1. Introduction – Mark 13 is hard to understand (and hard to preach!)
  1. Interpretive key – prophetic “telescope” (proleptic fulfillment)
  1. Near future events are seen together (“combined”) with far future events.
  1. Near future events become a foreshadowing/paradigm for far future events.


  1. Purpose
  1. Warnings (Mark 13:5, 9, 23, 33-36)
  1. Encouragement (Mark 13:13b, 20, 26, 31)
  1. Reliability of Christ’s Word

“I have told you all things beforehand” (Mark 13:23b).

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31).

“The Word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

  1. Christ’s promises are reliable and true.
  1. Forgiveness of sins
  1. Eternal life
  1. Salvation
  1. Presence


  • Abomination that causes desolation (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14)
  • “Son of Man” (Dan. 7:13; Mark 13:26)
  • The Last Day = “The Day of the Lord,” “that Day” (Joel 2:1-14; Mark 13:32)
  • Those days = Last Days (Mark 13:17, 19, 24)
  • Tribulation (trouble)


Mark 13:1 Herod’s Temple was very impressive (cf. Josephus)
vv. 2-8

(Jewish War)

Earthquakes and famines leading up to First Jewish War

First Jewish War (66-70 A.D.)

Destruction of Jerusalem  type for judgment on all nations on the Last Day / Day of the Lord

Note: Earthquake when Jesus died on the cross! 

vv. 9-11


Mission work of Peter and Paul in Acts (including Paul’s testimony before Festus, Felix, Agrippa, and possibly Caesar)
vv. 12-13

(All times)

Christian disciples will be persecuted and betrayed by their own families (cf. Micah 7:6).
vv. 14-22 Abomination of Desolation (likely Phanni)  type for antichrist/man of lawlessness (cf. 2 Thess. 2:3-4).

Inspired by Antiochus IV’s actions in 166 B.C.

False christs (messiahs) and false prophets

vv. 24-27

(The Last Day)

Sun and moon darkened, stars fall from heaven, 

Son of Man (Jesus) returns in clouds, angels gather the elect

vv. 28-31 Parable of the Fig Tree
vv. 32-36 No one knows the day or hour—not even Jesus!  So stay awake!


~530 B.C. Daniel writes his prophetic vision
166-164 B.C. Seleucid Greek King Antiochus Epiphanes IV

Jewish revolt led by the Maccabees

~29 A.D. Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension
40’s – 50’s A.D. Mark’s Gospel written

Famine in Judea

50’s – 60’s A.D. Book of Acts (events)

Paul testifies before Festus, Felix, Herod Agrippa, and possibly Caesar

70 A.D. Famine in Rome 

Destruction of Jerusalem

79 A.D. Mt. Vesuvius eruption destroys Pompeii
The Last Day (TBD) Christ (the Son of Man) returns in glory to set the world to rights