I don't see anything anywhere that justifies your idea that Jesus was in any way concerned with the revolutionary activities around him. He seems to me to be utterly uninvolved with any of that. Doesn't He put down one zealot? Sorry I'm not remembering, I would have to do more research to answer you here and I don't have the patience so I'm afraid I'm more or less tossing this off. Jesus was concerned with the religious leaders, the Pharisees in particular, who had mangled the scriptures to pile on all kinds of traditiona that made life more difficult for people and deprived them of salvation. That's the theme I see running through the New Testament, nothing to do with any militant movements.
Certainly He did refer to the destruction that was coming when the Roman army attacked Jerusalem in 70 AD, and warned His disciples to get out of the city. Not sure what point you are making about that.
There is plenty of evidence for the Rapture but since I don't know what you think that evidence is I don't know where to start to defend it.
The verse about John the Baptist being compared to a reed hardly seems to lend itself to an image of Tiberius Caesar and the idea just leaves me speechless. If there was such an allusion what on earth would it mean in connection with John the Baptist?
And as usual I have NO idea what you think is being imposed on the scripture from OUR culture. Zip. I don't know where to start to try to discuss any of this.
In Mark 13 He talks about what will happen as a result of revolution.
Mark13 writes: 1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Yes, that's Jesus' famous prophcy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD, The cause of it seems unimportant. The Roman army coming in to quell the Jewish uprising? From God's perspective the destruction of the temple is judgment since Jesus' death is the final sacrifice which the Jews do not recognize, the sacrifice that ended all the sacrifices in the temple. The worldly cause of it seems truly irrelevant. We can say it's God's judgment though.
You lose me completely with your emphasis on the earthly causes of the sufferings to come, even reducing the Olivet discourse to a mere teaching against revolution. It's always understood to point to signs by which we can recognize when He is to come back to earth in His Second Coming. But all that is eliminated in your thinking.
It goes on but that is enough to make my point. This is Jesus saying in language understood by His 1st century Jewish disciples to outline what they will face as a result of rebellion which did take place in the great war of 66-70AD. There is a lot of Jewish apocalyptic language in there as well ///
Of course He's describing events coming as the Roman army destroys the temple and the city, but it's mind-deadening to reduce Jesus' teaching to that level. And why would He need to use such symbolic language for such a mjndane message? They'd asked Him when He was going to put down the Romans because they had no clue to His true heavenly mission to save the entire world. The disciples really didn't understand a lot of what Jesus said at the time. It took His death and resurrection to make it clear to them. IT was never about the Romans or any earthly events at all except as carriers of the heavenly truth.
You show that Jesus refers back to the Old Testament, such as Daniel for the description of the Son of Man coming in the clouds but you reduce that to a mind-numbingly mundane statement that all it means is that He is the Messiah instead of pointing to His return on the clouds. They still have to experience His crucifixion which is going to panic them, but then they'll see Him alive in His glorified body, and then watch Him be carried up into a cloud. Which you want to turn into something other than an actual cloud.
By reducing it all to its mundane obviousness you of course eliminate all the prophecy the Rapture and the Tribulation rest on. You eliminate all the fantastic imagery of the Book fo Revelation as it describes the Great Tribulation and what it means about all the evil empires of the world finally being subdued by God. You make it all so boringly mundane there's hardly any point in any of it having been written at all. IMHO.
Like your mind-numbing idea about a kind of love that supposedly we can learn to have rather than the expression of the Holy Spirit given only to believers.
I realize I'm going to need to stop here and come back to it.
The worldly cause of it seems truly irrelevant. We can say it's God's judgment though.
Well OK. But it is judgement from the POV that when nations do stupid things like Israel did in 66 AD things don't go well. Jesus was warning them against that.
But He says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the rebellion against Rome, Zip, Nada, Nothing. He warns that judgment is coming, that's all. He says the temple is going to be destroyed. He says they need to get out of the city. There is NOTHING in anything He says about the reason the Romans are coming. You are reading that into it. It's not there.
If it were about end times and an action by God then why would Jesus say that they should escape Judea and head into the hills to hide.
Sorry, there's some confusion here. I'm not saying this part of the discourse is about the end times, it's just about the Roman destruction of 70AD and my only point about that is that I don't see anything in Jesus' message about the reason for the attack, just a warning about the attack itself and that they need to leave the city to be safe. That's all, nothing about the rebellion that is the cause of the attack that you are saying is Jesus' main message, how such rebellion is a bad idea, nothing at all along those lines. They would no doubt be aware that the Romans are coming to quell the rebellion anyway but Jesus is saying absolutely nothing about that.
You are suggesting that since Luke doesn't mention the cloud in both references that there wasn't a cloud? We know Jesus was received into heaven but that doesn't mean there wasn't an actual cloud that they saw with their two eyes and that when jesus returns there will also be a visible cloud. This is a meaningless distinction you are making.
If we take it as an actual cloud then it is meaningless, but when we understand it as Mark intended, that Jesus' resurrected body left to be in the presence of God it has incredible meaning.
But again what is meaningless is this silly distinction you insist on making. Nobody doubts that Jesus went into heaven, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a literal visible cloud that He disappeared into.
So what do you think the disciples actually saw when Jesus ascended to the Father? Did they look up at all? Was He standing there talking to them and just suddenly went "poof" and disappeared? You deny that "up" means "up" and you deny that they saw a real cloud, though that is what the words of the passage clearly say they saw. So what on earth do you think they saw?
If He just suddenly disappeared why wouldn't that be said? He DID just disappear suddenly after talking to the men He met on the Road to Emmaus. Just suddenly went poof and disappeared. Same thing when Philip was suddenly transported to talk to the Ethiopian eunuch. So if that happened it would have been described. But instead the scripture says they saw Jesus rise UP and disappear into a CLOUD. You say that's metaphorical. Well we know He went into heaven, another dimension, but that doesn't make "up" or the cloud metaphorical. What on EARTH are you talking about?
OK all you mean is that heaven isn't necessarily up but somehow you make the real "up" and the real "cloud" intp something they aren't just to make that simple point. I don't have much more hair to tear out so I think I'll just chew on my fingers or something.