Remember to visit the Prayer Wall…lets continue to keep each other in prayer. Also, don’t forget to visit the links provided in the post below if you desire to help in some way during the crisis in Myanmar and China.
I was so woefully behind last week, I’m sorry for that. Sometimes other aspects of life and the commitments I have may impede my ability to do this…so don’t be offended or give up if I get behind or miss one of these. Ok?
This week we’ll be reading Mark 13:1-13. It’s actually just the first part of a sermon Jesus teaches through the whole chapter (all 37 verses). It’s the longest teaching that Mark’s gospel records…so it must be pretty important.
This sermon is traditionally called the Sermon on the Mount of Olives. The whole thrust of this chapter is apocalyptic in nature. Jesus is talking about things that will take place later. The big question is, HOW much later? Some view this whole sermon as a forecast of the events of 70ad, where the forces of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, and it changed the face of Judaism from that day forward. The only problem with that view is that some of what Jesus describes later on in this sermon (v24-27) didn’t get fulfilled at that time…at least, they didn’t get fulfilled as literally as the first part of the prediction was fulfilled.
That’s been puzzling for a long time. Some hold a view that everything Jesus is saying here is talking about future events that will surround the Great Tribulation. My problem with that is that it demands we rip this sermon completely out of the surrounding context, which we’ve pointed out is all about the end of the temple system of worship.
Others believe this is talking about BOTH the events of 70ad and the future events of the end of the age. I’m closer to being convinced by that stance. It’s also possible that this is a prophecy that has multiple levels of fulfillment…sort of like the events spoken of are almost cyclical, and there is a first and secondary fulfillment possible. I could agree with that too.
In all of it, I’m not willing to get so dogmatic about my views that I would stake anything important on it.
My thing is, while contemplating future events is really interesting and sensational…it can also be a distraction from what the Bible stresses more frequently, and that is, how we live out our faith day by day.
As you look over the first 13 verses, we realize that Jesus describes events that may feel like the end, but are only the circumstances that will be present in the age betweenJesus’ assencion, and His return. That means, this time we live in right now…in our day by day lives, we are facing these types of things in the world around us. So my question is, what things do we learn about living in this time from these first 13 verses? What does Jesus tell us and warn us about? What can we take from these verses as encouragments about daily life in the 21st century?
I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on this.