Prediction of “The Time of Tribulation”

When the first federal income tax was being debated in the US Senate in 1913, a senator speaking in opposition to the bill stated: “If we allow this 1 percent foot-in-the-door, at some future date it might rise to 5 percent.” (Original Source Unknown, Lou Nicholes - Mis … More

Future

One day as Jesus was going out to the Temple, which was built on top of Mount Moriah, His disciples commented on how beautiful it was (v. 1). Josephus  in his writings tells us how it was built of beautiful white marble stones that were 40 feet long, 12 feet high, and 18 feet thick. The total height of the sanctuary was said to have been over 100 feet and the roof inside was covered with gold. Is it any wonder that these Galilean disciples were amazed by it? Jesus’ comment was that, “There shall not be one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (v. 2).” This prediction came to pass some 40 years later (A.D. 70) when the Roman armies under Titus destroyed Jerusalem. Josephus in his book on “The Wars of the Jews” tells us that 97,000 were taken captive and 1,100,000 either perished by slow starvation or died by the sword. 

A little later Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to Jesus with a question, “When shall these things be” (vv. 3-4)? This portion of Scripture is often referred to as the Olivet Discourse because Jesus gave it on the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem. He warned that many would come saying they were the Messiah (vv. 5-6). He said that there would be wars and rumors of wars but the end was not yet (v. 7). In addition there would even be earthquakes and famines and they would even be beaten because of their faith and, “hated by all men for my name’s sake” (vv. 8-13). Jesus never told  His followers the Christian life would be an easy way, but it is a proven fact that Christians are wonderfully strengthened by  trials.

We need to realize that this chapter describes a period of time known as “the Tribulation."  The Old Testament prophets wrote about this period and called it “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), a time of wrath (Zeph. 1:15-18), and a time of indignation and punishment (Isa. 26:20-21). Jesus was warning his followers about the future so that they could learn how to live in the present. Many of the predictions Jesus made in this passage have not yet been fulfilled. His purpose was not to cause us to guess when they would be fulfilled but to help us stay alert and prepared for His return.

Application

If I knew that the world would come to an end in six months, how would I change my lifestyle?  What does this scriptural passage make me want to do?

 

Mark 13:1-13 (English Standard Version)


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