FEBRUARY 28 READING…Mark 13
Chapter 13 of Mark is Jesus responding to the disciple’s questions about that which was coming upon the earth. Jesus speaks the prophetic word to let the disciples, and us, know what it will be like at the end of the age. There is no time reference given in Jesus’ response, but there is clear instruction to be alert, and to know the times. Jesus tells us that though no one knows the day or the hour of these events, but that we are to watch and pray…as a matter of fact Jesus emphasizes for us to watch four times in the last five verses of this chapter. We do not know exactly when…but we are to keep our eyes open, and watch the times to know that the day is drawing near. Jesus speaks of a great deception that will take place to all the world…including those who would claim to Jesus Himself. He warns us not to listen or follow these false “messiahs”. Wars and rumors of wars will come before the end…for nation will rise against nation. There will be earthquakes, famines, and troubles…but this is the beginning of birth pangs. Some would say that these things have always been, and that is true, but Jesus is describing how these things will be like a woman about to give birth…the pangs will grow in frequency and intensity. Christians will become outlaws in society, and will be brought before the authorities…have you noticed that this has already begun? (Think Finland & Canada, to name two). We are not to worry when this happens to us…for the Holy Spirit will give us both the strength we need, and the words to say. Families will deteriorate, and believers will be hated by the whole world. In verse 13 the Lord encourages His true followers to endure, or more clearly “bear patiently”, for we are promised salvation. To endure, in this passage, is not a condition of salvation…but a proof of salvation.
Jesus speaks of the great time of tribulation that will come upon the whole earth. God will pour out His judgment on this earth, and upon the rebellious people who dwell here. The deception will continue with people declaring that Christ has returned…the followers of Jesus are not to listen to this deception. The Lord declares that when He returns there will be no question in anyone’s mind that it has happened. The whole world will see Him returning in the clouds, with great power and glory. The Lord will send His angels to gather His chosen followers from all over the world. Jesus uses the fig tree as an example of what to look for…we can know when the tree is about to produce fruit. In the same way we can know that the time of Jesus’ return is near by looking at, and discerning, the times. The prophetic word of God is true, and it will happen just like He said, and just when He has determined it to happen.
Please share your thought from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…Mark 14