Category Archives: Olivet Discourse

SPROUTING FIG TREE

SYNOPSIS – The parable of the budding fig tree pointed to the destruction of the Temple predicted by Jesus – Mark 13:28-29

Next, Jesus gave his parable of a “budding fig tree.” The illustration was the first part of the answer to the disciples’ original question – “When will these things come to pass?” The image of a fig tree sprouting foliage provided the clue for the “when” of the predicted events – Its sprouting foliage would signal the arrival of “summer,” the time of the fulfillment of “all these things.”

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COMING ON THE CLOUDS

SYNOPSIS – The whole earth will witness the “Son of Man” arriving on the clouds to gather his “elect” – Mark 13:21-27

The narrative now takes us beyond the “abomination of desolation,” the destruction of Jerusalem, and the horrific “tribulation” to the return of the “Son of Man” to gather this “elect.” How much time will pass between the “tribulation” and the arrival of Jesus is not stated. However, during the interim, the church must beware of “false prophets” who will disseminate false information about his coming, employing impressive “signs and wonders” to validate their claims.

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KNOW TIMES AND SEASONS?

SYNOPSIS – Jesus did not command his disciples to know and calculate the “times and seasons” of his return in glory – Acts 1:6-8

Are followers of Jesus tasked with knowing and calculating the “times and seasons” of the end? Did he or the apostles command disciples to “know the times and the seasons”? Or are believers even able to decipher key “signs” and, thereby, to perceive the nearness of his return and related events so they may prepare for any eventuality?

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THIS GENERATION

SYNOPSIS – The “generation” contemporary with Jesus would see all the events leading up to the destruction of the Temple – Mark 13:30-31. 

In this next paragraph, Jesus provides a more specific Chronological key – The disciples will see all “these things” come to pass before “this generation” ends. This is his definitive answer to the original question by the disciples – “When will these things come to pass?” – And his interpretation of the parable of the Budding Fig Tree.

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WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS

SYNOPSIS – Jesus warned us not to heed claims by deceivers who pointed to manmade and natural catastrophes as “signs” of a rapidly approaching end – Matthew 24:4-8

Jesus began his ‘Olivet Discourse’ with a sharp warning – Beware of deceivers – They claim his authority and, upon it, spread rumors about wars, earthquakes, and other calamities. Such men will “deceive many.” But contrary to their claims, the “end is not yet.” This warning is repeated several times in the discourse:

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ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

SYNOPSIS – When disciples saw the “abomination of desolation standing where it ought not,” they were to flee Jerusalem without delay – Matthew 24:15-22, Mark 13:14-21, Luke 212:20-24

According to Jesus, the “abomination of desolation” would appear in the city of Jerusalem. The event as described by him would be local, not global. Likewise, His admonition for his followers to flee was applicable to the city and the immediately surrounding area. At that time, any disciples remaining in Judea and Jerusalem were urged to flee to the hills to escape this imminent and horrendous event.

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