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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Mark 13

 

 

Verses 1-4

CONTENTS.

The LORD foretells the Destruction of the Temple; and the sad Calamities of the Jews. His solemn Cautions to his Disciples in the Expectation of those woeful Events.

AND as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones, and what buildings are here! (2) And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. (3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, (4) Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

When we read, as in this scripture, of JESUS departing from the temple, and connect with it that it was his farewell departure, for he never again entered it, what solemn thoughts it awakens? When the LORD departs, woe to that land, woe to that house or family, where the LORD's gracious presence is not. No sooner had Lot departed front Sodom than the next account is the destruction of it. Genesis 19:22-24. And who shall say how much the Christless owe in being saved from instant ruin, both in nations, and cities, and families, from the seed of CHRIST living in the midst of them.

This second temple, though so vastly inferior to the glory of the first, or Solomon's temple, so called, that the ancient men who had seen the former, wept at beholding this latter. Ezra 3:12-13. And see the LORD's promise in consequence thereof. Haggai 2:1-9. and which was literally fulfilled when the SON of GOD in our nature entered it: this second temple was a wonderful building. It had been repaired by Herod; and Josephus, the Jewish historian, saith, that some of the stones were of a magnitude even to forty-five cubits long, five high, and six broad. JESUS declared that such should be the desolation of the place, when the LORD visited it for the rejection of CHRIST, that not one of these immense stones should be left upon another. And we are told in history, that when Titus, under whose army Jerusalem was sacked, heard of this prophecy of CHRIST, he endeavoured to counteract it; but such was the impetuosity of his army, that no orders could restrain them, and CHRIST's prediction was literally fulfilled.


Verses 5-27

(5) And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: (6) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (7) And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. (8) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earth quakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (9) But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. (10) And the gospel must first be published among all nations. (11) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. (12) Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son: and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. (13) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (14) But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judea flee, to the mountains: (15) And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take anything out of his house: (16) And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. (17) But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (18) And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. (19) For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. (20) And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. (21) And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or lo, he is there; believe him not. (22) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. (23) But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (24) But in those days, after that tribulation, the Sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light. (25) And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (26) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (27) And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth, to the uttermost part of heaven.

We have had the relation of this judgment of GOD upon Jerusalem, as predicted by our LORD, read to us in Mat 24. throughout the greater part of it, together with observations. It will be the less necessary in this place to enlarge.

In addition to what was there offered, (to which I refer,) let me only request the Reader to consider the importance of the subject itself, which is recorded by Luke also, in the same, or similar solemn circumstances. See Luke 21. throughout; and mark therefrom the awful judgment of GOD upon Jerusalem, the beloved city, in the midst of the LORD's mercies. And I take occasion therefrom, to request the Reader to make the nice, but proper distinction, between Jerusalem as a nation, and Jerusalem as the city of the LORD's inheritance, The HOLY GHOST useth very different words by way of expression, to denote the striking difference between the nation of the Jews, as the people with whom the LORD deposited the covenant, and the giving of the law, and the service of GOD and the promises, and the children of promise in CHRIST. The nation of the Jews are called indeed CHRIST's own; because it was his own nation after the flesh, and his own by creation and right. Thus it is said, that he came to his own, and his own received him not. John 1:11; meaning, that when CHRIST came into the world in the open manifestation of his office character, he came unto his own nation the Jews, and his own nation, as a nation, received him not. But in another part of the same Gospel, when it is said, that JESUS having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. John 13:1. Here the word rendered own, is a very different word from the former, as everyone who can read the original cannot but know. In the first chapter, where CHRIST is said to come to his own, the word means no more than that they were his own as a nation, to which as a Jew he belonged; or as the Creator of them, his own goods, his property. But the other word in the 13th chapter, is a word of peculiar and special nearness and relationship, as a man's own children, his spouse, his brethren; yea, members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Such distinct views will serve to guide the Reader through this chapter, in beholding the miseries of Jerusalem with a different eye from what otherwise might be done; and shew at the same time, how CHRIST's love to his people is never interrupted by all the adverse circumstances to the ungodly.

