KMC – Lectionary Notes – 14.11.2021
In Chapter 11 Daniel has been speaking of the time of the end (11:40) and the battles that take place during this period of the world’s history. He goes on to say it is in these days in the time of the Antichrist that the archangel Michael will arise and stand firm, the spiritual warrior and protector of Israel (the Beautiful Land) as both the counterpart and opponent of Satan. The Jewish people are well acquainted with trouble during their history. But the time Daniel writes about will be the worst of all, unlike anything Israel has ever experienced. This is confirmed by Jesus (Matthew 24:21). Satan is furiously trying to overcome the Jewish people (God’s people) and conditions will be terrible.
But in spite of this the Jews are assured of deliverance. God promises to protect and keep those who accept Jesus as the Messiah (those whose names are written in the Book) as He will never break His promise to His people (Genesis 17:7). Daniel tells of two resurrections – one for those who are saved, who will radiate the light of God eternally, and one for those who are damned because they have rejected God. All who have died will rise again.
1 Samuel 2 1-10;
Hannah longed for a child, promising him to God, and God answered her prayer in the birth of Samuel. This passage describes Hannah’s second prayer in which she praises God as she leaves her little boy at the tabernacle. He will never return home to her again, yet on this day, when she makes the greatest sacrifice of her life, her heart is full of worship. She rejoices, not because of the sad circumstances, but in the Lord. It is He who gives her the strength to give up her son. The repetition of telling God He is unique is classic Hebrew poetry which repeats the same sentiment in different ways.
Hannah had been scorned by Peninnah, her husband Elkanah’s other wife for her failure to produce a son. Now Hannah warns Peninnah, as a representative of all proud people to be careful what she says and how she says things as God knows what is in people’s hearts and He knows how to humble those who are proud and elevate the weak. Hannah knew God was in control and she could see His hand in all that was happening. He used His power to put things right. Her mention of the King looks ahead to the Messiah as, at this time, Israel did not have a king.
Hebrews 10 11-25
The priests stood throughout the day as they did their work in the temple, offering their sacrifices day by day. In contrast, Jesus offered His once-and-for-all sacrifice and is now seated at the right hand of God having completed His work. Jesus still ministers in Heaven but He can do so in a position of rest as His ministry flows from His finished work. The reference to Jesus’ enemies as His footstool looks forward to the time when He will return in triumph over His enemies in glory. Whilst His work is capable of saving every person who ever lives, it is only effective in saving those who have accepted Him and so are set apart by God.
The passage speaks of the triune God and His roles – the Father’s will (Hebrews 10:9), the Son’s work (Hebrews 10:12) and the Holy Spirit’s witness (Hebrews 10:15).
The new covenant brings about inner transformation and offers total forgiveness to the extent God no longer remembers the sins that have been committed. As a result there is no longer any need for on-going sacrifice, for even future sin is paid for by Christ’s single sacrifice, and we are able to enter into God’s presence boldly through the blood of Jesus. (This is unlike the Jewish High Priests’ ministry for they entered the Holy of Holies trembling with fear. If they had neglected a single detail they would expect to die). Jesus’ sacrifice and its consequences are just as fresh and real today as they were on the days He died and rose again. The veil tore apart on the day of Jesus’ death, giving access to all who subsequently believe into the presence of God.
Because of this, those who believe can simply draw near to God so they can keep on track with His way and His plan for them, no matter their circumstances. The writer of Hebrews warns his readers not to be discouraged, but to cling to their faith without hesitation for it does not depend on them but on God, who made these promises to all who follow Him, and who is faithful. They were warned not to avoid community when they did feel discouraged, but to encourage one another urging each other on in hope and love. This should occur at all times, but especially as they see the Day of Jesus’ return approaching. This event was no secret and Christians were expected to live as if Jesus’ return is immanent.
