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Jesus Was Right!

Along His way from the desert region of Perea, between Galilee and Judea, heading towards Jerusalem, Jesus in Luke 13:32ff encounters a group of Pharisees.[1] They had come, says Luke, to advise Him to leave the region and “go somewhere else” because, “Herod wants to kill you,” they told Him. However, the Savior wasn’t particularly interested in their advice since they were more likely religious patsies on King Herod’s payroll than faithful emissaries of God. So the Savior tells the Pharisees in Luke 13:32 to “Go tell that fox [Herod], ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’”

Then down in 13:34, upon arriving near Jerusalem, Jesus laments the condition of Israel’s capitol city. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” He says, “you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

This passage has a parallel version in Matthew 24, where Jesus preached His other sermon on the Mount, the Mount of Olives. It was at this time He predicted the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.[2] Within 40 short years of His deadly accurate prophesy, in 70 ad the city and nation of Israel were overrun by the Romans and the temple was destroyed for the last time. Josephus reports that over a million Jews were killed in one of the bloodiest wars of human history. Following that massacre, what Jews were left fled as refugees into areas such as modern Russia, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and Holland. The people would not return to their homeland for literally hundreds of years. Yet, despite their exile and living without a homeland for nearly two thousand years, the Jews never lost their ethnic or national identity and would indeed return one day.

 

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount of Olives

One of the most important, as well as, controversial chapters in the New Testament is Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount of Olives, found in Matthew 24 and 25. It includes some of the most dramatic prophecy in Scripture, straight from the heart of God’s only begotten Son. In response to His prediction that the temple would be destroyed, Jesus’ disciples followed Him up the Mount of Olives and asked Him, “When will this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

If someone were to predict something as shocking as what Jesus had predicted for them that day, they would need it to occur within a reasonable period of time, otherwise they would never escape the dishonorable reputation of being a false prophet. According to Deuteronomy 18:22, that’s exactly what Jesus would have been—a false prophet—had His predictions about Jerusalem and the temple not been fulfilled within a reasonable time period. This is not to suggest that there are not various statements of Jesus that are yet to be more fully fulfilled, but as for what He told His disciples that day, it was—as He said—to be fulfilled with their generation. As a matter of fact, down through the years of Christian history there have been those who have argued that Jesus was indeed wrong about Jerusalem’s future here in Matthew 24. Since they failed to see Jesus’ prediction as pointing to the events of Jerusalem’s fall in 70 ad, their assumption was that He was simply wrong. In his famous essay, Why I Am Not a Christian, the British philosopher Bertrand Russell used this very passage to question both Jesus’ prophetic legitimacy as well as His existence entirely.[3]

When you think about it, is there a prophecy in all of Scripture more shocking than Jesus “Sermon on the Mount of Olives?” We know His “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7 ranks as one of the greatest moral literary pieces in history, but what about His Sermon on the Mount of Olives?

In both Matthew and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ Mount of Olives message, the Savior explicitly tells His disciples that “not one stone here (of the temple) will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down” and that the city of itself would be destroyed. When Jesus made this scandalous prediction, those who heard Him—including His disciples—were faced with His being either a lunatic—if the prophecies didn’t come about—or a prophet of supernatural insight—if they did occur. And that in essence is the situation we face today regarding Jesus’ same sermon on the Mount of Olives. Either He was right and it occurred as He said in 70 ad—Jesus was right!—or He was wrong and none of it has happened and until it does He’s really just another false prophet.

 

“Unfulfilled”

Because of the popularity of today’s premillennialism and rapture centered theology, Jesus’ prophecy on the Mount of Olives has been assigned a status of “unfulfilled.” That Jesus was talking about the “end of the world,” even though the text addresses more specifically, the “end of an age.” The question is what did Jesus mean by “the end?” This study takes the approach that Jesus’ intended time frame was meant to be within what he calls “this generation” in Matthew 24:34. Thus, His prophecy is not left unfulfilled, but fulfilled by the events of 70 ad. There are certainly elements of any biblical prophecy that may be more or less fully understood by God’s people in later times, but the actual fulfillment of what is predicted must be apparent enough so as to deem the prophesy as being accurate or false.

