The Future Happened Yesterday
". . . those things must take place; . . ." Mark 13:7
Everyone is curious and anxious about Jesus’ return. Every generation, including the disciples and the early church, has felt His return would be within their lifetime. Throughout history people have developed theories and formulas to pinpoint the time of His return.
At best we are all just guessing. All we can do is gather up our end of the world’s propositions and projections; pick up the arguments we've used as sticks and stones to defend our view of things to come. All the words we've used like a razor to discredit another’s view of the last days, we must place them in the shelter of God’s presence, and leave them there. And listen to Jesus.
It’s wise not to forget that the future Jesus speaks of in Mark 13 already happened. When he said, "those things must take place," it concerned soon coming events. When we read the picturesque words of Jesus about the second coming, we must remember that He's giving neither a map of eternity, nor a timetable of the future.
The things Jesus mentioned were, in fact, already happening. He prophesied wars. At that time the Parthians were pressing in on Roman territory. The earthquakes Jesus spoke of happened, and within forty years the Roman world was thunderstruck by the earthquake which devastated Laodicea. Jesus said there would be famine, and there was during the reign of Claudius. It was such a time of terror historians noted that it seemed God-like judgment and vengeance was being carried out against the Roman empire.
Jesus unmistakably speaks of the end time. The future He spoke of happened yesterday. The temple Jesus was referring to in these verses was in Jerusalem and had stood for nearly 500 years. Jesus’ prophecies that not one stone would be left upon another was fulfilled in 70 A.D. The disciples lived to see the destruction of Jerusalem. This event assured them that everything else Jesus had predicted would happen.
Jesus speaks these words not so we can guess when they will happen; not so we can create end time flow charts – Jesus warns us about the future so we can learn to live in the present.
Are you spiritually alert for today?