Sunday, January 24, 2010
When will these things be?
The introductory post explains the purposes, goals and scope of this blog. If you have not read it, I suggest you start there and then, look through the posts to get a feeling for where I have gone and where I am going. But, if you don’t have the time, feel free to read this post alone. However, the blog is meant to be a series and so if you find it interesting you can go back and read it or, if you would prefer you can download a PDF of the entire blog. This PDF will be updated every Saturday so that it will have the entire blog, from first post to last, through the latest Saturday.
In the synoptic gospels, Jesus told his followers of impending judgment, In each of the accounts, the disciples asked him when will these things be? The accounts all started with his prediction of the destruction of the temple. In two of them, Mark and Luke, they only asked about the destruction of the temple and, in Matthew they asked about the destruction of the temple and assumed that it would be the end of the age. Let’s look at the verses from each gospel.
Mar 13:4 "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?"
Luk 21:7 And they asked him, "Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?"
Mat 24:3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?"
Everyone of the above verses followed the statement…. "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down." It is clear that Jesus was only talking about the destruction of the temple. It is also important to realize that he did not correct them and tell them that the end of the age would be a much later time. The answers that he gave in the various gospel accounts would have led the apostles to believe that he was linking all of his comments to the end of the age.
Further, it is interesting that the phrase- end of the age - was only mentioned in Matthew, the gospel to the Jews. I think that it may be that the reason was that only the Jews were looking for the end of the age. They were looking for the end of the age and the age to come (Olam Ha Ba). Again, they were not looking for the end of the age to come much later; they were looking for an imminent end of the age. And, it is fascinating to me that he did not correct them. This points to the reality that Jesus expected the end of the age also. So, if this is the case…. Jesus expected the end of the age to be concurrent with the destruction of the temple…then, wouldn’t it make sense to look for a way in which it happened just that way?
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