||In my opinion, Mark 13 blends
the near perspective of Luke with the far perspective of Matthew, so that
from verse to verse it is often difficult outside of particular statements
to know how he is ordering or applying Jesus’ words. Presumably this
was done purposely to parallel the tribulation of the first century with
the Great Tribulation in the end-time.
||Note that here Matthew includes
the question “and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of
the age?” in the apostles’ words, while Lk. 21:7 records only their question
about the temple’s destruction.
||Matthew describes the persecution
of the disciples as occurring after the events both he and Luke list, but
the persecution Luke describes here occurs, as he puts it, “before all
this.” It is my opinion that Matthew is emphasizing the universal
experience of the saints, while Luke is emphasizing the experience of the
||Notice that Luke does not include
Matthew’s phrase “to the end.” I believe this is because Matthew
is pointing toward the end of the age, while Luke is concentrating here
on events of the 1st century.
||Luke does not here include the
phrase “unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to
be equaled again,” as does Matt. 24:21. Luke, then, is not referring
here to the ultimate Tribulation, but to the razing of Jerusalem in 70
||Although Jesus’ words as recorded
here have an application to the apostles’ experience in the first century,
Matthew’s overall emphasis appears to be on the end of the age (cp. Lk.
||A phrase Luke does not include
in Lk. 21:19, because the two writers are emphasizing different time frames.
||A severity not depicted in Lk.
21:23, again due to the different time frames emphasized by the writers.
||Luke includes this in Jesus’
discussion of his return in Lk. 17:22-37. Jesus may have repeated
himself in the Olivet Discourse, or else Matthew decided for editorial
purposes to include a snippet of that teaching here.
||I believe this to be Luke’s
transition to the end of the age, for he goes on to introduce the return
of Christ. The trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles is ongoing,
even though Israel is back in Palestine. They cannot do anything
with Jerusalem that they wish (such as raze the Muslim structures in the
temple area and rebuild their own temple). And other Scriptures teach
that toward the end of the age Israel will again be invaded and its people
taken into captivity, however brief.
||This phrase contradicts the
dispensationalist notion that a reconstituted Israel is being talked about
in the guise of a fig tree—not only does Jesus not restrict his words to
fig trees, but he also has not mentioned a reconstituted Israel at all.