Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Is there any correlation between the Holy Gospel of St. Mark 13:17 and the Holy Book of James 1:15?

The verse in the Holy Gospel of St. Mark 13:17 is addressing the tribulation and the Holy Book of James 1:15 is addressing the temptations.

"But woe to those who are nursing babies in those days!" (Mark 13:17).

"Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:15).

The Holy Gospel of St. Mark 13:17 refers to the tribulations and the destruction of Jerusalem, which culminated in the burning of the Temple. The Roman emperor Titus defiled the Temple by first entering into it and standing where he should not have stood--in the Most Holy Place. Heeding prophecies, the Church in Jerusalem had fled before this great tribulation occurred. Josephus, an historian and eyewitness to the events wrote what he saw of the great suffering, which occurred during this tribulation.

St. John Chrysostom in his homily about this verse says, ""Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck,"2 to the one because of their greater inertness, and because they cannot flee easily, being weighed down by the burden of their pregnancy; to the other, because they are held by the tie of feeling for their children, and cannot save their sucklings. For money it is a light thing to despise, and an easy thing to provide, and clothes; but the bonds of nature how could any one escape? How could the pregnant woman become active? How could she that gives suck be able to overlook that which she had borne?"

St. Augustine says, "this is said figuratively, distinguishing those with child from those who give suck. Those who are with child are the souls whose hope is in the world. Those who have acquired what they hoped for are "those who give suck." Suppose someone yearns to buy a country estate. She is with child, for her object is not gained as yet. The womb swells in hope. She buys it. When she has given birth, she now gives suck to what she has bought. Woe to those who put their hope in the world. Woe also to those who cling to those things which they brought forth through hope in the world."

In the Holy Book of James 1:15, St. James the apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ addresses temptations and trials that originate specifically from our sinful desires. When we entertain sinful thoughts and delight within them, we may act upon them. This gives birth to sin. We fall into sin because we allow ourselves to do so and for no other reason than this.

Our attitude toward temptations reveals whether or not we are prepared for Heaven, which is the theme of both verses you inquired about.

The Holy Book of James 1:12 states, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life."

Furthermore, the Great Tribulation is also addressed in the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew 24, which speaks to the end of time and is described in three stages, 1) the beginning of sorrows, 2) the Great Tribulation, and 3) the coming of the Son of Man.
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