Discover more from The Bereans
This study is from the perspective that v30 is to be taken at face value and that all events take place within the first century. This is called the preterist view. Not everyone will agree! I may be wrong!
See discussion in last post as to the utter centrality of the temple in Second Temple Judaism. Yet Jesus, having spoken in judgment against the leaders of the Jews concludes by saying that the temple itself will be utterly destroyed [13:1-2]. This happened in 70AD at the hand of the Romans.
Signs of the end of the
age temple [?]
3 And as he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?”5 So Jesus began to say to them, “Watch out that no one deceives you! 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will deceive many. 7 And when you hear about wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines. These things are the beginning of birth pains.
Are wars and rumours signs of “the end”?
Persecution of disciples predicted
9 “But you, watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to councils and you will be beaten in the synagogues and will have to stand before governors and kings because of me, for a witness to them.
Did happen to the early church. Which book[s] of the NT records these events?
10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations.
The nations are the gentiles. In the OT there are 70 nations [Genesis 11]. The world of the OT is the ANE and God accommodates to this. Revelation is incarnational. The world of a first century Jew was bigger?
Could the gospel have reached all the nations in the first century?
11 And when they arrest you and hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you should say, but whatever is given to you at that hour, say this. For you are not the ones who are speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end—this one will be saved.
Were things this bad for the church in the first century?
The abomination of desolation
14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be” (let the one who reads understand), “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains!
54 Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah, 55 and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. 56 The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. 57 Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the king. 58 They kept using violence against Israel, against those who were found month after month in the towns. 59 On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar that was on top of the altar of burnt offering. 60 According to the decree, they put to death the women who had their children circumcised, 61 and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers’ necks.
62 But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. 63 They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. 64 Very great wrath came upon Israel.
1 Maccabees 1:54-64
How can Jesus take prophecy that has already been fulfilled and apply it to the future? Can you think of other examples of things that happened in the OT only to happen again in a fuller sense?
15 The one who is on his housetop must not come down or go inside to take anything out of his house, 16 and the one who is in the field must not turn back to pick up his cloak. 17 And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing in those days! 18 But pray that it will not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation of such a kind as has not happened from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will happen.
Scriptures can be “fulfilled more than once [!]. How will this next fulfilment compare to the first?
20 And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved [lit. “every flesh would not be saved”. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has shortened the days.
Who are “every flesh” [see v10]? Who are the elect? Who is THE elect of God?
In God’s purposes the elect will suffer for the salvation of the nations [see Romans 9-11]. Israel suffers and THE Israel suffers.
21 “And at that time if anyone should say to you, “Behold, here is the Christ,’ ‘Behold, there he is,’ do not believe him! 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear, and will produce signs and wonders in order to mislead, if possible, the elect. 23 But you, watch out! I have told you everything ahead of time!
There were many false Messiahs etc in the first century. Were Jesus words only fulfilled then?
The arrival of the Son of Man
24 “But in those days, after that tribulation,
‘the sun will be darkened
and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’
10. What are the lights in the sky in OT imagery? Does your answer fit with v25b?
26 And then they will see the Son of Man arriving in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels, and will gather the elect together from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.
If this return of Jesus must be in the first century what does it refer to? What is this passage about [vv1-2]? Can these words be fulfilled again? How?
The parable of the fig tree
28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also you, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the door. 30 Truly I say to you that this generation will never pass away until all these things take place! 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Jesus had cursed a fig tree for not bearing fruit [ματζίλες]. The fig tree is Israel.
How will Israel now bear fruit? Hint: THE Israel.
The unknown day and hour
32 “But concerning that day or hour no one knows—not even the angels in heaven nor the Son—except the Father. 33 Watch out! Be alert, because you do not know when the time is! 34 It is like a man away on a journey, who left his house and gave his slaves authority—to each one his work—and to the doorkeeper he gave orders that he should be on the alert. 35 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or early in the morning—36 lest he arrive suddenly and* find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be on the alert!”
This applied to what the Father knew would happen in 70AD.
What is the application for Jesus’ other return[s]?
In Matthew’s account, which is almost identical but slightly expanded, the disciples add “and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age [αἰών]?” [Matthew 24:3b].