The misunderstanding of the disciples prompts Jesus to speak with apocalyptic images about the notoriously grand and important temple. While so many admired the impressive structure that was the Temple, in the last few chapters we've seen Jesus repeated speak against the Temple and all that it stood for (the fig tree, great commandments over sacrifices, etc.).
Though the apocalyptic images Jesus uses are often taken to be about the end of the world, clearly the context is the destruction of the Temple (which happened in 70ad). Similar images were often used in the Old Testament when speaking about such important events as what was happening with Jesus. Because for many, the Temple wasn't just a symbol it was the nexus of heaven and earth to speak of its destruction was a cosmic event. Additionally, to speak about birth pangs would also indicate that God was birthing something of cosmic proportion. The key for the disciples isn't about figuring out the timing of these events (70ad) as their patience when it happens. The key for disciples today isn't timing but that the Spirit will guide us in our time of need.
How do we still see people trying to mislead believers by saying look here or there?
When times of persecution come for believers by what power are they to speak?
How can you cultivate the fruit of the spirit of patience? A reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit?