Page 14 - February 2024 - Truth & Tidings
P. 14

e begin our consideration of   the Kidron valley, climbed a steep path up
                 the Olivet Discourse (13:1-37).   the Mount of Olives, and sat down looking
        WThe Lord’s Arguments with re-        back across the valley to the temple. Here
        ligious leaders (11:27-12:40) in the temple   a select group of the disciples, intrigued
        area are over. He exited that place (13:1)   by what the Lord had said, “asked him
        and “sat on the Mount of Olives opposite   privately, Tell us, when shall these things
        the temple” (v3 ESV). From this location   be? And what shall be the sign when all
        He gave an extended  Answer to some   these things shall be fulfilled?” (vv3-4). A
        questions raised by His disciples (v4). The   comparison with the other Synoptic Gos-
        message given by the Lord here (see also   pels shows that “all these things” referred
        Matthew 24 and Luke 21) has been called   to “thy coming, and … the end of the age”
        “the most important single passage of   (Mat 24:3). The two-fold question of the
        prophecy in all the Bible.”           disciples concerned the time and the sign
                                              of the temple destruction and the Lord’s
        The Prelude to the Answer             return.
        (13:1-4)                                In the mind of the disciples at least, the

          One of the disciples exclaimed concern-  destruction of the temple that the Lord
        ing the “wonderful stones and … wonder-  predicted was closely linked with the
        ful buildings” of the temple (v1 ESV). The   Lord’s coming and the end of the age.
        Lord had just left Herod's temple for the   The Perils of the Age (13:5-13)
        last time, but this disciple, gazing at its
        splendour, could not help but exclaim at   In this first part of His answer, the Lord
        its beauty. Herod’s temple had been under   interspersed His revelations about the
        construction for over 40 years but was   future with warnings and exhortations to
        still incomplete. Built of immense white   His disciples (vv5,7,9,11). The prophetic
        marble stones and clad with gold, it was a   message was to have practical import on
        dazzlingly glorious architectural wonder.   the lives of the disciples and, by extension,
          The Lord responded with a solemn pre-  it should have a practical effect upon us.
        diction, “Seest thou these great buildings?   The lessons are as follows:
        There shall not be left one stone upon   First, do not be seduced by counterfeits
        another, that shall not be thrown down”   (vv5-6). The disciples are warned to
        (v2).  The Lord’s prediction would be   beware of deception. False christs and
            1
        literally fulfilled within a few decades. In   fraudulent prophets or teachers claiming
        A.D. 70 the Romans destroyed the temple   to be sent by Christ will proliferate. Paul
        by fire, and by the time they had managed   would later write to Timothy, “Evil men
        to obtain all the gold, the temple had been   and seducers will wax worse and worse,
        razed to the ground. However, at the point   deceiving, and being deceived” (2Ti 3:13).
        of time when it was given, the Lord’s pre-  Peter would also warn, “There shall be
        diction must have seemed hard to believe.   false teachers among you, who privily shall
          The Lord and His disciples then crossed   bring in damnable heresies … many shall
                                              follow their pernicious ways” (2Pe 2:1-2).

        1  Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV   A leading feature of the age is false-
        unless otherwise noted.               hood, deception and lies.  After the

        46   TRUTH kTidings   February  2024
   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19