The life of Jesus occurred at a time of expectation: the Jews expected that soon God would free them from the rule of empires. “Free us from our enemies,” was the typical prayer.
So this was the expectation. But Jesus, instead of describing their freedom, forecasted a disaster. Jerusalem would be destroyed, and all Jews would have to escape on their own. And once again, they would be taken captive!
Said He: “They [the Jews] will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24 ESV)
Whoa! Not again!
The Jews were sick and tired of being under the heavy fist of foreign powers in their homeland.
But here Jesus was forecasting Jerusalem’s continuation under the heavy-handed rule of Rome and other Gentile nations.
And oh, another exile from their sacred land? Yes, yes, yes! “And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be held captive among all nations….” Yes, they would be expelled from Jerusalem and Judea and escape to other parts of the Middle East (Near East) and many eventually be scattered to all parts of the earth.
This came to pass--first in the complete and horrendous destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. and then in a final and extreme manner in 132 A. D.
The temple was destroyed in the first war with the Romans in 70 A. D., after which the city was completely cleared of all Jews in the second war.
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Then came “the times of the Gentiles.” Jerusalem and its environs would be trampled underfoot by the Gentile nations, as Jesus put it. And Jerusalem, for most of that time, would be a “nothing city.”
REPEAT: During this “times of the Gentiles,”—for 2,000 years--the Jews would be captive, living in all parts of the world-- “captive among all nations.” Plus, the Gentile nations would be controlling Jerusalem.
And that’s been the situation from 70 A. D. until recently. (There were exceptions to being held “captive.” In modern Europe and America, some Jews were given “emancipation.”
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Then the transition: that exile and that captivity and that Gentile control of Jerusalem would continue “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
Dear reader: that is the time that we are entering in these day….NOW! The times of the Gentiles are in the process are being fulfilled. Gentile empires are now releasing control of the Promised Land.
-- Great Britain released control in 1947-1948.
-- At the present time, being the friends of Israel, America has indirect control. Note what nation in the United Nations votes on the side of Israel—America. Sometimes the ONLY nation that votes NO on the Security Council’s moves to blame Israel, is America--vetoing resolutions that are unfairly critical of Israel.
But increasingly, the Israelis realize that they cannot rely upon the U. S. forever, because lately part of the American electorate does not view Israel as a good ally. Thus, Israel knows that it may soon have to stand alone among the nations.
-- Thus…thus my dear readers, we are now living in the times when the “times of the Gentiles” are just about over. Israel may soon be on her own. The Gentile powers will release their authority (what Great Britain had) and control (what America has had and is releasing; for…the times of the Gentiles are close to being at their end.
-- For now, Israel has it good: the Trump Administration now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. On the other hand, the Trump Administration is bent upon getting out of the messy Middle East.
-- But reading reports of Israel’s military readiness, I believe that Israel is almost on a par now with the United States in the development of advanced weaponry and defensive warfare.
The Jews do not control all their land yet. But….note this:
It hasn’t been but a year or so, since the two-state solution was the ONLY solution being talked about by most diplomats and interested people. EVERYONE with few exceptions believed that in the peace talks, Israel would have to give up a considerable amount of land. That is no longer the case.
NOW we hear that Prime Minister Netanyahu is consulting with his cabinet about how to proceed with annexing sections of Judea and Galilee.
WHO OWNS JUDEA AND SAMARIA NOW? These areas are called “Israeli-Occupied Territories,” or “disputed territories,” even though the League of Nations Palestine Mandate designated this as the homeland of the Jews, later to be assumed by the United Nations in 1948.
Today, most land in Judea and Samaria is not privately owned, but is unsurveyed and without proven ownership. But for settlement purposes, there are three areas—A, B, and C, and only Area C is opened by the Israeli government for Jewish residences.
SO NOTE: Two statements summarize the modern fulfillment of this prophecy:
I. SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE HOLY LAND IS STEP-BY-STEP BEING TRANSFERRED BACK TO ITS ANCIENT OWNERS—THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
II. THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES ARE WANING.
Europe’s empires have had their day. And what about America? America is declining, not in real obvious ways, but in culture, in religion and in law we are going the way of Europe. We are becoming increasingly decadent and self-absorbed. That does not bode well for world leadership. And America is vulnerable.
It seems like the “Times of the Gentiles” has neared its end. Jerusalem is the city of the future-- not Rome, or Brussels, or Washington, D. C. or Moscow.
Jerusalem, once encircled by the Roman army and destroyed by it, is now a magnet to which Jews and righteous people are drawn.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you.” (Ps. 122:6)
And…it is the earthly Jerusalem that betokens the heavenly Jerusalem where lives the “assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” and Jesus “the mediator of a new covenant.” (Hebrews 12) Believe it! And believe Him!
ONE MORE THING: Further down in Chapter 21 of Luke’s Gospel, we read this statement of Jesus’ prophecy:
“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (21:28 ESV)
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