Of course, these things did come to pass in 70 ad, leading to the exile of the Jewish people throughout the world as well as Christians into the surrounding areas. Jesus’ prophecy was not only accurate but proof-positive of His incarnate kinship with God as the Messiah. Had believers not listened to Him and fled to the mountains as He instructed in Matthew 24:16, or left their rooftops and fields without so much as a coat, they would have been annihilated by the onslaught of the Roman invasion of the Generals Vespasian and Titus under the rule of Nero in Rome. So why is it, we might ask, that people are still looking to these prophecies as though they remain unfulfilled?

 

Prophetic Populism

Books like Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth and the Left Behind series by LaHaye and Jenkins have proven globally popular. However, if Jesus was accurate in His prophesies, the question of His timing creates a challenge for these texts since what He said was that “…this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24:34). Yet the afore mentioned books are based on the assumption that His prophecy was not fulfilled but is yet to be fulfilled in the “last days” of earth. The obvious problem is that Jesus said the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, as well as His appearance at the end of the age, were all going to take place within a generation. His hearers and later readers would associate that statement with about forty years. Interestingly some have concluded from studying this passage that Jesus was wrong and simply miscalculated when the end of the world would come. The root source of Albert Schweitzer’s classic Search for the Historical Jesus and subsequent texts that followed his brilliant but erroneous line of scholarship, was based on Jesus apparent “prophetic miscalculation” of God’s scheduled for the end of the world.

To be honest, if Jesus was wrong or even just partially right and therefore, partially wrong, He was, according to Moses in Deuteronomy 18:22, a false prophet. To suggest that He was completely right in His predictions and that every New Testament prophecy—His return from the dead, the future resurrection of believers, the rapture of the saints, and so on—was fulfilled in the first century. That leaves nothing for future fulfillment and seems almost impossible to casual readers of Scripture and serious students of prophecy today. So what are we to conclude?

 

End of the Age

R.C. Sproul explains that what Jesus was talking about when He spoke of the “end of the age” was a special reference to God’s final judgment against Israel, not the end of the world. The end of the age is thus the end of the Jewish nation under God. In other words, the Jewish age and the Old Testament laws that went with it, ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews. In biblical math, God’s people had broken God’s covenant by rejecting Him as the Messiah—that’s one—and the subsequent judgment of the Jews that took place in 70 ad—was the next one—and you add that up to get two which equals Jesus being absolutely and deadly accurate about what He had predicted in His Sermon on the Mount of Olives. Thus, the beginning of the age of the New Testament was launched at that time which included Gentiles being brought into the mix of God’s chosen people by God Himself.

 

Now, Back to our Story

In Matthew 24:3, the disciples come to Jesus privately, asking Him, “‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered, ‘what out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many…” (Matthew 24:3f)

Of course, many have debated this passage and come to various conclusions about its meaning. As mentioned prior, some have explained that Jesus was simply wrong and thus a false prophet. Others have interpreted the Greek term generation to mean something other than what it means in every other Old Testament passage. Still others have suggested that Jesus was speaking about the immediate future (the age) to the exclusion of His promised second coming and the end of the world. Thus, one needs to note that the disciples’ question was specifically about the end of “age,” not the end of the world—although they probably thought both were one and the same. Typically, when Scripture refers to the “end of an age,” its particular reference is to an era defined by the context or specific biblical characteristics, like our Iron Age, Bronze Age, and Ice Age are identified and liberally applied. Therefore, the most reasonable understanding of the passage is that “end of the age” was a reference to the end of the “age of the Jewish nation” that prophetically was giving way to the “beginning of the age of the Gentiles.”

Before going on, it needs to be noted that supersecessionism is not being employed or even implied here, since Judaism was simply being fulfilled by Christ and what came to be called Christianity. Jesus wasn’t sent by God to rehabilitate existing Judaism nor vanquish the Jews by turning His back on them. Categories like “Jews” and “Christian” are simply that, categories that people apply in order to better sort things out in meaningful way to understand things. But as far as “the end of the age” being the end of “Judaism” as replaced by “Christianity,” that’s not what happened at all.

