And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Mark 13:10. The gospel must first be published among all nations — “The fulfilment of this part of the prophecy we learn chiefly from the writings of the New Testament, which inform us that the gospel was preached by Paul in Arabia, and through the vast tract from Jerusalem to Iconium in Lycaonia, and in Galatia, and through all Asia Minor, and in Greece, and round about to Illyricum, and in Crete and Italy, probably also in Spain and Gaul. Besides, the gospel reached much farther than this apostle carried it; for we find him writing to Christians who had never seen his face. Also, we have still remaining Peter’s epistles to the converted Jews in Pontus, Asia, Cappadocia, and Bythynia. Probably the gospel was preached in these and many other countries by the Jews who sojourned there, and who, having come to Jerusalem to the passover, were converted on the day of pentecost. The Ethiopian eunuch, converted by Philip, would carry it likewise into his country. But whatever way it happened, the fact is certain, that in most of these countries churches were planted within thirty years after Christ’s death, or about ten years before the destruction of Jerusalem. Hence we find the apostle telling the Romans, (Romans 10:18,) that the sound of the gospel had gone forth into all the world, and that the faith of the Christians at Rome was spoken of throughout the world, chapter Mark 1:8. And hence, too, he tells the Colossians 1:23, that the truth of the gospel was come to all the world, and was preached to every creature. And when Mark wrote his gospel the apostles had gone forth, and preached everywhere, Mark 16:20. The preaching of the gospel, through the whole world, by twelve illiterate fishermen, and the destruction of Jerusalem, were events extremely improbable, and therefore the prediction and accomplishment of them deserve to be particularly taken notice of; and the rather, because they were both absolutely necessary for bringing about the conversion of the world to Christianity, and are mentioned in this prophecy as such.” — Macknight.
To councils - The higher ecclesiastical courts of the Jews, including the Sanhedrin, or great council of the nation.
Rulers and kings - Referring to Roman officers.
For a testimony against them - Rather to bear testimony to them, or to be witnesses "before them" of the truth. This was" for the sake" of Jesus, or because they were attached to him; and God would overrule it so that at the same time they should bear witness "to" the rulers of the truth, as was the case with Peter and John, Acts 4; with Stephen, Acts 6-7; and with Paul, Acts 23; Acts 24:24-25.all nations, otherwise than as all signifies very many. And I do think that all places shall have the gospel preached to them before the day of judgment, after another manner than either it was possible it should be preached to them within forty years after the death of Christ, or than many places have had it preached amongst them to this day. For though the Holy Scriptures, and ecclesiastical historians, give us a somewhat large account of the gospel being preached in Europe, Asia, and in Africa, yet we have little account from any of them of its being preached in America. I am not wholly ignorant of what those writers tell us, of Thomas the apostle’s preaching to the Indians, and of Trumentius and his colleague, but there are very few preachers that any stories give an account of gone to the Indians, whither I believe the gospel must go before that Christ comes to judgment. Matthew 24:14. And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. the gospel must first be published] And even so while many of His hearers were yet alive, the Gospel was proclaimed throughout the Roman Empire, from Arabia to Damascus, from Jerusalem to Illyricum, in Italy and in Spain. Comp. Romans 15:19; Romans 15:24; Romans 15:28; Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:23.Mark 13:10. Καὶ εἰς, and among) The preaching of the Gospel was helped forward by the very persecutions, Mark 13:9; 2 Timothy 4:17.—πρῶτον, previously) before that the end shall come, Mark 13:7. [When Jerusalem was being destroyed, already a church was collected from among the Gentiles.—V. g.]Verse 10. - And the gospel must first be preached unto all the nations. St. Matthew (Matthew 24:14) says it shall be preached "in the whole world, for a testimony unto all the nations" (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ εἰς μαρτύριον). This literally took place, as far as the inhabited world was concerned at that time, before the destruction of Jerusalem. St. Paul (Romans 10:18) reminds us that "their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world;" and he tells the Colossians (Colossians 1:6) that the gospel was come unto them, and was bearing fruit and increasing in all the world. But even if we regard these expressions as somewhat hyperbolic, it is unquestionable that before the armies of Titus entered Jerusalem, the gospel had been published through the principal parts and provinces of the then inhabited world (οἰκουμένῃ). And it is certainly a wonderful fact that within fifty years after the death of Christ, Christian Churches had been planted in almost every district of the earth as then known to the Romans. But if we extend these prophetical sayings so as to reach onwards to the end of all things, we must then understand the expression, "all the nations," in its most unrestricted sense; so that the prophecy announces the universal proclamation of the gospel over the whole inhabited earth as an event which is to precede the time of the end. It is interesting to observe the difference in the amount of knowledge possessed by us of this earth and its population at the present time, as compared with the knowledge which men had of it at the time when our Lord delivered this prediction. It was not until the beginning of the sixteenth century, nearly fifteen hundred years after Christ, that Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci laid open that other hemisphere which takes its name from Amerigo; and there are few facts more interesting to a philosophic mind than the discovery of this new continent, now so important to us in England as the chief receptacle, together with Australia, of our redundant population. But this new world, as we call it, although there are material evidences that portions of it at least were occupied in very remote times by men of high civilization, was present to the mind of our Lord when he said that "the gospel must first be preached unto all the nations." So that the prophecy expands, as the ages roll onwards and the population of this earth increases; and it still demands its fulfillment, embracing the vast multitudes now dwelling on the face of the earth to the number of about 1,450,000,000. Such a consideration may well lead us to the inference that we are now approaching sensibly nearer to the end of the world. There are no other new worlds like America or Australia now to be discovered. The whole face of the earth is now laid open to us; and there is now hardly any part of the world which has not at some time or other received the message of salvation. Ver 11. - And when they lead you to judgment, and deliver you up, be not anxious beforehand what ye shall speak. Our Lord does not mean by this that they were not to premeditate a prudent and wise answer Rut he means that they were not to be too anxious about it. In St. Luke (Luke 21:15) he says, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand or to gainsay." So here, it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost who shall inspire you with wisdom and courage. The words "neither do ye premeditate" (μηδὲ μελετᾶτε) are omitted in the Revised Version, as not having sufficient authority.
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