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What does “all these things” mean in Mark 13:30?

all these things

Mark 13:30 is part of Jesus’ response to His disciples on the Mount of Olives regarding the signs of the end of the age. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place” (NLT) The phrases all these things and this generation are pivotal to grasping the significance of this verse. It’s no surprise that these terms have ignited numerous discussions and debates. To comprehend the conclusion of the eschatological discourse, one must have a firm grasp of these two key terms.

“All these things” Jesus spoke of encompass the events detailed in the preceding verses, which are also found in other Synoptic Gospels. These events include the destruction of the temple (Mark 13:2), the proliferation of false teachers (verse 6), the outbreak of wars and the looming threat of wars (verses 7–8), an “abomination that causes desolation” (verse 14), a period marked by severe calamities (verses 17–20), the emergence of false messiahs (verse 22), astonishing celestial signs (verses 24–25), and the second coming of Christ (verse 26). While some of these events have already unfolded, such as the destruction of the temple in AD 70, most remain unfulfilled.

For example, most of what Jesus had just mentioned—the rise of the Antichrist, the desolation of the Holy Place, and the darkening of the sun—did not happen during the lifespan of people alive in Jesus’ day. Obviously, when Jesus said, “This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Mark 13:30), He had a different generation in mind than the one living at that time. The generation that will not pass away until He returns is a future generation, namely, the people living when the events predicted in Mark 13 occur.

Jesus specifies that all the events in Mark 13 will occur during the time of the last generation. Throughout history, various generations have seen one or more of the signs. Wars, earthquakes, and false messiahs have come and gone. But not the stars falling from the sky. And we’re still waiting to see “such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now” (Mark 13:19, ESV). The generation that sees all of the signs will also be the generation that sees the Lord’s return.

Jesus’ point in speaking of “all these things” is that, once the events of the end times begin, things will rapidly advance toward the divinely appointed conclusion. When the time for judgment finally arrives, all will be accomplished within one generation—the generation that sees “all these things.”

Until that time comes, we should not lose sight of what is paramount: bearing witness to the gospel through both words and deeds. The resurrection of Christ provides substantial hope that those who place their faith in Him will not be disappointed.

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What does “all these things” mean in Mark 13:30?
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This page last updated: May 8, 2024