Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the Time of the End Part II: Prophecies Fulfilled in the Present Age -- By: John F. Walvoord
BSac 128:511 (Jul 71) p. 206
Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the Time of the End
Prophecies Fulfilled in the Present Age
[John F. Walvoord, President, Dallas Theological Seminary, Editor, Bibliotheca Sacra.]
The prediction of Christ that the temple would be destroyed with not one stone left upon another (Matt 24:2) greatly impressed the disciples. This prophecy had come on the heels of similar startling predictions. Christ had repeatedly said that He was to die. (Matt 16:21; 17:23; 20:18–19), and had otherwise implied a disastrous end of His prophetic ministry as in the parable of the householder where the son was killed (Matt 21:33–46), and in His lament over Jerusalem in Matthew 23 climaxing His biting denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees. All of this augured ill for the hopes of the disciples to reign on earth with Christ in His glorious kingdom. Such a statement would naturally lead to solemn questions about their hope of Christ fulfilling His role as Messiah and King, and in general it cast somber shadows over the future of both the apostles and the Jewish nation.
The Threefold Question
Sober thoughts apparently silenced the disciples as they left the temple area, crossed the Brook Kidron and began the ascent to the Mount of Olives. When they paused and were able to look back to the west with its vista of Jerusalem and the magnificent temple, the disciples began to ask questions. According to Mark 13:3 as they sat on the Mount of Olives and rested from their journey Peter, James, John and Andrew—the quartet that formed the inner circle of the disciples—asked Christ privately what He meant by these astounding statements. Matthew 24:3 records the threefold question: (1) “When shall these things be?” referring to the prediction of the
BSac 128:511 (Jul 71) p. 207
destruction of the temple; (2) “What shall be the sign of thy coming?”; (3) “What shall be the sign of the end of the age?” The gospel accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke differ in their record of how Christ answered their questions. Undoubtedly the Scriptural accounts are a condensation of a much longer discussion.
In Matthew and Mark, only the second and third questions are answered because actually they refer to the same situation. The sign of His coming and the sign of the end of the age are one and the same, ...
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