Mark 13:15-37

Mark 13:15-37        

Mark 13 – The Olivet Discourse – covered during Passover Week

Jesus’ Farewell Prophecy

More than one-third of Mark’s Gospel Book takes place during a seven-day period—the Passover week when Jesus is finally put to death.

Occasion of the Prophecy about the Destruction of the Temple 

Signs of the End of the Age 

Mark 13:3  As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 

Notice, this was a private meeting and conversation, without the other disciples and individuals. 

Not the same audience as in Luke 21:5-36.

Luke is a complete different discussion with a different audience.

3 questions asked by the disciples.

Mark 13:4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

The Abomination of Desolation

Mark 13:14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ {spoken of by Daniel the prophet}, standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

“The Abomination of Desolation” is the ultimate insult: placing an idol on the holiest spot on the planet: in Jerusalem, in the Temple, in fact, in the Holy of Holies!

Abomination of Desolation happens in the past by Antiochus, happen two centuries earlier (167 B.C.)  He slaughtered a pig on the Altar and erected an idol to Zeus in the Holy of Holies.  This is  = “The Abomination of Desolation”.

Jesus said it will happen again and described it as yet in the future. 

·      Antichrist’s presence in the rebuilt Jewish temple of the tribulation period. There, midway through the tribulation period,

·      he will declare himself to be God and demand the worship of all mankind 

So far, It is interesting that this never happened (again) in history.  

One time, In 40 A.D. the Emperor Caligula ordered his image to be erected in the Holy of Holies, but died before it could be carried out. 

Jesus in the Temple Foretells Destruction of Jerusalem and told the Christians to be ready. 

Luke 21:20-21 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.  (21)  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city

All these things – Relating to the temple and the city, 

Luke 21is Frequently confused with the Olivet Prophecy of Matthew 24 & Mark 13. 

The Beginning of Sorrows

Jesus explains the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Christians talk about earlier in Matthew and Mark and explain in Luke what will happen during the Last Generation before Jesus return, of the Desolation of Jerusalem. 

                                      Matthew          Luke                Revelation

                                      Before             After 

•      False Christs          24:4-5             21:4        6:1-2      

•      Wars                      24:6                21:9,10    6:3-4

•      Famines                 24:7a              21:11       6:5-6

•      Pestilences             24:7b-8           21:12       6:7-8

•      Earthquake             24:9                21:24       6:12 

Matthew said at the end time will see standing in the Holy Place the abomination that causes desolation *Matthew 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel, let the reader understand, {End Time Age},

Daniel said they will defile the sanctuary and place or set up the abomination of desolation.  *Daniel 11:31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 

Luke focuses on that which will occur prior to theBeginning of Sorrows”: 

Luke said, But before all this or things *Luke 21:12  “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 

Matthew focuses on that which will occur after the Beginning of Sorrows

Remember, Mark in verse 8, said these are the beginning of birth pains  or sorrows *Mark 13:8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains

The Siege of Jerusalem 

·      Vespasian was commanded by Nero to attack Jerusalem.

·      Vespasian, and his son, Titus, attack and surround Jerusalem

·      Nero dies! Vespasian pulls army  back and succeeds as Emperor

·      Titus is left to complete the siege

·      Christians escaped to the mountains in Pella 

Different Emphasis? 

Luke 21:37-38 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet. (38) Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him. 

Apparently Luke’s “Olivet Prophecy” didn’t occur on the Mt. of Olives: these are summaries of teachings in the Temple over several days!!  [Contrast Mark’s (Peter’s) rendering which was confined to four insiders.


•      Luke: To that first generation, in the Temple  (Lk 21:37,38)

•      Matthew: To the last generation; private briefing on the Mt. of Olives (Mt 24:3; Mk 13:3). 

Matthew tells us that Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately (Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately)  *Matthew 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 

Historian, Eusebius, tells us that the Christians in Jerusalem fled to Pella, safe from the Romans army.

