“When you hear of wars and rumours of was, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”
Jesus and His disciples leave the Temple building, and one of them exclaims, “Look at these magnificent buildings!”
Jesus replies that the Temple will be so obliterated that not one stone will remain on another. He goes on to tell them that many will come claiming to be Jesus and to speak in His name, and they will deceive many people. There will be wars and rumours of wars, but the disciples are not to be alarmed.
Although people often look at this passage as being about the end times, it primarily refers to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, when the Temple, which seemed so magnificent and indestructible, was totally destroyed.
There are two warnings in this passage that apply to us.
- Do not be deceived by false messiahs claiming to come in the name of the Lord. The people of God must exercise discernment. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” When celebrity preachers or political leaders offer a different gospel or a different salvation, we must recognise that they are a false messiah, a false teacher, a false leader- even if they claim to be born again.
- We must not be alarmed by the tumult of the nations. Wars have always been a part of human existence. In fact, we live in an era of unprecedented peace, yet people are more fearful than ever. Our focus must always be on Jesus rather than the affairs of the nations.
When people offer “peace in our time” without Jesus then we can be certain that they are a false messiah. Only Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Peace without Him is a false peace, brittle and short-lived.
Help me, Holy Spirit, to discern what is true, edifying and from you. Let me see the truth in every situation and trust my fears and anxieties to you. Amen