Jesus the King

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During the final week of Jesus' life, He began to prepare His disciples for what was ahead. In a detailed discourse found in Matthew 24 and 25, He warned them that His time was nearing an end, prophesied the coming destruction of Jerusalem and described His eventual return to earth.

The discussion began when, on the way up the Mount of Olives with its magnificent view of the temple complex in Jerusalem, the disciples pointed out the splendor of the temple. Herod the Great had rebuilt the Second Temple, making it the largest temple complex in the Roman Empire. But when the disciples pointed out its grandeur, Jesus told them it would one day be destroyed.

Once they arrived at a quiet place, the disciples asked, "When will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming?" (Matt. 24:3; Luke 21:7). Jesus responded by first describing soldiers and an embankment surrounding Jerusalem, the city being leveled to the ground and not one stone of the temple being left on another.

These very events were later documented by the historian Josephus Flavius when he described the AD 70 Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem in The Wars of the Jews. He explained that when the temple was burned, the gold that covered some of the walls melted and ran down in-between the stones. Roman soldiers then dismantled the temple stone by stone to ransack the cooled gold in-between them. Archaeologists have uncovered temple stones that were tossed over the outside walls and piled in the valley below.

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Jesus went on to warn His followers of their own persecution and then began to describe His eventual return to the earth. He explained that He was returning in His glory to take up His glorious throne. At that time, He would gather the nations before Him and judge them based on their treatment of the Jewish people.

Jesus had been born as a man to die on man's behalf — not to confront the Roman Empire. But when He returns, He will confront all the nations on earth. The return of the King of kings to earth will bring this world under His rule and set everything right. Until then, we are to remain watchful and faithful because we do not know the hour of His coming.

Join me for this week's Out of Zion podcast on "Jesus the King." Susan's Walk Thru the New Testament is the final quarter of her year-long Walk Thru the Bible series. Get started right away by downloading our Bible reading plan! Invite your friends and family to join us!

Dr. Susan Michael is USA director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and host of the Out of Zion podcast.

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