The Olivet Discourse
In this chapter, Jesus delivers this prophetic message that is generally called “The Olivet Discourse”. As we study these very important next few passages, we will follow some practical guidelines.
To begin with, whenever we get into the areas of prophecy, we must study it in the light of the rest of Scripture, especially the Book of Daniel. The prophetic Scriptures harmonize if we consider all that God has revealed.
Second, we must see the practical application of the discourse. Jesus did not preach this sermon to give them an exact date or simply to satisfy the curiosity of His disciples. At least four times He said “Take heed!” (Mark 13:5, 9, 23, 33) and He closed the address with the word, “Watch!”. While studying this address can help us better understand future events, we must not make the mistake of setting dates!
Third, as we study, we must keep in mind that The Olivet Discourse grew out of some questions asked of a Jewish rabbi by four Jewish men, about the future of the Jewish temple.
Finally, we must remember that this chapter describes a period of time known as “the Tribulation”. The Old Testament prophets wrote about this period and called it “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), a time of wrath (Zeph. 1:15–18), and a time of indignation and punishment (Isa. 26:20–21).