In previous studies in Mark, the reader has noticed the Book is split into 5 natural sections, of which Mark 11-15 are the 4th division. Perhaps needless to say, this section is replete with fulfillments of Messianic prophecies, teachings and actions… of course, the ultimate of these being the Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, followed by His thrice-foretold resurrection. The careful student would do well to reference the many Old Testament passages which Jesus is fulfilling during this week (ex. “Riding on a Donkey,” Zechariah 9:9). A good reference or study Bible will help.
Even during this passion week, Jesus was training his disciples. Even during his false trial, execution and resurrection he was moulding them, allowing their faith to be tested, shaping their worldview, their view of self and their view of Him. After he was raised from the grave, he taught them for 40 days concerning the kingdom of God, before commissioning them (Mark 16).
Mark 11 — 15 | The Passion Week of Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah
11:1-26 — The Triumphal Entry; The Fig Tree’s Curse: A Lesson for Disciples’ Faith and Israel’s Usefulness, Cleansing the Temple (“Zeal for thine house hath eaten me up” Psalm 69:9).
11:27-12:40 — The Authority of Jesus Challenged & Answered; Various Disputations with Adversarial Religious Elites and a Warning to Disciples about Religious Pride
12:41-44 — True Giving, True Worship of God
13:1-37 — Prophecies about the End.
13:1-2 — Christ makes prophecy about the destruction of the 2nd Temple, A.D. 70.
13:3-8 — The “beginnings of birth pains,” or signs of the time which is before the Great Tribulation, a.k.a. End of the Church Age, or the Last Days. WE ARE IN THIS TIME NOW.
13:9-13 — Instructions to faithful (Jewish & Gentile) disciples living through the Beginnings of Birth Pains, the time just before the Great Tribulation. Many things will test their faith, but those who endure in faith till the end of their life and/or the End of the Church Age will be saved (a.k.a. delivered, preserved) as by the Rapture… and will not see the Great Tribulation.
13:14-23 — Instructions to faithful believers who believe after the Rapture and during the Great Tribulation. Reference verse 19, which states, “there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be….”). This has not yet occurred.
13:24-27 — Jesus makes prophecy about His Second Coming, “in those days, after that Tribulation…”
13:28-31 — Jesus speaks to both “future” audiences: those before the Great Tribulation & those during it. He alludes to the Fig Tree/Israel, which he cursed earlier. When Israel (as a nation) comes back into usefulness for God (Rom. 11; Israel was brought back in 1948), then only one generation (70-80 yrs. according to Psalm 90:10) remain until “ALL these things take place.”
Mark 13:32-37 — Jesus then says, “BUT Concerning THAT Day or THAT Hour, no one knows…” which means:
> The “But” indicates shift in address. He is no longer talking about the Second Coming.
> That Day = the Great Tribulation Period is often referred to as “That Day” or “The Day” in the entirety of the Bible, especially the Old Testament prophets (see also 2 Peter 2:9).
> That Hour = Again, the Great Tribulation Period is often referred to as “the Hour” of Tribulation (Revelation 3:10; 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9) from which the true Church will be preserved by Rapture.
Just as the Rapture is imminent, even so the Great Tribulation immediately follows the imminent Rapture and is in its own way imminent. Without the cease and removal of “the one who now hinders,” no Great Tribulation and unveiling of the Son of Perdition is possible (2 Thess. 2:7). This interpretation of the Mark passage is not only fitting the immediate context but also upholds the entire biblical context of the terms’ usage. Furthermore, it upholds the doctrine of imminence. The Rapture can happen at any moment. Only the Father knows when He will tell His Son to fetch His Bride, which alludes also to the statutes of Jewish marriage, which were Old Testament types for Jesus and His Bride. Many often confuse verses 32-37 with the Second Coming, but truly they speak of the Rapture which imminently precede and is necessary for the Beginning of the Great Tribulation.
Mark 14:1-15:72 — The Selfless Passover Lamb of God is Anointed, Betrayed, Sacrificed and Buried for Our Sins
The Disciples are scattered as sheep with no shepherd, faith in a Messiah of their ideals tattered, grieving their own weakness.
…to be continued…