I am he, the Messiah; the time is at hand!’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and troubled times, don’t be frightened; for all these things must happen first, even though the end is not so soon”.

And Jesus said, “Nations will fight each other and kingdom will oppose kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and plaques; in many places strange and terrifying signs from heaven will be seen. Before all these things happen, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you; you will be delivered to the synagogues and put in prison, and for my sake you will be brought before kings and governors. This will be you opportunity to bear witness.

For a great calamity will come upon the land (v. 23). Luke foretells the destruction of the Jewish nation more clearly than Matthew and Mark do.

Until the time of the non-Jewish nations is fulfilled (v. 24) Luke divides history into two ages. One corresponds to the Old Testament that was the time when Sacred History was almost the same as history of Israel. Then, after Jesus, came the time of the nations. The destruction of the Jewish nation and the dispersal of its people inaugurated a new era, which would be mostly the history of the evangelization and education of the nations by the Church. We could call that period the times of the New Testament, which will end with the great crisis concluding human history.

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