21 As Jesus looked up, he saw rich people putting their gifts into the temple offering boxes. 2He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
3“What I’m about to tell you is true,” Jesus said. “That poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All of those other people gave a lot because they are rich. But even though she is poor, she put in everything. She had nothing left to live on.”
5Some of Jesus’ disciples were talking about the temple. They spoke about how it was decorated with beautiful stones and with gifts that honored God. But Jesus asked, 6“Do you see all this? The time will come when not one stone will be left on top of another. Every stone will be thrown down.”
7“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
8Jesus replied, “Keep watch! Be careful that you are not fooled. Many will come in my name. They will claim, ‘I am he!’ And they will say, ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. 9Do not be afraid when you hear about wars and about fighting against rulers. Those things must happen first. But the end will not come right away.”
10Then Jesus said to them, “Nation will fight against nation. Kingdom will fight against kingdom. 11In many places there will be powerful earthquakes. People will go hungry. There will be terrible sicknesses. Things will happen that will make people afraid. There will be great and miraculous signs from heaven.
12“But before all this, people will arrest you and treat you badly. They will hand you over to synagogues and prisons. You will be brought to kings and governors. All this will happen to you because of my name. 13In that way you will be witnesses to them. 14But make up your mind not to worry ahead of time about how to stand up for yourselves. 15I will give you words of wisdom. None of your enemies will be able to withstand them or oppose them.
16“Even your parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends will hand you over to the authorities. They will put some of you to death. 17Everyone will hate you because of me. 18But not a hair on your head will be harmed. 19If you stand firm, you will gain life.
20“A time is coming when you will see armies surround Jerusalem. Then you will know that it will soon be destroyed. 21Those who are in Judea should then escape to the mountains. Those in the city should get out. Those in the country should not enter the city. 22This is the time when God will punish Jerusalem. Everything will come true, just as it has been written.
23“How awful it will be in those days for pregnant women! How awful for nursing mothers! There will be terrible suffering in the land. There will be great anger against those people. 24Some will be killed by the sword. Others will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be overrun by those who aren’t Jews until the times of the non-Jews come to an end.
25“There will be miraculous signs in the sun, moon and stars. The nations of the earth will be in terrible pain. They will be puzzled by the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Terror will make people faint. They will be worried about what is happening in the world. The sun, moon and stars will be shaken from their places.
27“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud. He will come with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up. Hold your head up with joy and hope. The time when you will be set free will be very close.”
29Jesus told them a story. “Look at the fig tree and all the trees,” he said. 30“When you see leaves appear on the branches, you know that summer is near. 31In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that God’s kingdom is near.
32“What I’m about to tell you is true. The people living at that time will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33Heaven and earth will pass away. But my words will never pass away.
34“Be careful. If you aren’t, your hearts will be loaded down with wasteful living, drunkenness and the worries of life. Then the day the Son of Man returns will close on you like a trap. You will not be expecting it. 35That day will come upon every person who lives on the whole earth.
36“Always keep watching. Pray that you will be able to escape all that is about to happen. Also, pray that you will not be judged guilty when the Son of Man comes.”
37Each day Jesus taught at the temple. And each evening he went to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives. 38All the people came to the temple early in the morning. They wanted to hear Jesus speak.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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