Skip to main content

Astronomical Prophets

The Gospel of Mark Chapter 13 begins with Jesus' disciples pointing out the great stones of the temple. Jesus predicts that the temple will be destroyed and then ask when it will happen, when the temple's stones will all be thrown down.  The rest of the chapter is all about this.  To the disciples the permanent destruction of the temple means that the end of the age, the end of the world as they know it.  Jesus uses language similar to that used by Old Testament prophets to describe destruction of cities - he describes it as the stars falling from heaven.

“But in those days, following that distress,

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ (Mark 13:24-25)

Compare this with a prophecy of Isaiah about the destruction of Babylon

The stars of heaven and their constellations
    will not show their light.
The rising sun will be darkened
    and the moon will not give its light. (Isaiah 13:10)

Isaiah's prophecy came true, Babylon was destroyed but the stars did not stop showing their light - the language used was poetic intending to highlight the seriousness and permanence of the judgment.  The same was true of Jesus' prophecy about Jerusalem and the temple in Mark 13.  The stars didn't actually fall but in 70AD, within a generation of Jesus' prophecy, the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed.



Popular posts from this blog

The Power that Perseveres

The dictionary defines hope as looking out for something good; a belief that what we wish for will come. Are you hoping for the positive outcome of your dream, a sickness, or finances? Do you see the desired end result in your mind's eye so vividly that you can almost touch it? What is your hope based on? Were you very excited yesterday when the stock market jumped or the doctor gave an optimistic prognosis? How about today, when the market had a sudden drop and the hospital reported further complications in your condition? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1).  Now, what does that mean? You mean that no matter how hard it gets and when everything points to disaster you still have to hope against all hope? So, if you clench your teeth, purse your lips and scrunch your eyes together in faith trusting your dilemma will pass, it should go, right? Well, let's have a look how the Bible puts it... We rejoice in our sufferings, k

Public worship continues during this government national lockdown.

Church worship in my churches, St Pauls, St Lukes and St Mary's in Wallasey, continues each week.  If people are able to make it out, you are welcome. Wherever they are  are we are praying for them. A church minister's letter,  signed by 1,161 English ministers and priests,  was sent to the British government saying:  "The suspension of church services during the first lockdown was something that we were willing to do, given the unknown nature and scale of the threat we were facing. Yet the costs were high. Our greatest concern was that for four months God was not publicly worshipped in this country. And we have all seen first-hand the deep damage that this caused to many people. Since restarting in July, church has been a vital lifeline to many who have been struggling with loneliness and other negative effects of lockdown." Churches have gone to great lengths to ensure that worship need not be suspended again and put in place thorough COVID-secure measures. As a res

Return of the King on Palm Sunday

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien tells a story in an imaginary world that somehow rings true. In Tolkien’s fantastic universe of humans, hobbits, elves, wizards, dwarves and monsters, a great evil threatens to cover the world in darkness and make every living being its slave. Chaos is the order of the day. Fear rules the hearts of most. Hope is faint. Yet amid the darkness, there are flickers of light in the love, unity and courage of  a few heroic characters. One of them is Aragon, who is destined to be king. The trilogy ends with his long-awaited return to the throne and triumphant deliverance of his people. Mark 11:1-10 is one of the Bible passages for Palm Sunday, it tells of Jesus entering Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd, it is the return of the King: Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a c