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Mark 13:24-37 – End of – What? Meditative Musing for Dec 15

In apocalyptic terms Jesus describes the end of something. What end does He describe?

Jesus had said (v. 2) the temple would be destroyed. His disciples asked (v.4), “When will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to happen.” See Luke 21:5-7 for a parallel. Seems simple doesn’t it? It’s the end of the Jewish Temple.

Matthew’s account of this conversation complicates it. In Matthew 24:3 disciples ask, “…when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” This makes some think Jesus is talking about His return.

What is it? Jerusalem? The world? Or what?

In all three the disciples ask when “these things” will be and for a sign. Mark and Luke say the sign is when “these things” are about to occur; in Matthew the sign is “of your coming and the end of the age.” Is Matthew talking about something different than the others? Or is he talking about the same thing in different words? How could they ask about His return when they didn’t know He was leaving?

The rest of what  Jesus says is similar in all three, except Matthew and Mark speak of “the abomination of desolation” where Luke speaks of desolation “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies” (21:20). Different signs? Or different words?

Let’s remember Jesus’ first words in His response were: “Beware that no one lead you astray.”

Do we let scare-mongers lead us astray?


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