To explore the meaning of this term “end of the age,” we can consider Luke’s version of Jesus’ sermon on the Mount of Olives, which says:

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  (Luke 21:20–24).

 

 

Fair Warning

Jesus was giving His followers fair warning that when they saw Roman armies surround the city of Jerusalem, they were to leave immediately. Now, His advice was unlike any they might have been expected, since in ancient times an invasion meant that people should leave their lands and homes and take refuge within the city, not leave it. That’s why walls were built around densely populated areas such as the city of Jerusalem. In Jesus’s day, the walls around Jerusalem were some 150 feet high. So, when the Romans did attack in 70 ad, they had the formidable task of breaking down those walls in order to lay siege to the city. Josephus says that attack lasted several months. So long, in fact, that by the end of the struggle, the Mount of Olives lay stripped from Roman soldiers cutting down trees and burning them for their campsites and war machines.

Jesus had said, “When you see the armies coming, don’t go to the city. Go to the mountains. Go to the desert. Go anywhere but Jerusalem, because in Jerusalem you will not find safety, but only destruction.” Again, its Josephus who reports that when Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 70ad and the city was destroyed, more than a million Jews were slaughtered. However, the Christians who followed Jesus’ instructions and fled were spared. We can understand why Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He was weeping for His people, who not only rejected Him as God’s Messiah but would suffer the predictable consequences of their rebellion.

Luke 21:24 says, “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Here, Jesus makes the prophetic distinction between the era of the Gentiles and the era of the Jews. Reading in the eleventh chapter of Romans, the Apostle Paul considers the question of ethnic Israel and whether God will work again through the Jewish people. He pointedly says that once the era of the Gentiles is fulfilled, there will be a new outreach to Abraham’s descendants (ethnic Israel).

While most people see Jesus’ words in these passages as describing His Second Coming, Jesus was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem not the end of the world.

“For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:5-8)

The signs are, false prophets, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. But how could these signs be the signs of the end? Has there ever been a time when there were not wars or rumors of wars? A time when there were not earthquakes or famines? Before and since Jesus’ day, there have been countless false prophets and false Messiahs. So, it seems reasonable to ask, that if these things have always been with us, in what sense were they meant to be signs at all?

In order for these to be signs, in the prophetic sense, they would need to occur in a significant way and within an equally significant time frame. At least if the word significant—which literally means, “having signal-value”—has any definitive value in this context. Josephus happened to write extensively about the signs of times in his era, the same in which Jesus lived. And the signs he mentions are found in Jesus’ sermon. For instance, Josephus wrote about numerous false prophets in his day, many of which claimed to be the Jewish Messiah. He recorded no less than four famines that occurred between 41-50 ad. He recounted two earthquakes, one during the reign of Caligula and the second during the reign of Claudius. These emperors were followed by Nero, who introduced persecution against Christians that Jesus had warned about. Jesus said in Matthew 24:9f, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” What’s more, Jesus predicted that His followers would be persecuted, killed, and betrayed by one another. The great fire that destroyed Rome in 63 ad, allegedly set by Nero, who blamed it on the Christians. The emperor even used Christians as human torches to light up his palace gardens. In utter diabolical insanity, Nero unleashed horrible persecutions against both Christians and Jews in Rome. Surely this was the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in both Matthew and Luke.

 

Jesus was Right!

In other words, Jesus was absolutely, unequivocally and most importantly, prophetically right! Everything that He said happened just as He had said it would. What’s more, it happened to the people to whom Jesus had given warnings and were saved because of those warnings by the thousands. So, why would He give first-century disciples warnings about what was going to happen 2,000 years later?

 

The Abomination that Causes Desolation

In 168 bc, the pagan ruler Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) had the unmitigated gall to build a pagan altar in the Jewish temple and sacrifice a pig. This was the ultimate blasphemy, because the Jews view pigs as unclean according to Levitical law. This unholy desecration would prompt the Maccabean Revolt, one of the most important revolutions in Jewish history.

