Posts

Showing posts from February, 2022

THAT Generation

Image
The generation contemporary with Jesus witnessed the events that he predicted that culminated in the destruction of the Temple  –  Mark 13:28-31 .  Next, Jesus provided the chronological key - the disciples would know the time of the Temple’s demise when they saw all “ these things ” coming to pass, and before “ this generation ” reached its inevitable end. That was his definitive answer to the question, “ when will these things come to pass ?” – within one generation - [ Hourglass - Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash ].

Abomination that Desolates

Image
When disciples see the “abomination of desolation standing where it ought not,” they must flee Jerusalem without delay  –  Matthew 24:15-22 .  According to Jesus, the “ abomination of desolation ” will appear in the city of Jerusalem. It will be a local event, not global. Likewise, His admonition for his disciples to flee was applicable only to Jerusalem and the immediate vicinity. Disciples remaining in the city must flee to the hills to escape the calamity portended by the appearance of the “ abomination of desolation ” - [ Abandoned Church - Photo by Luc Constantin on  Unsplash ].

Sign of the End

Image
Jesus declared, definitively, that the “end” will not come until “this gospel of the kingdom of God is proclaimed to all nations.”  When we discuss the future coming of Jesus, quite naturally we ask what “signs” will precede it. Wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, and the like? Spectacular cosmic events in the heavens? The rise of unprecedented evil and chaos? Fortunately, Jesus provided us with a most definitive answer - The completion of the church’s mission - [ Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash ].

Repeated Warnings

Image
On Olivet, Jesus reiterated key information that is necessary for his followers to avoid being misled by deceivers .  Christ’s final block of teaching is commonly called his ‘Olivet Discourse,’ a series of instructions given to the disciples on the Mount of Olives shortly before his arrest, trial, and execution. In it, three warnings are repeated that disciples must heed to avoid deceit and disaster, warnings about deceivers, the timing of his return, and the need for constant vigilance - [ Photo by  NeONBRAND  on Unsplash ].

Wars and Rumors

Image
The Discourse opens with warnings about coming deceivers who propagate false expectations about the end  –  Mark 13:5-13 .  Jesus began his Olivet Discourse with an ominous warning about coming deceivers, men who will claim his authority and spread rumors about calamities, thereby “ deceiving many .” This warning is repeated at pivotal points in the discourse. For example, prior to the coming of the Son of Man, “ many false prophets will arise and deceive many ,” including the employment of signs and wonders - [ Wolf Howling - Photo by  Анатолий Чесноков  on  Unsplash ].

Geographic Scope

Image
The Olivet Discourse presents two key events linked to two different geographic contexts, one regional, and the other global .  In his ‘Olivet Discourse,’ Jesus described several key events that would occur in the future, especially the destruction of the Temple and the “ coming of the Son of Man .” In doing so, he provided geographic details related to each of these two events that alternated between the local and the universal, depending on which event he was describing - [ Google Maps - Photo by Henry Perks on Unsplash ].

In the Temple

Image
Jesus gave his final discourse following his final departure from the Jerusalem Temple – Mark 12:41-13:4 .  The ‘Olivet Discourse’ is the last recorded block of Christ’s teachings given on the Mount of Olives following a series of confrontations between him and the Temple authorities, and his final departure from the Temple itself. And his conflicts with the religious leaders set the stage for his trial and execution at the hands of the Roman governor - [ Western Wall - Photo by Laura Siegal on Unsplash ].