"And then if anyone may say to you, ‘Look, here is the christ!’ or ‘Look, there!’ do not believe! For pseudo christs and pseudo prophets will arise and will give signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the selected. But, see! I have said all to you beforehand."
Jesus’ disciples should beware of powerful leaders with strong religious claims – maybe calling themselves the Christ, the Messiah or the Mahdi.
“But in those days, after that strife, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling out of the sky, and those powers in the skies will be shaken. And then they will discern the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather together his selected from the four winds, from extremity of earth to extremity of sky."
In answering questions about the “when” and the “whenever”, Jesus may be declaring that the desolations which are taking place in our world (and will take place in the extreme at the very end) actually give rise to folk “seeing the Son of Man” in his “great power and glory”. His “great power” is the power of “love-in-action” and his “glory” is in completely dying to himself to bless others.
“But from the fig tree learn its parallel: as soon as its own shoot may become tender and put out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, whenever you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation may not pass away until, for it, all these very things may come to be. The sky and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
“Whenever you see … you know that he is near …” Jesus seems to be teaching that it will always be within turmoil and strife that folk will “see” that what they need is not yet more earthly power but the “love-in-action” of the Lord God. It’s then that Jesus will be near willingly to give and to forgive.