Hegesippus records that Saint James of Jerusalem had been cast down from the pinnacle of the Temple because he had claimed (in about AD 63) that the “Son of Man was coming on the clouds”. Apparently, the authorities dramatically pushed Saint James off the top of the Temple in mockery of the descent of the “Son of Man”.
However, James was not wrong. Things were about to get bad in Jerusalem. Really bad.
The Church historian Eusebius recounts that the Jerusalem Christians were warned in a vision to depart Jerusalem because its destruction was near. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, writing in about AD 75, “many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city” in AD 64 (Jewish War 2, 20, 1). In other words, this “exodus” from Jerusalem occurred three and a half years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
Eusebius describes it like this:
“The whole body, however, of the Church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella. Here those that believed in Christ, having removed from Jerusalem, as if holy men had entirely abandoned the royal city itself, and the whole land of Judea; the divine justice, for their crimes against Christ and his Apostles finally overtook them, totally destroying the whole generation of these evildoers form the earth.
- Eusebius, History of the Church 3, 5
And thus was fulfilled the words of Christ: “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place” (Mt 24:34).