To start, just a few more words about yesterday. In the verses before that, Jesus is declaiming the Scribes for the way they took the money and property of widows and yesterday, He observed a widow giving her last two coins to the Lord: much better that than the rapacious Jewish religious leaders! Anyway, today we are beginning to look at chapter thirteen which is one of the most difficult chapters in the New Testament to understand: thought I should warn you! From start to finish it is thinking in terms of Jewish history and Jewish ideas and we have come to recognise how different they were compared to ours! It mainly focusses on the Second Coming of Christ and this may be something we think of constantly or try to avoid contemplating! Recently, several people have asked me about it and the signs of His coming soon, and I am presently reading through the book of Revelation, which I find full of difficulties. So, let us look at the first couple of verses. Firstly, we must understand that there are two prophecies here: the destruction of Jerusalem and then the Second Coming. These verses speak of Jerusalem's destruction. Jesus is referring to the one then standing, which in His time was the one Herod built, begun in 20 BC and not yet fully complete. Some of the stones used in its building were 40 foot long by twelve high by 18 foot wide-and these were moved into place without any modern machinery! These stones moved the disciples to wonder in a similar way to the way we gasp when we enter a cathedral. However, Jesus proclaimed that one day not one stone would stand on any other. The Temple would be utterly destroyed and this happened less than fifty years after Jesus' prophecy! The Romans finally had enough of the many Jewish uprisings and in AD 70 the city fell to the army of Titus who utterly destroyed it. More to come...
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