The Olivet Discourse presents two key events linked to two different geographic contexts, one regional, and the other global.

In his ‘Olivet Discourse,’ Jesus described several key events that would occur in the future, especially the destruction of the Temple and the “coming of the Son of Man.” In doing so, he provided geographic details related to each of these two events that alternated between the local and the universal, depending on which event he was describing.

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Jesus gave his final discourse following his final departure from the Temple – Mark 12:41-13:4.

The ‘Olivet Discourse’ is the last recorded block of Christ’s teachings given on the Mount of Olives following a series of confrontations between him and the Temple authorities, and his final departure from the Temple itself. And his conflicts with the religious leaders set the stage for his trial and execution at the hands of the Roman governor.

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The cursing of the barren fig tree symbolized the coming destruction of the Temple and the fruitlessness of Israel – Mark 11:12-26.

The Gospel of Mark divides the story of the barren fig tree into two sections, placing the “cleansing” of the Temple between them, and thus, the two events are inextricably linked.  The fruitlessness of the fig tree and its subsequent cursing highlighted the spiritual state and destiny of the Temple, and Christ’s actions foreshadowed its destruction.

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At the end of his journey, quite naturally, the destination of Jesus was the Temple in JerusalemMark 11:1-11.

The next several stories prepare the reader for his final days, the so-called ‘Passion Week.’ A full third of the Gospel of Mark concerns the events of that week and culminate in his death and resurrection. All that has preceded his arrival in the city has been moving inexorably forward to his arrest, trial, and execution in Jerusalem.

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Jesus restored the sight of a blind beggar while he was “on the way” to his death in the city of JerusalemMark 10:46-52.

This is the last recorded healing miracle in Mark’s account. And here, Jesus is called the “Nazarene.” Previously, he was only so identified when he exorcised demons, thereby delivering someone from demonic oppression. And in the Gospel of Mark, the name “Nazarene” frames his first and last healing miracles – (Mark 1:24).

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