“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:20-24)
“Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it.”
This was counter-intuitive advice in Jesus day. These days it makes sense to flee to the country when war is being made. Small towns don’t tend to attract attention. Cities get bombed and so on. But in Christ’s day, the country side would be torn to pieces by marauding armies. Cities with their walls and fortifications offered sanctuary. But Jesus knows that when Jerusalem is surrounded, the game is over. It will not outlast the Roman Siege.
The Romans actually did lay siege to Jerusalem in 70 AD. And the Christians took Christ’s advice and fled to Pella. Eusebius records this. I think Josephus might also record it. In any case, the Christians left because they knew of Christ’s warning.
It’s sort of funny, because liberal theologians are always trying to give a late date to these gospels, saying they had to have happened after the fall of Jerusalem, but if that is so, then how is it that the Christians knew to leave the city? They understood Christ’s prophecy, and heeded it. They were spared, but not one stone was left on top of each other in Jerusalem. The walls came down, the temple razed. Which means that prophecy has been fulfilled. We aren’t waiting for it as an indication of when Christ will come back.