Summary: The “Olivet Discourse” was a prophetic message Jesus gave on the Mt. of Olives concerning the “Last Generation.” Could our generation be this "last generation?"
Is This Generation the Last Generation? July 3, 2013
A The “Olivet Discourse” was a prophetic message Jesus gave on the Mt. of Olives concerning the “Last Generation.”
1 Matthew 24:34 (NASB) 34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
a The context is a Jewish audience that is the “fig tree” nation.
b The question of Jews is, is this the last generation?
c To understand this question we must understand what the term “generation” means.
2 In the O.T. there is an expression translated as “the generation to come.” - Ha Dor Ha Acharon
a The most direct translation is the “last generation.”
b “Acharon” means “last of an order” or “last.”
B Jesus knew “generation” would be a mystery to His listeners. (As it is today)
1 The context has much significance.
a Mt. of Olives (olive trees) look across the Kidron Valley with the Temple, the centerpiece of their attention.
b To this day, your attention is always drawn to Mt. Zion.
aa Construction began 50 years before Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, not be finished for another 20.
bb The completed development stood approx 1 year before the Romans razed it in 70 A.D.
2 Jesus told His disciples of future world wars, famines, earthquakes, diseases.
Matthew 24:7-8 (NASB) 7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
a What if this text is in the context of the latter-dau rebirth of the nation of Israel?
aa The disciples wouldn’t have understood His prophecy at the time.
bb Matthew 24:15 (NASB) 15 "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)
Jesus commented on Daniel’s prophesy with “Abomination of Desolation.”
Daniel 9:27 (NASB) 27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
Daniel 11:31 (NASB) 31 "Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
Daniel 12:11 (NASB) 11 "From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
b What if He is describing the prophetic landscape of Israel’s regathering in the last days.
aa Matthew 24:29-30 (NASB) 29 "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
His second coming is mentioned.
bb Maybe these prophesies aren’t 70 AD but for a future generation.
c Matthew 24:32-35 (NASB) 32 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
(Emph. “This generation” in v.34)
aa To this day we’ve not stopped trying to understand what He was saying.
bb Which generation?
I What Did Jesus Say?
A Preterist believe His words were for those alive when Jesus spoke these words.
1 John, the oldest living disciple, would fit the bill for “will not pass away until all these things pass away.”
a The wars, famines, disease, wouldn’t be global, not localized to first century Jerusalem.
b However, prophecy must agree with all other N.T. prophecy, esp. Revelation. (Clearly global in scope.)
2 What if “this generation” (v.34) is given the image of “the fig tree.” (V.32)
a When a tree is depicted as putting forth leaves, it’s getting ready to bear fruit.
b Israel in 33 AD was less than 40 years from being decimated, cusp of the dysphoria.
aa The prophetic tree is not dying, but growing.
bb I believe “this generation” is “the fig tree.”