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Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 22
Jesus Tells of His Second Coming

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 24:1-36, Mark 13:1-37, Luke 17:20-24, 37, 21:5-36

Jesus and His disciples left the temple and went to the Mount of Olives opposite the temple. Jesus told the disciples about two future events - the destruction of the temple and His second coming. Matthew, Mark and Luke discuss the two events together rather than in chronological order, and in some places it is not clear which event is being discussed.

The early Christians eagerly awaited Jesus' return. They expected it to come at any moment despite Jesus' warning that no one but God knows the "day and hour." The destruction of the temple did occur in 70 A.D., but we are still waiting for Jesus to return.

1. Jesus had previously hinted at the destruction of the temple. Now he told His disciples in plain language that the temple would be destroyed and "not one stone here will be left on another" (Matthew 24:1-3, Mark 13:1-4, Luke 21:5-7). The prediction was accurate. After the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 A.D., all that was left of the magnificent temple was part of the base it was built on - the "Wailing Wall" that is now a holy site for Jews.

This prediction prompted the disciples to ask several questions of Jesus. What were they?

2. What warnings did Jesus give His disciples about trying to interpret signs of His second coming? (See Matthew 24:4-8, 23-28, Mark 13:5-8, 21-23, Luke 17:20-24, 37, 21:8-11.)

3. a) What warnings did Jesus give His disciples about the cost of being His follower? (See Matthew 24:9-14, Mark 13:9-13, Luke 21:12-19.)
b) What lessons do these warnings have for Christians of today?

4. The "abomination that causes desolation" (Matthew 24:15-22, Mark 13:14-20, Luke 21:20-24) is a reference to the prophecy in Daniel 9:25-27, 11:31, 12:11. That prophecy was fulfilled in 167 B.C. when Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, banned the practice of Judaism and desecrated the temple by sacrificing a pig to Zeus on the temple altar. Jesus predicted a similar event before the destruction of the temple and warned His followers to flee the city when it occurred.

Jesus' prediction was accurate. The historian Josephus recorded that the Romans killed over a million Jews and took another 100,000 captive when they attacked Judea and destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. It was only by fleeing that Jesus' followers survived.

a) Did Jesus know exactly when the destruction of the temple would occur?
b) How did Jesus reassure His disciples that God would still be in control, despite the horror of those days?

5. Jesus warned his disciples against being misled by false prophets (Matthew 7:15-20, 24:5, 23-26, Mark 13:5, 21-22, Luke 17:23-24, 21:8). Who are the false prophets of today? What things do they say that misrepresent Jesus' teachings?

6. What will the second coming of Jesus be like? Describe it in your own words. (See Matthew 24:27-31, Mark 13:24-27, 14:62, Luke 17:24, 21:25-27, John 14:1-4, Acts 1:10-11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-3, Revelation 20:1-15, 22:12-13.)

7. When will Jesus come again? (See Matthew 16:28, 24:14, 24:34-36, Mark 9:1, 13:10, 13:30-32, Luke 9:27, 21:32-33.)

8. a) What advice did Jesus give to His disciples regarding His second coming?
b) What lesson can we learn from that advice? (See Mark 13:33-37, Luke 21:34-36.)

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