Among the faithful Jews of that day, this was seen as an atrocity as well as a direct fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in 9:27. Jesus’ use of the infamous term in His sermon on the Mount of Olives is as follows:

 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.” (Matthew 24:15-28).

Jesus’ reference to “the abomination that causes desolation” is a bit of a biblical mystery even though it serves as the supreme sign to indicate the nearness of His prophecy’s fulfillment. Antiochus’ blasphemous acts in the past were certainly abominable, but Jesus was referring to something yet to come. So, what, we might ask, did Jesus have in mind?

In 40 ad, Emperor Caligula commanded a statue of himself be erected inside the Jewish temple. Of course, this provoked Israel who were spared further conflict when Caligula up and died before the statue could be built. However, just a few years later, and only a year before Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 ad, a sect of radical Zealots took over the temple and made it into a military base. These radical Jews were passionate about overthrowing the Roman rule of Israel. Once they occupied the temple, they committed all kinds of horrible acts. Josephus denunciated the desecration that the Zealots committed against the temple. But was that what Jesus had in mind?

Another possibility would have been the Roman standards (individual banners on poles held by infantry troops) that were carried by Roman soldiers with images considered idolatrous by the Jews. The presence of such military regalia in their temple would certainly have been considered an abomination.

While it may be difficult to nail down exactly which particular incident Jesus had in mind with His reference, what we do know is that during the Roman siege of Jerusalem, the people who followed His instructions were spared and those who didn’t were slaughtered.

 

Phenomena

In Matthew 24:29ff, Jesus says:

“Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:29-35).

Historical record indicates that all the things Jesus predicted about the destruction of Jerusalem came to pass within the generation of His prophecy. So what about v.29, where He says, “Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’” Can we imagine how glad the skeptics would be to say, “that never happened! Jesus was just wrong.” Or what about vv.33&34 where Jesus says, “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Yes, we can say that Jesus used phrases like “this generation will not pass away” or words like “immediately” as though they were to be taken figuratively instead of literally, but what about the time frame? Does Scripture regularly describe things figuratively or literally in terms of time? Or better yet, how are the predictions of God’s cosmic judgment usually described? Literally or figuratively?

Throughout the Old Testament, there were various prophetic warnings offered Israel concerning God’s impending judgment. Ezekiel is a great example with some of the more bizarre descriptions, such as in chapter one with the whirling merkabah, (the wheel within the wheel). This kind of language can be found in describing the ministries of Elijah and Elisha as well. In Matthew 24, similar language is used by Jesus in warning God’s people of what was to come.

In Matthew 24:30 Jesus says, “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.” Josephus observed that between 60-70 ad, a blazing comet crossed through the sky…A few days after the Feast of Pentecost, a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon occurred or appeared…the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.

So again, it seems that the most natural understanding of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:29-35 would be that what He said would happen, happened. He was not referring to some distant fulfillment but to the judgment upon the nation of Israel that took place in 70 ad.

 

God and Man

Many readers are bothered by the fact that Jesus says He doesn’t know the day or the hour of His final return. If that’s the case, how could He know that it would be within forty years? It would require supernatural knowledge to be able to predict the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem with such astonishing accuracy if that were case wouldn’t it? Why couldn’t Jesus give us more specific details?

This isn’t much of a problem if we have a proper understanding of Jesus’ incarnation. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 ad clearly acknowledged the mysterious nature of the incarnation, confessing Christ as having two natures—divine and human—in one person. The council stated that Jesus is vera homo, vera deus, meaning “truly man and truly God.” His true humanity is united with the true divinity of the second person of the Godhead. The boundary that the council established is seen in the Chalcedonian Creed’s insistence that this union was without mixture, confusion, separation, or division. Each nature retained its own attributes. This means that the incarnation did not result in a single, mixed nature where the deity and the humanity are blended together such that the divine is not fully divine and the human is not fully human, resulting in a tertium quid—“a third thing” that is neither God nor man but something else. The Church Council was careful to maintain that each nature of Jesus retains its own attributes. A deified human nature is no longer human and a humanized divine nature is no longer divine. But in the incarnation, the attributes of deity remain in the divine nature and the attributes of humanity remain in the human nature.