Mark 13:15  Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 

·      Jesus just said to go down the outside steps quickly from the roof to the ground,

·      If they enter the house by the inner stairs, they might have a desire to save their property, and become delayed till escape should become impossible.

·      The Christians were thus warned by Jesus to flee along the flat roofs to the city wall, and so make their escape 

Mark 13:16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak {or clothes}. 

·      To escape death, one must disregard everything but his life and no material items {clothes} can safely be retrieved or carried away without great danger. Is there anything you have to have, take with you   

Mark 13:17 How dreadful {terrible} it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 

·      Families with children would be very hard for them to flee without falling into the hands of the enemy and being taken by them.   

Mark 13:18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, {or on the Sabbath} 

Matthew adds: on the Sabbath.   *Matthew 24:20 

·      The Roman armies encircle Jerusalem, and then pulled back for a short time; this is when the Christian fled Jerusalem. 

·      Zealots were trying to keep the Christians from leaving.

·      During the winter time, Judea was often impassible.  

Mark does not mention this as he is addressing Gentiles, not mention the Sabbath. 

Part Three: The End Times (Mk 13:19-27; Mt 24:29-31) 

Mark 13:19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be {or be equaled again}.  

This is not a reference to the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.!  

This refers to the period that the Old Testament calls “the time of Jacob’s trouble” 

Jeremiah tells us there will be a time of trouble for Jacob *Jeremiah 30:7 How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it. 

Mark 13:20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no {one or} flesh would be saved {or survive}; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. 

Mark 13:21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 

John tells us many false prophets have gone out into the world *1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  

This deception will not accomplish its purpose and draw away the elect. 

Mark 13:22-23 For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (23) But take heed; {be on your guard} see, I have told you all things beforehand {ahead of time}. 

Jesus is relating to the destruction of the temple, city, and nation of the Jews; the signs that would go before it, as the disciples had desired;

The Coming of the Son of Man 

Mark 13:24-25  “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; (25) the stars of heaven will fall {from the sky}, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 

Which immediately precede the end of the age: after that tribulation

This did not happen in 70 A.D. 

Mark 13:26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 

Mark 13:27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect {together} from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 

Jesus returns to the earth and gather His Saints. 

The Lesson of the Fig Tree 

Mark 13:28 “Now learn this lesson {or parable} from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 

Talking about the end of the age. 

Mark 13:29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, {right} at the doors! 

Luke said when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  *Luke 21:31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 

Mark 13:30-31 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. (31) Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 

Peter tells us the heavens will disappear and destroyed by fire *2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.  

John tells us that the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, *Revelation 21:1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.   

Isaiah quoted God, I will create new heavens and a new earth. *Isaiah 65:17 “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.  

No One Knows That Day or Hour 

Mark 13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 

Nor the Son!”  Only listed here in Mark! We try not to set dates!! 

When the Son was on earth in the flesh, he voluntarily subjected himself to limitations, 

Mark 13:33 Take heed, watch and pray {Be alert}; for you do not know when the time is {or will come}.  {“…watch”: be on the alert.} 

Mark 13:34 It is like a man going {away} to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work {or assigned duties}, and commanded the doorkeeper to {keep} watch. 

This is analogy to a Jewish wedding during Jesus time. After the engagement, but before the formal ceremony, the groom departed to prepare their new home, usually an addition to his father’s house.

Mark 13:35-36  Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master {owner} of the house is coming {or come back}, in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning– (36) lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 

The bride was kept in a state of wondering, the pending return of the groom. Bride is waiting, not sure when he will return, surprise, then, the wedding ceremony, was followed by a seven day celebration; the Wedding Supper. 

Mark 13:36  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 

Mark 13:37 What I say to you, I say to all {everyone}: ‘Watch!'”   

{Are we watching?} 

We just finish the Book of Mark, We will start the Book of John, which is somewhat different and fills in where the other Gospels left out.

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