The Great Tribulation of the Bible
1. Matthew 24:21
2. What is it that Jesus is warning His disciples about in the verse above?
The most tragic time in the history of the nation of Israel came in the time period of AD 66–70 when the Roman armies destroyed the Temple and the city of Jerusalem (see Learning Activities #32 and #33). In the verse above, Jesus said that this would be a time of great tribulation such as never had been before nor would ever be again. It was because of this imminent tribulation that Jesus warned His disciples to get out of the city and flee to the mountains as soon as they saw the approaching armies (see verse sixteen and Learning Activities #44 and #45).
3. Luke 23:28–30
4. What do you think Jesus was describing in the verses above?
5. Read Luke 21:20–24.
6. What do you see in the verses above that is significant?
The period of great tribulation is a past historic event of unparalleled suffering and destruction which specifically afflicted the Jewish people in the AD 67–70 time period. It was a three and one-half year time period of famine, hunger, suffering and death that took place in those last days of the Old Covenant prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jesus prophesied this coming tribulation and judgment on the city of Jerusalem in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew Chapter 24) and the parables He told near the end of His earthly ministry as Jesus of Nazareth. The following all contain references to these events: The parable of the pounds/talents (Matt. 25:14–30), the parable of the husbandmen (Matt.21:33–44), the parable of the marriage of the king’s son (Matt.22:1–14), and the woes pronounced on “that generation” in Matthew 23:13–39. These are all references to the catastrophe that was about to befall the Jewish nation during the “generation” to whom Jesus was speaking. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, 1.1 million Jews died in the city and 97,000 were taken into foreign captivity. This was truly the great tribulation of the Bible!
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