“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age’” (Matthew 24:3)?
The “when” of the disciples’ curiosity arises from Jesus’ comment regarding the destruction of the temple (v.2), which history records as having occurred in 70 A.D. The remaining “what” is in regard Christ’ return and the end of the age. Having already rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees upon their request for a sign (16:1) when he, himself, is the fullest revelation of God that heaven has to offer, Jesus informs his disciples that the sign of his appearing will be his appearance (v.30); and that the only ones to hold forth great signs are false Christs and false prophets, who do so for the purpose of misleading (v.24). What Jesus offers, instead, to his disciples then and now is a series of admonitions, not to solve our curiosity but make us more cautious and alert as to how we shall then live.