There is something really touching about the prophecies covering Mark 13: 9-13. As you read them, don’t they sound so much like what He, Yeshua, was to undergo, in just a couple of days from that moment. This is something we will see in the next two chapters, Mark 14 & 15. Yeshua tells them these things as if to say, “Yes, there will be persecution and even death, but I walked the path before you.” Let’s see and compare some of these events.
First, in vs.9, He begins by telling them to be on their guard, for they will be delivered to the courts, the Sanedria, where we get our word Sanhedrin. This was Israel’s highest court. But notice how in the next chapter, Mark 14 begins vs.1 with the words, And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him. Before any of His disciples, He would be the first to be arrested.
Second, He warned the disciples in vs.12, by saying that brother will hand over brother to death but this is what happened when a very close friend of all the 12 including Yeshua, betrayed Him as we read in Mark 14:10, Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. Judas Iscariot was the first of a long line of betrayers and deniers of the faith and surely, during the time of the Tribulation, these will come out in full force.
Third, He told them in vs.9, And you will be flogged in the synagogues…for my sake. This is what He endured as soon as they arrested Him as we read in Mark 14:65, Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face. In the next chapter, Mark 15:19 the same fate came from the Romans; They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.
Another striking comparison is that at the end Yeshua is killed and resurrected. So many of the disciples and many believers have been and will be killed for their faith and these are still waiting for their ultimate resurrection as the second fruits of the resurrection.
And so, as He prophesied, He is the first to endure all this mistreatment even unto death. The disciples surely must have remembered that He first walked this path before them and in so doing, He fulfills what is written that, Since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:18
And this comes in a most strategic place in the prophecy, for the most difficult prophecies of the end follow these words. As if He would say to them; I am with you in all things you are going through. Notice as well what He tells them in vs.10, The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. Here too, Yeshua went before His disciples. He initiated as well as walked the path before them and us. He brought the Word to a Samaritan village when many came to believe. He brought the word up north to a Syrophoenician woman as well as to the many centurions who came to believe in Him.
Consider the courage the disciples could draw from the kind of influence Jesus had even at the point of death. Remember the centurion who came to believe at this very crucial moment while Yeshua had breathed His last. Mark 15:39 says, And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” Perhaps in that same way we never know, even at the point of our own deaths, how God will use our testimony to others.
And in the next chapter He encounters Pontius Pilate, a Gentile who meets and hears the words from the Jewish Messiah. Later, believers will also carry the torch to the Gentiles, as for instance Paul who spoke to Felix the governor, and later, when he was in a Roman prison, he wrote in Philippians that the cause of the Messiah has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else. Phil 1:13
And furthermore, there is another important and new encouragement Yeshua promises: the help of the Holy Spirit of God. See what He says in vs.11 “When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
Here is what is new. After His resurrection, the Holy Spirit was no longer restricted to giving words of hope just to the prophets, but now the Ruach Hakodesh would take occasion to speak through all believers who live for and with the Messiah. This is a great power that God gives the one who is willing to walk and suffer with Yeshua. It is neither rational nor logical to rejoice after such confrontations, but only when we walk very close to the Lord we also experience the great power of His Spirit.