Mark's Little Apocalypse

What is the purpose of this story?Did Jesus really say this?

Histroical Context of Mark's Gospel

This Gospel was created shortly after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. It was meant for an audience who was deprived of there faith and had no contact with God. The main purpose of this Gospel had been to give hope to the distraught people at the time and give them a link to God, as well as a way to live through this struggle.

What Happens in this story

In this story Jesus is speaking to his disciples, who are in awe about the large buildings in Jerusalem, about what is to come. He speaks about the destruction of the temple and about the many false prophets to come, and warns them that many will come in his name. He also references the story of the fig tree as a way of telling them that when they see these things happening to be prepared for war and what is to come.

Message of this Story for its Intended Audience

Mark created this story as a way of retelling the events that had occurred during the Jewish Roman War by Jesus. This would shock and awe his audience, who had been religiously decimated due to the events which transpired, that Jesus who had been prophesized as the Messiah/King of the Jews was able to foretell what will happen. This story gave hope to its readers and a way of coping with the events transpiring, as well as instructions on what to do now.

Characters of this Story, and Key Location

Question of Historical Reliability, and New Meaning Today

Would Jesus Really Have Known This?

Many scholars including myself do not believe Jesus had actually predicted the events which occurred. One reason this would be near impossible is the fact that this is so detailed the only logical way someone would know this is if they were there. Another reason is because Christian prophecy, which many have decided this is, as stated by M. Eugene Boring, " this was never conceived as the words of Jesus spoken in the past - even the recent past - and handed down to the christian situation, but always as the message of the contemporary Christ" ( Sayings of the Risen Jesus: Christian Prophecy in the Synoptic Tradition) this means that this is based of what the "post-Easter Lord now saids. This would mean that it is not directly the original words of Jesus, but just what the Gospel writer thought he heard from the lord to write about.

What Would This Mean Today?

To people today this would not have as much of an influence as it was orignally meant to for Jews durring the First Jewish-Roman War. Today this story would be nothing to most people, but a retelling of the events durring the Jewish-Roman War, or a possible prediction of events to come like the book of Revelations. To people who are still in agony or poverish this story is still a prophecy of hope, and a warning of false phrophets/leaders to come.

Information Sources

Sayings of the Risen Jesus: Christian Prophecy in the Synoptic Tradition

By M. Eugene Boring

Image Sources