Mark Chapter Thirteen, A Question Of Timing...

In our study of Mark chapter thirteen, we look at Jesus' words concerning end times prophecy. This teaching is commonly called the Olivet Discourse and it will show us that many of the things that He said would happen have already taken place. We will also see what is yet to come.

Mark 13:1 & 2

"As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, 'Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!' 'Do you see all these great buildings?' replied Jesus, 'Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.'" NIV translation

Jesus had already pronounced the desolation of the temple and, now as they left, a disciple pointed out how big and wonderful it was. Jesus answered the question with a question of His own. He basically asked them if they truly saw the buildings and the fact that they were temporary. It would have been hard for them to imagine the big stones being tossed down but it happened in the year 70 A.D.

Even for us today, it can be difficult to remember that all of the things that we see around us are temporary. 

Mark 13:3 & 4

"As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 'Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?'" NIV translation

Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives where you can look across the valley and see the temple mount. The disciples asked Him when the place would be destroyed.They thought that the destruction of the temple would usher in the last days and the kingdom of God.

Mark 13:5 & 6

"Jesus said to them: 'Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, "I am he," and will deceive many.'" NIV translation

Jesus begins to answer their question by warning them about false prophets and false messiahs. This has happened many times since the days that Jesus walked this earth and is what Paul was talking about in his second letter to the Thessalonians. There have been many cults and crazies who claimed to be Jesus and they even got many people to follow them into death.