Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. –Mark 13:30-33A
I’ve often wondered about this passage, for obviously, not everything that Jesus said would happen, happened during their lifetime. (Jesus also mentioned in another place about that being an evil generation who looks for a sign, but won’t get one). So since much still has yet to happen, I think we have to look at what Jesus considers or means when He says, “Generations”.
When we think of generations, we often think of a group born between certain years. For example, the Baby Boomers were all born shortly after WWII (1945 – 1960?). Those were my parents. So they’re the next generation after my grandparents. The next generation, the one I fit in with, was born between the mid-1960s to the late-70s (Generation X). So that’s how we understand the word, “Generations”. But now, since Jesus used His authoritative proclamation “Truly, Truly, I say to you” (the Messiah’s version of the prophets’ “Thus says the Lord”), we must understand that “Generation” to Jesus must mean something other than what it means to us.
The word for “Generation” also means “age (of time)”, or “a period of time”.
So here’s what I’m thinking: There are different ages/periods (or generations) throughout the time of God’s people:
- Adam and Eve = generation 1 (first to exist).
- Maybe after the fall, the next generation began. These were the first people who were born into original sin (and outside the garden).
- Then you have the flood, kicking off the next Generation (post-flood generation)
- I’m debating on whether or not Babel’s tower event would have kicked off another age (for it was the beginning of different languages).
- Abrahamic (?)
- Israel’s descendants in Egypt
- Exodus (Generation who left Egypt and died before entering the Promised Land
- Pilgrims/Settlers (entered the promised land, inherited provinces under Joshua) – for only Joshua and Caleb were to be the original people of the Exodus to enter the land. Everybody else would then be of the next generation.
- Pre-Exilic (days of the prophets)
- Exilic (while in Babylon)
- Post-Exilic (released, yet still under foreign rule)
- Maccabean (?)
- Messianic Age: Jesus came, died, was raised, new rule and age of or for God’s People
- Post-Resurrection – Now we look forward to Christ’s return.
So what I’m suggesting is that when Jesus was resurrected, He kicked off this generation that we’re in now, and that it’ll be the last generation, up until the day of the end and His return.
- What do you think?
- How do you recognize “generations” or “age of time”?
- How would you change up or rename the generations of God’s people?
- What do you think of my suggestion about generations? Do you agree, disagree, somewhat of both, not at all? Explain.