Through the Bible Day by Day
And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!
Our Lord departed from the Temple, never again to enter its sacred precincts or to open His mouth in public teaching. When He withdrew, the whole system of Judaism was given over to desolation, and the predictions spoken at this time were minutely fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem under Titus. The Temple was blotted out-indeed, a ploughshare passed over its site; the people were sold into slavery or butchered in the gladiatorial shows; their nationality was obliterated; and their land given to strangers. For more than eighteen centuries the holy places have been defiled.
Christ’s words contain a further reference to His second advent. The signs here mentioned were carefully scanned by the early Christians, as one after another they were fulfilled. They saw the Roman world convulsed by rival claimants for the imperial purple; they knew by bitter experience the brunt of the world’s hatred; they realized that by the labors of the great apostle of the Gentiles, and others, the gospel had been preached throughout the known world-and when these signs were being fulfilled, and the Roman eagles gathered to prey on the carcass of Judaism, from which the life had passed, they hastened to flee to Pella, from whence they beheld the collapse of the Jewish state.
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
The fall of Jerusalem, Mar_13:14-23. This abomination had been predicted by Daniel, Dan_9:27, Josephus says that the Romans brought their standards into the Temple, and offered sacrifices to them, and proclaimed Titus emperor. Probably there is to be a yet further fulfillment of these significant words. Houses in the East are, for the most part, provided with staircases outside the wall, so that the occupants, seeing the approach of danger, could flee without going through their homes, Mar_13:15. The ungodly owe more than they realize to the elect who dwell among them, Mar_13:20. Let us not be deceived by the appearance of false doctrines or teachers; there are also false Christs, Mar_13:22.
The second advent, Mar_13:24-27. These signs may refer to the disorganization of political rule, or to literal convulsions of the elements. The ministry of angels was very real to Jesus, and their function in the future ages is clearly defined. As Enoch was translated before the deluge, so will the saints be gathered before the final sorrows, 1Th_4:14-17. It would seem as if Christ’s coming is to bring summer to our world. This generation may refer to the fact that the Jewish people would remain as a distinct people. Our Lord had so emptied Himself, that in His human nature He knew not the hour, and was content to know only as the Father told Him. He has now resumed the glory of the knowledge which He had before all worlds. Have we each one found our work? Let us watch!