Temple Destruction Foretold
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Witnessing to All Nations
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
The emphasis of the disciples is on the time line for these events, namely the destruction of the temple and the second coming of Jesus. How do they follow on and relate to each other in terms of time? Jesus does not answer this question but shifts the emphasis on to the one thing that is common to both these events and that is GREAT TRIBULATION.
Jesus answered their question by describing both events from the point of view of the tribulation that would accompany both. Critics of the bible are confusing themselves because of their overriding agenda to malign Christ and the NT by falsely claiming that Jesus prophesied that both events would occur concurrently. This is obviously not what Jesus is saying here.