"Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath." Matthew 24:20 (NIV)

"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel...then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."  Matthew 24:16 (NIV).

These words of Jesus are widely understood as a prediction of the Roman siege of Jerusalem that ended with the destruction of the city and its temple in 70 AD. By urging His followers to pray that their escape from the city not take place in winter or on the Sabbath Jesus foresees that Sabbath observance will continue long past His own crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to heaven.

The Roman attack on Jerusalem was the decisive battle in a war brought on by a Jewish rebellion that began in 66 AD. Christians, who would have been identified by the Romans as Jews—and thus as enemies—would suffer the same fate as the Jews.

Some historians, including Eusebius, an important fourth-century Christian apologist, report that the Christians of Jerusalem escaped to the town of Pella, in the hilly region east of the Jordan River in modern-day Jordan.