Mar 13 contains two interesting chiastic structures. The first begins in Mar 12:
1a) Mar 12:41a, He sat opposite the treasury;
1b) Mar 12:41b-42, The rich and the poor widow put into the treasury:
1) Mar 12:41b, The rich put in a great amount;
2) Mar 12:42, One poor widow put in two mites;
central axis) Mar 12:43-44, She put in more than the rest, for they out of their abundance, she out of her poverty;
1b) Mar 13:1-2, The greatness of the Temple shall be thrown down;
1) Mar 13:1, See these great stones and buildings;
2) Mar 13:2, Not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down;
2a) Mar 13:3a, He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple.
In the front half of the structure, men considered something great — a great amount of money that was put into the treasury — but Jesus revealed, that what man considered small, God considered greater than man’s greatness. God is not a poor mathematician. The widow put in 100%, while the rich put in 10%, 30%, or 50%, which in any case is less than 100%.
In the second half, we again have something that man considers great — the beautiful Temple buildings. Jesus reveals that what man considers great will be thrown down. The high and lofty will be debased, while the low and humble will be exalted. Jesus exalted the widow’s mite. What is low and humble opposite the Temple? The living stones of the ekklesia, which is low, and which will endure persecution, but which God will exalt in the end, for those who endure to the end.
Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question also forms a chiastic structure. Now in order to understand this, we have to compare Jesus’ answer here with His answer to the same questions recorded in Matthew.
These notes will make more sense with an understanding of Jesus’ answer that is recorded in Mat 24 (my notes on that here).
1a) Mar 13:5-13, Jesus answers When will all these things be fulfilled, part a;
central axis) Mar 13:14-20, Jesus answers When will the throwing down of the Temple be?;
2a) Mar 13:21-37, Jesus answers When will all these things be fulfilled, part b.
This structure reveals an amazing truth which turns most of the end time teaching that we have heard on its head!