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Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale) - Preview 7

Find out why Jesus wasn’t as concerned as His troubled disciples about Roman tyranny

Misconception #48

When the Disciples Asked Jesus When He’d Establish His Kingdom, He Said They’d Have to Wait Till the End of the Age

The disciples of Jesus nervously huddled about their self-assured leader as they quizzed Him about their uncertain future. Brutally oppressed by their Roman overlords, the disciples were anxious for Jesus to tell them something that would give them hope in a world where all hope seemed lost: “Lord, when will the glorious promises of our God finally deliver us from oppression and set us free?” “How much longer, Jesus, will You wander about as a mere itinerant preacher while we wait so patiently?” “And with our lives hanging in the balance every moment, what is taking You so long to manifest Your power?”

To which Jesus casually replied: “I’m afraid that, My friends, is something that will simply have to wait till the End of the Age; until then you’re just going to have to grin and bear it like good little soldiers in the cause.”

So a disciple asked, “Well, if that’s the case, then can You at least tell us what the signs of Your Second Coming will be? What should we look for as the End of the World approaches?”

Jesus then began His famous discourse about His reappearance in the Last Days, much to the dismay, I’m sure, of everyone there who were all hoping for at least a ray of hope in their own lifetime.

So goes the story—at least, as it’s told and retold in most churches to this day.

But is that really the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us God? Certainly, Jesus couldn’t have been so indifferent to the suffering of the very people He was about to sacrifice His life for. So what gives? Let’s take a moment to discuss what seems to be lacking.

(…you’re reading Part 12 of a 41-part series. If you like what you’re reading and want to continue, please SCROLL DOWN. Or to read this series from the beginning, go to Part 1…)
Story Continues Below
To hear Kent and Zen Garcia talk about correcting biblical misconceptions, from September 9th, 2021, CLICK BELOW.
Story Continues From Above

The real culprit in this scenario lies in the fact that we’re dealing with a translation problem. In this case, the passage in Matthew fails to convey its total meaning because the Greek word used to describe the word for “coming,” as in the Coming of the Lord, is parousia, which can just as easily be translated “presence.” Said Matthew:

And Jesus left the Temple, and was going His way, when the disciples came to look at the buildings there. But Jesus said to them, “Do you see this place? I tell you with all certainty that not one stone here will be left standing; it will all come crashing down someday.”

And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, and said, “Please tell us when this will occur; and what will be the sign of Your Coming (parousia), and the End of the Age?”1

Then later in the same chapter, we find that Jesus said:

For as the lightning comes out of the East, and shines even to the West, so also the Coming (parousia) of the Son of Man will be.2

And still later:

But as it was in the days of Noah, so also the Coming (parousia) of the Son of Man will be… The people at that time had no idea what was going to happen to them until finally the Flood came and swept them all away; so likewise the Coming (parousia) of the Son of Man will be.3

In every instance, then, what Jesus said to His disciples was far beyond what they were capable of understanding at the time. They equated the “Coming” of Christ with the event Jesus described as the “someday” when the Temple was going to be destroyed. In hindsight, however, we can now see this wasn’t the case in the mind of Jesus, Who understood what humanity would only realize after a great deal more history rolled on to fill in the hidden meaning of His words.

Only in hindsight can we now see that Jesus wasn’t describing a future coming, as the disciples had assumed. He was describing the advent of His abiding “presence,” which had already occurred in their midst, even though the disciples would require much more time and experience to fully grasp what that meant.

Only by allowing for this alternate interpretation of the Greek word, parousia, can we now rethink our previous view of Jesus’ response to His disciples and see the answer He gave them in an entirely new light.

So ends this Preview of FISH TALES (FROM THE BELLY OF THE WHALE). To read more, please click on one of the following links:

To continue with this series, read an Excerpt to see that God’s Kingdom was never supposed to be established through force of arms as the disciples had anticipated.

Read the Next Preview to learn the real story of the Israelites before they became slaves in Egypt and why it’s so important.

Read the Next Excerpt to see that God’s plan doesn’t touch upon just one point in time, as it was perceived by Israel of old, but throughout all time.

Read the Previous Preview to learn what God’s word really tells us about the fate of mankind concerning His judgments.

Read the Previous Excerpt to find out if there is nothing more than perpetual doom for every recipient of God’s wrath.

To read this series from the beginning, go to the First Preview to see if you can tell the difference between a genuine message from The Bible and a counterfeit version.

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Selected Bibliography

1. Matthew 24:1-3

2. Ibid. 24:27

3. Ibid. 24:37, 39