Devotional # 35. 5/27/13. Jesus warns to be ready.
This week’s Reading: Mark 13: 21-37.
Introduction. Last week Jesus talked about the Tribulation, what his disciples would go through, and what non-believers were in for. Jesus is going to continue these ideas but with a distinct theme of being prepared. We must be ready! Again, you can view the parallel sections in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
vv. 21-23. Jesus continues His talk on false Christ’s who will pretend to be Him. The time line on this is after the rapture. Those who are Christians now will already have been raptured but that doesn’t give us an excuse – we still must make these things known. The scariest part of this is that it says that “the elect” (Christians) may even be tricked. There are people now who go to church but are just religious, they have no relationship with Jesus. These people will be left behind and during this time they will be able to come to Jesus but there will be false prophets and most will be killed for their faith. This is during the time in Revelation 16:13 when frog demons are compelling people to believe in these miracles through the power of Satan. Sadly many Israelites will be so eager to see the Messiah that they will be persuaded.
vv. 24-27. Jesus tells us that the following is after “that tribulation” (because there is not just the main one we think of). What happened in-between the last set of verses and here is detailed in Matthew 24:27-28 (and extended in Revelation 19:18-19) where people are raptured to the battle of Armageddon where the blood will be as deep as a horse’s bridle! So now these verses in Mark (24-27) tell us how the end of the world goes down. The sun will be darkened but when it says “the stars of heaven will fall” these are Satan and the demons who are once and for all kicked out of heaven (see Revelation 6:12-13). At this point Jesus returns for a final time and collects all who became Christians during this age.
vv. 28-29. Jesus gives a parable about how a fig tree gives plenty of signs when spring has come and summer is close. In the same way, the signs Jesus gives will show when the end is close. I find it amazing that the very Bible we hold in our hands will be used years from now and will guide those going through this horrific time.
vv. 30-31. When Jesus says “this generation” it means the generation going through the things he is talking about. Then, as a comforting reminder, Jesus tells us that although all physical material and material possessions will be destroyed He and His words never will. In John 1:1, Jesus is called the “Word” because Scripture (the Bible) is spoken by and written by Him. Jesus will never be destroyed and in fact will create a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1).
v. 32. Jesus explains that nobody can pretend to know the date of the end of the world (remember the Mayan calendar?!). At the time Jesus said this only God the Father knew when it would happen. The question then is if Jesus is God why didn’t He know? Because He chose to limit Himself here on earth. He limited Himself into a human body (although not sinful), He got hungry and thirsty (although He is the bread of life and living water) and limited what He knew about certain things. But it makes sense that since God is all knowing that the Father would know the exact date and time. Also it is my belief that after Jesus resurrected He knew everything and never got hungry again. What is amazing is that He did forever limit His image to the spiritual body (of His physical body), He will never be just a Spirit again. What an amazing God we have that not only comes down in human form to save us from our sins but forever changes His appearance to be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:29)!!\
vv. 33-37. An entire Bible study devotional could be done on just verse 33 that we are to “take heed, watch and pray” but suffice it to say Jesus wants us to be ready. He wants us to be praying for His will to be done, for His strength to conquer our sins and to pray intercessory prayer for the lost who don’t know of God’s comfort.
Jesus gives us another parable about how He has left for a while but He has given work for His servants to do. It is very important that we are on the lookout for Jesus rapturing us now and for those poor souls who are left (and born) in the Great Tribulation. As His servants we are to be sharing the gospel with everyone we can!
Conclusion. Jesus is a good Friend to us: He wants us to be aware of what the future brings but not with so many details that we get anxiety and are filled with fear. If we view this passage correctly we see that God has the victory! If we are Christians then we are on the winning side and find perfect comfort in that. But God wishes that no person would go to hell so He is constantly asking people to come to Him.