Summary: A Sermon on Jesus’ Olivet Discourse

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Mark 13:14-37


Do you ever want to know the future, know what’s coming?

We seem to have a certain fascination with knowing the future

How will my kids turn out?

What stocks should I buy?

What decision should I make about a job, relationship, purchase.

Even a popular TV show had this theme. “Morning Edition”

What would you do if you knew the future? Call your broker?

How would you live if you knew what was coming?

Everybody seems to want to know this, even the disciples.


Today we look again at a passage where Jesus tells the disciples a little bit about what they faced – what was coming to them, what they could expect to face. In a sense, we’re going to listen in on their conversation, because as he tells them what they face, we get a glimpse of what we will face. Now let me caution you. He is not going to give us a specific road map of what our future holds. No details – he’s speaking primarily to them, after all. But in his answers to them, he gives to us glimpses, pictures of what’s ahead. But most importantly, he shows us how to live confidently and successfully, whatever the future holds. Oh, and by the way, when he gives insight about the future, don’t worry – its not all bad!

So, what does he say is coming? What could they (and we) expect to face?

A. Judgment and all that goes with it

Chapter 13 begins with Jesus predicting the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem – v. 2. This is a profound judgment of God against the Jewish people, for rejecting Him and his Messiah. This passage is all about judgment.

In v. 4, they ask him “when” they could expect it, and what “signs” there would be that it was near. And for the next several verses, Jesus describes what would surround this event, and answers their question of “when.”

Its important at this point to note that Jesus here is answering their questions about when the Temple would be destroyed – an event that actually occurred, in 70 ad when the Romans took Jerusalem and leveled the Temple in the climax to a bloody war. Many people jump to the conclusion that Jesus suddenly starts talking about the “End” here, or the “Last Days” or the distant future. The “end” Jesus speaks of here, is the end of the Temple.

Read vv. 5-13. Jesus says this judgment, this destruction, will be preceded by false Messiahs, wars, famines, earthquakes, etc. These are all a part of this judgment God is levying against them. This describes perfectly the situation of the years 66-70 ad. It happened just like he said

He also says they will face persecution, arrest, betrayal, hate because of their faith. This is what they had coming. This is what they could expect to face. These are preliminary signs, indications.

Even though Jesus was speaking primarily to them, what he says applies to us. We face turbulent world events that really shake us up – earthquakes, war, rumors of war, etc. What Jesus said to them he would say to us: These in and of themselves are not the end, but they are indications that there will be and end. We can expect them.

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