But what about the actual signs of the Temple’s destruction (then) and of Jesus’ coming again (today)? It’s in setting out signs of those events that Jesus says to them, “The person seeking to understand must think deeply.”
The principal sign was this: they would one day see the detestable thing – the detestable thing – to which desolation belongs. The word “desolation” seems to describe the devastation, hurt and pain we all see and experience on earth. Jesus said that they would see the detestable thing to which desolation belongs ----- and desolation’s detestable thing will actually be standing in the holy place. That will be the sign (then) of the imminent destruction of the Temple - and later (now) of his coming again.
What do you think is this detestable thing which is the root cause of desolation in the world? And what is the holy place where this thing will take its stand? Shall I say what I think – and then it’s over to you to decide?
We see daily pictures of Syrian people and cities being utterly destroyed. Several groups are responsible. I think there is something which is motivating all of the groups which have destroyed Syria’s people and infrastructure - a common motivation. It’s self-interest which is pulling everything apart. The self-interest of President Assad. The self-interest of those determined to have a fairer country. The self-interest of those seeking religious supremacy by force. The self-interest of America - and of Britain. The self-interest of President Putin.
Jesus said that when this detestable which always brings destruction – when it is in the holy place – then, at that time, the Jerusalem Temple’s destruction would be close. In AD 70 the Temple itself was the holy place. It was there that two of the most rebellious self-interested Jewish leaders took refuge against the self-interested future Roman Emperor Titus. One night, one of them murdered the other – out of self-interest. Titus disposed of the followers of both of them.
What about the return of Jesus? It seems to me - but you must decide - that the ultimate cause of wars, killing and destruction is still today the determined self-interest within every human being. Within each of us – me included – we want to be our own “God”. We want to stand in the holy place.