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Mark 13:1-6 Not One Stone Will Be Left Upon Another

Posted by adventbiblestudy on February 23, 2013


Mark 13:1-6 NLTse As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.” (2)Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” (3) Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, (4) “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?” (5) Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, (6) for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.

Jesus spent the entire day in the temple court teaching parables and answering questions from each group of the religious leaders. Answering the first question established Jesus’ source of knowledge. The priests asked Jesus where He received His authority. This question was in reference to Jesus’ actions the preceding day when He turned over the money tables and freed all the sacrificial animals. This was also a fulfillment of prophecy. One in a series designed to reveal Jesus as God’s Son and teach lessons many would understand after His sacrifice. This served a number of purposes. It showed the disciples how to handle situations when people approach with the intent to create a confrontation. It also reminded the disciples to look to scripture and rely on the Spirit to provide explanations.

Next Jesus taught a parable about a landlord who constructed a vineyard and rented it to a group of ungrateful tenants. Jesus wanted them to think about the preparation the landlord dedicated to the vineyard. Vines and orchards were planted, wells dug and a watering system supplied. Stones collected and arranged to fence and protect vines and trees. Homes and a tower designed and constructed to serve the needs of the tenants as well as the vineyard. Every detail was supplied to guarantee a successful harvest. As a whole, the vineyard was prepared beyond the means and expertise of any of the tenants. When the harvest was ready the landlord sent servants to collect his rightful portion. Lack of appreciation, greed and self exultation convinced the tenants to beat the landlord’s servants, sending them home empty handed. The patient landlord send more servants. The tenants now filled with over confidence, convinced themselves they were responsible for all the work and preparation that went into the harvest and it was their right to do with it as they wished. Greed blackened their hearts making murder far more favorable than giving up a portion of the crop. The landlord did not want to give up on the tenants. He decided to send his son thinking they would respect him and come to their senses. Instead they worked a scheme inside their twisted minds to kill the son. Sin hardened their hearts and distorted their minds to such a degree, they believed they would inherit the vineyard by killing the son. They forgot the father still lived, and had forces at his command beyond their imagination.

The religious leaders knew the parable was about them. They knew they were the greedy tenants. This illustrated how they interpreted prophecies about Jesus. They understood a portion, then filled in the remaining details based on an interpretation best suiting their needs and desires, the same way the tenants justified their actions. They understood only a small portion of this parable. They were the tenants. They could not see the vineyard represented the world, the harvest and end of the world, the landlord, God, and of course his son, Jesus. The key point they missed was the harvest, representing the end of this world, and crops, the souls they were hired to bring to God. They understood a small portion of the parable ….. showing how they understood only a small portion of prophecy. It was evident they had no relationship with Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit. There was no way they could correctly understand or teach any prophecy.

Next the Pharisees and supporters of Herod confronted Jesus. This showed how religion will compromise with a corrupt government when the situation suits their desires. Instead of being the guiding light to a misguided government, they join forces, becoming a far more dangerous weapon in the hands of the enemy. Prophecy was being fulfilled and foretold in more ways than the disciples could imagine. Once again the subject returned to money, the real reason religious and government leaders join forces. In this case they used money as a tool to trap and kill Jesus. Little did they realize, Jesus provided the answer the day before when He turned the tables over, leaving the money behind. Jesus not only provided an unexpected answer, He also reminded the disciples to review events to understand the deeper message.

Finally the Sadducees confronted Jesus. They abandoned their most precious doctrine to attack Jesus by asking a question about a wife whose husband died, married seven brothers. The question was so ridiculous, Jesus provided the only answer they deserved. “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” (Mark 12:24 NLTse). He also pointed them back to scripture, hoping they would consult God’s Word and Spirit.

There was one of them who patiently stood and listened to Jesus. That man asked Jesus a question. “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NLTse). Jesus could see the man asked a sincere question. He told the man he was not very far from God’s Kingdom in Heaven. Jesus could see the man understood how each of the answers was also related to a relationship with God. Returning crops for the harvest, giving to God what is God’s, and the most important commandment all pointed to a relationship with God, Jesus came to teach. Jesus knew the man was where the Spirit needed him to be. Jesus never told the man to give up this or that belief, or stop associating with other Sadducees. Jesus left the man in the capable hands of the Spirit. He was right where he needed to be, just like Jesus was, fulfilling prophecies according to God’s perfect timing.

Jesus also warned His disciples not to be like the Pharisees, but to be like the poor women giving all she had. He wanted them to be honored in Heaven like her. Not in this world, but to go unnoticed like the woman.

When they left the temple, the disciples didn’t ask about a relationship with God Jesus taught. They didn’t question Jesus about the prophecies He fulfilled that day. They did not review the scripture He pointed them to. Instead the disciples asked about the very subject that caused the fall of the religious leaders, prophecy. The disciples looked at prophecy in the same manner the religious leaders did, as a tool to gain wealth, power, respect, which resulted in the appearance of being blessed by God. Their minds shifted between gaining everything they wanted by helping Jesus take the throne, to using prophecy to gain a following.

After seeing Jesus fend off one attack after another from each of the religions groups and Herod’s supporters, one of the disciples pointed out their greatest pride and achievement, the grand structure of the temple. Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” Jesus was not only referring to the stone temple, but the religious organization including their established form of worship. Everything would change. Not one detail would remain. The only thing was, at the time, the disciples didn’t realize they were the ones who were going to play a key role in rebuild a new, living temple. How was Jesus going to prepare them for this monumental task? Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.” He wanted them to remember one of the most important rules to guide them. Always consult God. Do not rely on the wisdom or claims of any man.

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