A Question I Was Asked:

How Did Certain Jews Know That the "Time Was Fulfilled"?

The Question:

Concerning the arrival of Jesus, why does Mark 1:15 state,

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"

My question is, what "time" has come? What were these people looking at? What was their information source?

I have always wondered about this.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay. There was only one time waiting to be 'fulfilled' at that point and it concerned the timing of the arrival of the Messiah!

This is a pretty clear reference to the '70 weeks' prophecy of Daniel. Even as Daniel himself "understood from the Scriptures" when the Jews should return to Jerusalem:

In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom - in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:1-3).

So even as Daniel understood from the writings of Jeremiah when the Jews should return to the Holy Land, John the Baptist and others later understood - from the inspired writings of Daniel - that the time for the arrival of the Christ had been fulfilled! This time was so certain that when Jesus was first attacked by His enemies He could say with conviction, "My time has not yet come." (John 7:6). But, later, in John 13:1, Jesus knew his time had come, "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew His hour had come..." (also look at John 2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23 and 17:1).

So we must now look at the famous '70 weeks prophecy' of Daniel. This prophecy was fulfilled in detail; the claim of some that the seventieth week awaits full fulfillment is just not correct. We will look at that shortly. First the words of Daniel:

"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. "Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. (Daniel 9:24-27).

I am not going to attempt to go right through this prophecy here because Wayne Jackson has already done a superb job of considering the prophecy in some detail HERE