Q. Our study group has been going through your “The Last 8 Days” articles and have a question regarding the following statement: “The disciples knew the 483 year mark had been reached a few days earlier and that the Messiah was among them.” The person with the question said that is not said anywhere in the gospels. Would you please let me know how the disciples knew that, so I can give them an answer?
A. Some of this information is not specifically contained in the Gospels, but to me it’s a matter of common sense. The disciples had been with Jesus for over 3 years. Daniel’s seventy weeks was an important national prophecy and was currently in the final stages of fulfillment. They had watched Him fulfill many Messianic prophecies of their scriptures and were convinced He was their Messiah (Matt. 16:16). A few days earlier they had been there when He fulfilled Daniel 9:25 to the day on what we call Palm Sunday.
They didn’t understand His talk of death and resurrection yet, but they knew He was the one God had promised. This is why they were so surprised when He told them the Temple would soon be destroyed. Without the Temple the remaining 7 years of the 70 weeks prophecy could not be fulfilled. This had to have been what caused His inner circle to draw Him aside for an explanation.
The gospels are all summary statements of the Lord’s time on Earth. During that time He and His disciples had spent countless hours on the road together and had sat around evening campfires hundreds of times. Most of their discussions were not recorded, but I find it impossible to believe the topic of Israel’s most important national prophecies had not been discussed.
I think confirmation that the seventy weeks prophecy had been discussed can be found in Acts 1:6. They now understood how His death and resurrection had fulfilled the 6 objectives of Daniel 9:24 and assumed the Kingdom could be restored.