Jesus says in v.37, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Today’s world is filled with those who scoff like Noah’s critics. Even though the Savior warned that each of will be called to account at judgment, no one knows when it will take place. Jesus says in vv.43&44, “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

 

Duty

The concept of doing one’s duty is an important theme in Jesus’ Olivet sermon. As He concludes, He speaks of the faithful servant who executes his duties well and in a timely fashion, and the wicked servant who does not. Jesus has been warning His disciples all along to diligently to watch for His return.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:45–51).

The word that Jesus uses that is translated “servant” is sometimes translated “slave.” While most people have a negative reaction to hearing the word, the great irony of the New Testament teaching is that no one ever becomes truly free until they become just that; a slave of Christ. All of us are slaves to one thing or another. Paul describes the Christian’s status saying in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “…You are not your own.” Paul’s point was that Christians can never consider themselves independent or autonomous.

Jesus spoke of the faithful servant who was responsible not only to provide food for the household, but also to provide it on time. He states that the servant would be blessed if the master found him doing his job when he returned. The faithful and wise servant, is the one who does what his master expects him to do. The master will give that servant even more responsibility and esteem because he has been faithful in the things given to him. This echoes Jesus’ words in Luke 16:10 that he who wants to be given more responsibility in the kingdom must first be faithful in little things.

“It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns,” says Jesus in vv.48-51, “Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The wicked servant is neither faithful nor wise. He is like the fool in Psalm 53:1 who says in his heart, “There is no God.” The most serious and fatal self-delusion of the wicked is their belief that God will not judge them. Many are tempted to think this way. In this passage, Jesus is addressing those who assume that the Master will never return. They think this gives them license to do whatever they want. No supervision. No faithfulness. No trust. No wisdom.[4]

So was Jesus wrong or just partially right, and was He, according to Deuteronomy 18:22, a false prophet. To suggest that He was completely right in His predictions and that every New Testament prophecy (i.e., His return, the future resurrection, the rapture of the saints, etc.) was fulfilled in the first century, leaving nothing for future fulfillment, seems almost unbelievable. But His being wrong is simply unacceptable, so what are we to do?

We take the passage for what it says. That Jesus was answering the disciples’ question directly that they had asked regarding the “end of the age.” They wrongly assumed that the end of the age meant the end of the world and as we have found out, that was not the case at all. The end of the age was end of the age of the Jews and the Old Testament laws that were ended with the destruction of Jerusalem. Because the Jews had broken God’s covenant by rejecting His only Son. Thus, the beginning of the age of the New Testament was launched that included Gentiles into the mix of God’s chosen people… Jesus was right, after all…

As mentioned above, Jesus predicted that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed, including the desolation of the temple. This would give rise to more than a little controversy later, as His prophecy would be used to charge Him with threatening the holy city of Jerusalem.[5] Later, in Matthew 26:16 a couple of town scoundrels would serve as witnesses against Jesus on charges that He was a threat to the Jewish state.[6]

 

Note the columned Gospel parallels provided below:

 

Matthew 23:37-39 Luke 13:34-35
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone those sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her brood of little chicks under her wings, and you refused! 38 Now your temple will be desolate. 39 So, what’s left to say other than this: I will be gone soon. The next time you see Me you’re going to say, ‘He is blessed of God! He’s come to bring God’s rule.’”   noganã “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you refused! 35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (WEB)

[1] This passage is also found in Matthew 23:37f, but the first Gospel doesn’t specify that they were “Pharisees” as does Luke.

[2] See JFB

[3] Originally Russell’s comments were given as a talk on March 6, 1927 at Battersea Town Hall, under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society. It was later published as a pamphlet and has been republished several times.

[4] R. C. Sproul, Are These the Last Days?, First edition., vol. 20, The Crucial Questions Series (Orlando, FL; Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust; Ligonier Ministries, 2014), 1–55.

[5] Ibid., Mark 14:58.

[6] The author has copyrighted his translation of verses as nogan Unless otherwise noted, all other quotations arChapter 25m”l Be Shortened”tion.end that no one comes to the Father but by Christes..