1 Then Jesus looked up [i.e., from his seated position at the entrance to the Temple], and saw people throwing their gifts [of money] into the treasury [Note: This was a large open-mouthed container used for receiving offerings for meeting expenses of Temple upkeep]. 2 And He saw a certain poor widow throwing two small copper coins into it [Note: These two coins amounted to about ten minutes of a farm laborer's pay, or about one dollar in 1994]. 3 So, He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has thrown in more than all the rest [i.e., referring to the many rich people who were also throwing in money]. 4 For all of them threw in from their abundance, but she threw in from her poverty all she had to live on."
5 Then, as someone [i.e., of His disciples. See Mark 13:1], spoke of how the Temple was decorated with beautiful stones and objects dedicated as gifts, Jesus said, 6 "As for these things you are looking at, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down."
7 So, they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when these things are about to be fulfilled?"
8 And He replied, "Pay attention, so that you are not led astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ],' and 'The time is near.' [But] do not go after them. 9 And when you hear of wars and uprisings [going on], do not be afraid, for such things must necessarily happen first. But the end will not come right away." [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings].
10 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Nations will wage war against one another and kingdoms will attack one another. 11 And great earthquakes will happen, and at various places there will be famines and disease epidemics. And there will be fearful events and great [supernatural] signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things happen, the authorities will grab hold of you, and persecute you, and turn you over to the synagogues and prisons [i.e., for punishment and confinement]. They will take you in front of kings and governors for being loyal to me. 13 It will result in [an opportunity for] witnessing to them. 14 Determine in your hearts, therefore, not to plan ahead how you will answer them [when interrogated], 15 for I will give you a mouth [i.e., the ability to speak properly] and wisdom [i.e., the knowledge of what to say], which none of your opponents will be able to resist or speak against. 16 But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me. 18 However, not one hair of your head will be lost. 19 [But], by holding out steadfastly, you will gain your life. [Note: This means either "preserve your earthly life," or "attain never ending life"].
20 "So, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Roman] armies, then you will know that her total destruction is near. 21 Then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. And those who are inside of the city are to leave it [immediately]. And those who are in the countryside should not enter the city. 22 For these are times for punishment [i.e., to be inflicted on Jerusalem], so that everything written [i.e., by the prophets] may be fulfilled [i.e., about Jerusalem's destruction. See Dan. 9:26-27]. 23 It will be too bad for pregnant women and those who are nursing [babies] in those days! For there will be great distress in this land [i.e., Judea, and especially Jerusalem], and raging anger [will be shown] against these people [i.e., by the Roman armies]. 24 And people will die by the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [unconverted] Gentiles [i.e., by the Romans and later by others] until the times of [domination by] the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25 "Then [Note: This event answers to the "immediately" of Matt. 24:29, and suggests the next major event on God's calendar] there will be [supernatural] signs [evident] in the sun and moon and stars. And on earth [there will be] distress among nations; they will be perplexed by the roaring of the ocean's churning waves. [Note: Probably this is figurative language for highly agitated conditions on earth]. 26 Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. 28 But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer."
29 Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: 30 When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. 31 In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. 32 Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. 33 Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true].
34 "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. 35 For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. 36 But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."