[My reaction to April 22-24 readings from the One Year Bible.]
So what to make of these signs of the coming of the end of the age? What did it mean to the original readers? Do I believe that Jesus said it? What does it mean today?
The timeline goes like this. Jesus is executed around 30 A.D. The temple is destroyed and Rome levels Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The Book of Luke-Acts is written some time around 80-90 A.D. Although the book was presumably circulated from the time of authorship, in 363 A.D. the Council of Laodicea established it as a part of the canon.
This end of the age stuff is in all three synoptic Gospels. Seems like as a minimum it is a part of the tradition of the early church. It seems quite reasonable to me that as a prophet, someone who interprets the events of his age through the lens of God's inspiration, Jesus could have recognized that trouble was brewing and that the situation with Rome was not tenable. He also could very reasonably have taught against violence and urged a response of spiritual toughness. Then, a generation or so after his death, when the temple is destroyed and the Hebrew world is turned on its head, he is vindicated. I'm comfortable with this reading and I think it does not make the passage without meaning. Certainly in our lives we face tribulation.
Also, here's the first folk hero, Ehud. He kills the enemy, but it doesn't last.