MARK 13 1-18
Even today, visitors to Jerusalem marvel at the size of the stones that make up the Western Wall, all that remains of the Temple buildings. Some of these stones were so large that a modern crane could not lift them. The Temple was one of the most magnificent buildings in the world in Jesus’ time. It was built of white marble and much of it was covered in gold plate. The Jews were proud of it. It had been the centre of Jewish worship for 1000 years since Ezra and Zerubbabel had rebuilt it on their return from exile (Ezra 6:15). Herod had added to it and it was now an enormous building which took 80 years to build, only being completed in 63AD. So at the time of Jesus’ visits, it was still being worked on. It had become an idol to many of the Jewish people and it only stood as a complete building for a mere seven years before being destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD when Jerusalem was leveled. As Jesus prophesied, not one stone was left unturned. Legend has it that when it was destroyed, fire melted the gold plates, and the Roman commander ordered each stone to be turned to chip the gold from between the cracks. Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled literally. The Temple has not yet been rebuilt to this day.
It was inevitable the disciples would want to know when this disaster was going to happen. Whilst Mark does not record Jesus’ answer, Luke does (Luke 21:8-23). The disciples wanted some signs. Jesus tells them:
• Christ-followers are to be careful they are not misled by false messiahs who will lie to them
• There will be wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes and famines but these are just the beginning of the
• These things will occur like labour pains, increasing in frequency and strength.
• They should expect persecution for their faith.
• The Gospel must be spread around the world.
• The Holy Spirit will give them the words to say when they are arrested for being a follower of Jesus. (See
Peter’s declaration of faith in Acts 4:1-22)
Many countries persecute Christians today, but Jesus encourages His followers to hold firm to their faith and persevere.
The abomination of desolation is mentioned in Daniel 11:31. Antiochus Epiphanies desecrated the Temple between the Old Testament and the New Testament eras, by offering the flesh of a pig on the altar and setting up brothels in the Temple courts. He also set up a statue of Zeus in the Temple and ordered the Jews to worship it. These things were horrendous to the Jews but this was not what Jesus was talking about for He spoke these words long after these events had happened. Rather, He is speaking about an object so dreadful it will ultimately bring about the judgment of God. Paul expands on this idea, referring to the ‘man of sin … the son of perdition’(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) and Daniel gives a time line of 1290 days from this event to the end (Daniel 12:11) – almost 3 ½ years later – when Jesus will return in triumph to the world.
This event pre-supposes the existence of the Temple in Jerusalem. This was unlikely to happen in earlier centuries, for the Jewish presence has been weak in Israel until 1948 when the land was declared a nation. Since then the Jews have returned in their thousands and there is a small group which exists which are preparing for the rebuilding of the Temple, down to the finest details of what is required to restore their practices for sacrifice.
Jesus goes on to advise what the Jewish people should do when the abomination of desolation appears in the Temple. Whilst some believe that this prophesy was fulfilled in 70 AD when Rome destroyed the Temple, Jesus said later this event would begin the Great Tribulation (Mark 13:19) which would herald the triumphant return of Jesus. Neither of these events has happened so this is unlikely to be the case. When these events do happen the warning is urgent as Jesus tells His followers not to go back but to flee.
Points to Ponder
• Daniel’s account of the end times speak of this period being worse than any other in history – yet God
promises to protect those who accept Jesus and follow Him. How do you feel about both these points – the
horror of the end; the protection of God over His people?
• What does this warning specifically urge you to do in regard to all those who do not accept Jesus as their
Lord and Saviour?
• Hannah prayed often for a son – and God heard and answered. How often and how fervently do you pray for the
unsaved? Do you believe God hears and responds to your prayers for them? Why/why not?
• How does the knowledge that Christ’s death paid the price for all sin – both those you have committed and
any future sins you will commit 1 affect your behaviour and your decision to obey or ignore God’s
• What makes you obey if you know the price has already been paid for any sin you are still going to commit
(for part of the human condition is the brokenness of sin)?
• What does these things say to you personally?
• Are you aware of any signs of Christ’s immanent return to fetch His Bride? How do you feel about this?
• What is God saying to you about these things as a result of your discussion time today?