And while I am upon the subject, I crave the indulgence of the Reader a little longer. In this solemn prediction of CHRIST, the LORD speaks of the awful events which were then coming on, as giving occasion for false Christs and false Prophets to arise, which would, if it were possible, deceive even the very elect. Now that the security of the LORD's people was not in themselves, is evident from our LORD's expression. And indeed, most blessed was it then, that it was not so; and blessed is it in every age of the Church of CHRIST that it is not so; for if it were, the enemy would make sad havock of the LORD's people, mingled as they are with the ungodly. Sometimes the elect springing forth from the loins of ungodly parents in the Adam-nature of existence; and sometimes the elect themselves having ungodly children in the natural generation from father to son. Oh! how would those natural ties, (yea, how often do those naturalties) send forth their mature influence to the great obstruction of grace. Perhaps some Reader of my Poor Man's Commentary, in this place, if a par taker of the grace of GOD in CHRIST JESUS, will enter into my meaning, and find cause therefrom while feeling the truth of it, to lift an eye and heart also, to the GOD of all his mercy! Psalms 59:10.

I would beg to add one observation more, and it shall be short, on those desolating dispensations which the LORD foretold to his disciples, as then hastening upon Jerusalem; and which was not confined to that period, but attacheth itself to the people of GOD, in all ages of the Church; namely, that the true followers of the LORD JESUS should be hated of all men for his name's sake. Reader! I beseech you look to this, as among the truest badge of character. Who is the greatest hater of the LORD's faithful ones now? Who hates with the bitterest hatred the lover of Jesus, that ascribes the whole of salvation where JEHOVAH hath ascribed it, to the LORD JESUS CHRIST and makes his blood and righteousness the sum and substance of all? Who hates such lovers of JESUS most? Not the openly profane; not the infidel of any description or character: but the Pharisee, the self-righteous Pharisee; the same class as was the LORD's bitterest foes in the days of CHRIST's flesh, and are now the bitterest enemies to his fol. lowers, in the day of CHRIST's power.


Verses 28-32

(28) Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: (29) So, ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. (30) Verily I say unto you, That this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. (31) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (32) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

This passage hath been noticed before. Matthew 24:36. to which I therefore refer. I only detain the Reader to remark in addition to what was there observed, that when the LORD Jesus in this verse speaks of the ignorance of the day and hour of those visitations, the words have not the smallest connection, as some have supposed, with the day of future judgment: but is wholly in reference to this destruction of Jerusalem. And concerning this event, those who lived to see it, and were involved in it, and survived it; could form no exact calculation we are told, by their historian, when it began, and when it ended; the miseries were so great and incalculable!


Verses 33-37

(33) Take ye heed, watch and pray for ye know not when the time is. (34) For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. (35) Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning: (36) Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. (37) And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.

The close of this chapter gives occasion to extend our LORD's direction of watchfulness, not only to his disciples of that generation, but to the Church of GOD in all ages. It is blessed, yea, very blessed, for a child of GOD to be always on the lookout for the second coming of CHRIST or what is to the same amount, the day of a man's death. For though to every redeemed soul, in whose heart the work of grace hath been wrought, and being savingly converted from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and Satan to the living GOD that soul is always in an habitual state of preparation, and always ready at a moment's call, to go forth at the Master's call into the world of spirits; yet it is blessed to be in an actual state, waiting, looking, longing for, and hastening to, as the Apostle speaks, for the LORD's coming. Reader! think what a blessed privilege this is, and beg of the LORD Jesus to be so found at his coming. 2 Peter 3:12.


Verse 37

REFLECTIONS.

How little was it apprehended, either by the disciples or the multitude, that when JESUS went out of the temple, as is here represented in the opening of this chapter; he went out to return to it no more! Reader! so ought you, and I, to esteem ordinances, and our attendance on the house of prayer, each time as though it were our last. How differently would they be valued even by those who valued them most, if this thought were always uppermost in our minds?

Reader! while perusing the many awful events foretold by our LORD, in this chapter; how precious the thought! CHRIST's people were safe in the midst of danger. It is, wonderful until explained by GOD the HOLY GHOST, how the LORD's people in all ages live, and are carried on, and carried through, a thousand perils which apparently, seem to threaten destruction to them as well as the ungodly; and yet Noah-like they live out the storm, secured in the Ark CHRIST JESUS. How may every child of GOD, yea how ought every child of GOD to take to himself the comfort of the LORD's assurance; I know the thoughts I think towards you; thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Precious LORD JESUS! thou art my hiding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance!

 


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Mark 13:4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/mark-13.html. 1828.

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Saturday, January 25th, 2020
the Second Week after Epiphany
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