Monday, September 12, 2011

Matthew 24:1-3


1 Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, ``Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.'' 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ``Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?''

This is a fascinating interaction between Jesus and His disciples. Jesus, standing outside the magnificent Temple, says that this Temple will be utterly destroyed. The disciples come back at Him with 3 questions: 1. When will the Temple be destroyed? 2. What will be the sign of Your coming again in glory? 3. What will be the sign of the end of the age?

Let's begin by rehearsing Jesus' answer: 20 ``But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 ``Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 ``Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:20-24

Jesus' answer is: the Temple will be destroyed WHEN you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies. This happened around 66 A.D. The Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem and when the capture of the city proved to be more difficult than expected, they sent out for more supplies. It was during this time that those who heeded Jesus' warning, actually fled the city to save their lives. There is a well-founded Jewish tradition that the followers of Jesus did flee the city during the time of re-supplying the troops and not one Messianic believer in Jesus died in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the Roman General, Titus.

This prophecy was fulfilled in a close enough time period where people could actually see its fulfillment. The other two questions have a long-term nature to them and very difficult to understand for sure.