I’m forever receiving WhatsApps forwarded to me of some supposed prophet’s new, ground-breaking, prophecy.
Funnily enough, the prophecies always involve a “break-through” and a musical instrument. For example,
“The Lord showed me a vision for Africa. 2017 is the year of break-through. You must blow the shofar (trumpet) and repent of the nation’s sin.” Etc., etc.
I’ve chatted to so many people who have had “words from the Lord” or prophecies spoken over them and to them. These prophecies have ranged from marriage partners and business deals, to the number of children they will have. A common factor is how unhelpful these prophecies have been and how they have done little, but complicated their lives (sometimes to a tragic degree) and created feelings of guilt, because the “prophecy” has not been fulfilled. The person over whom the prophecy was spoken is left thinking, “Am I being disobedient? Do I lack faith? Am I living God’s second best?” Etc.
1 Corinthians 11:2-16 is one of the most controversial passages in the Bible. Feminists detest this passage and try to make it mean something that it doesn’t mean. Chauvinists have wrongly understood this passage to mean male superiority and supremacy. We know of course that the Bible teaches that men and women are both created equally in the Image of God and worthy of respect and dignity. Boko Haram’s insistence that girls should not be educated and are in some sense lesser than boys is totally unacceptable and demonic. This passage teaches us a few things:
Mark 13 has often been used to teach about the second coming of Jesus. It may surprise you to know that ¾’s of this chapter is Jesus teaching about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
The temple in Jerusalem in Jesus’ day was a wonder. Theologically it represented the very presence of God and throne-room throne of God. Architecturally it was awesome. Josephus, a Jewish historian at the time, wrote that some of the individually fashioned stones used to build the temple were 13m in length, 4m in height and 6m wide! These stones were probably fashioned out of white marble and overlaid in gold. One commentator writes: “This complex of stone was one of the most impressive sights in the ancient world, and was regarded as an architectural wonder”. Aesthetically it was unrivalled. Religiously is symbolised Israel’s special relationship with God. It was at the temple that you met with God, prayed, offered sacrifices and atoned for your sins. In contrast, the disciples were mostly poor, blue-collared fishermen who lived in insignificant houses in small villages and they were hugely impressed with this great building. That’s why they said in v1, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” I speculate, but perhaps part of their sentiment was to comfort Jesus: “Never mind how bad things get, we still have the Temple!”