About Jesus Steve Sweetman
24:34 - What's A Generation?
said, "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not
pass away until all these things have happened". (Matthew 24:34 –
also in Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32) The
word "generation" in this verse has created much interest
among students of the Bible. How
should we understand this word?
the last 40 years I've heard countless estimations to the length of a
generation. I've heard some
say it's 20 years. Others
say it's 40 years. Still
others say it's 60, 70, 100, or even 52.5 years.
On it goes. Who's
how many years a generation is, various starting dates have been
suggested to when this generation began or will begin.
Some say it began in 1948 while others say 1967.
Those who said this generation began in 1948 and claim a
generation lasts 20 years had to recalculate things since the end didn't
come in 1968. As a youth I
vividly remember many adults in our church being concerned when the Six
Day War broke out in June 1967.
1968 was getting close.
Greek word "genea" is translated as "generation" in
Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, and Luke 21:32.
Although it may be unknown to many, it's no secret that "genea"
doesn't need to be understood in terms of a specific number of years. "Genea"
can easily be translated as "a race of people", as in,
"this race of people will not pass away until all these things have
"genea" to be a race of people instead of a specific period of
time puts a whole different slant to the prophetic scenario based on
said that "this generation, or, race of people, will not pass away
until all these things have happened".
What "things must happen", and, "who is this race
"things that must happen" are easy to figure out.
They are the end time events Jesus just spoke about earlier in
Luke 21:29 Jesus gives an analogy that helps explain this race of
people. He says that when
the fig tree and all other trees begin to sprout leaves, you know summer
is near. For good reason,
the general consensus among prophetic Futurists is that the fig tree
refers to Israel. Figuratively speaking,
began to sprout leaves in 1948 when once again she became a nation as
the Bible predicted. The
other trees refer to the other nations of the world as they relate to Israel.
9:15 says, "I will plant Israel
in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given
them". This, and other Scriptures like it, are important.
The Old Testament prophets predicted the scattering of Israelis
throughout the world in 70 and 135 A.D..
They also predicted their return in 1948.
Amos 9:15 states that once the Jews return to their land, which
they have, they would never be removed from their land again.
Therefore, the generation, or race of Israelis, who came into
existence in 1948 will never be removed.
They will exist to see all the events that lead to the end of
this age, no matter how long it takes.
How long this generation lasts is not the issue.
The rebirth of the Israeli race in their land is the important
point is simple. There is no need to drive ourselves crazy attempting to
figure out the length of a generation.
Jesus was probably not thinking in those terms.
Sometime in the life span of present day Israel, whether it's 10 years or 100 years, all that Jesus and the prophets
predicted concerning the end of this age will take place.