About Jesus Steve Sweetman
a difference between knowing something and understanding something.
Before one can understand anything, he must first know the facts
about what is to be understood. Jesus
knew this when He prophesied severe persecution that would befall His
disciples. He concluded His
prediction by saying, "I have told you this, because when the time
comes you will remember that I warned you". (John 16:4) Even
though the disciples did not totally understand this prophecy of
persecution, Jesus didn't withhold this prophetic knowledge
from them. He wanted them to
know the prophetic facts in advance so when they experienced the
persecution they would both remember and understand the prophecy.
I wonder if the apostle Peter remembered Jesus' prophecy when the
blood ran to his head as he suffered a slow death by hanging
up-side-down on a cross.
idea that knowledge precedes understanding is important when studying
Biblical prophecy. We first
study the Biblical facts even though we don't totally understand them.
Then, when the prophetic facts appear on the horizon, we both
remember and understand them. Without
the knowledge there is no understanding.
Jesus predicted events surrounding the end of this age He said, "I
have told you everything ahead of time". (Mark 13:23 - NIV)
This tells me that Jesus wants us to know the prophetic facts
concerning the end of this age long before they are fulfilled.
He went on to say, "be on guard.
Be alert". (Mark 13:33 - NIV) The
King James Bible says, "watch".
Jesus expected His disciples to be on guard, to be alert, and to
watch, for the prophetic signs that point to the end of the age.
I suggest that He expects the same from us.
an example of what I'm saying. The
17:1, along with Jeremiah 49 and Zechariah 9, predict the
has been in great turmoil over
the last year and a half. It
has been estimated that more than 16,000 Syrians have been killed by
their dictatorial government. Until
recently, most of the violence has taken place outside of
recently shot down a Turkish
jet fighter. Turkey, and NATO, are seriously considering how or if they should respond.
facts and events alone give us ample reason to watch for the fulfillment
of Isaiah 17:1. Our
understanding is still vague on this matter, but if we watch with
intelligence, as Jesus commanded us, we'll eventually understand the
facts we know.
heard people say that trying to figure out Bible prophecy and
watching for its fulfillment is a waste of precious time.
I suggest it's not a waste of time but a Biblical mandate.
We must know the prophetic facts and we must watch for their
fulfillment in an intelligent manor.
As Jesus warned His disciples in John 16 and Mark 13, so the
Bible not only warns us about the future of Damascus
but the future of all nations on earth.
Lord Himself says that His people are often destroyed because of lack of
knowledge". (Hosea 4:6) Knowledge
is not the be all and end all to this matter but it is the starting
point for understanding. Both
knowledge and understanding is sadly lacking in our Biblical illiterate
Christian world these days. Without
knowing what the Bible says, especially about prophecy, we will have no
understanding how to live as we approach the end of this age.