Every time I watch a fireworks show, I’m always gearing up for the finale, aren’t you? I love them – they are more dramatic and powerful than the whole rest of the show. Jesus will has been talking about a finale of sorts, in the chapter we’re reading in our study of Mark. This Sunday we’ll be reading Mark 13:14-37.
Remember our introductory remarks about the first thirteen verses…while end time events and prophecy is cool and all, obsessing over current details and trying to fit them into some prophetic model is pretty ill-advised. Jesus will be continuing to talk about ongoing crisis’ on this earth – but I believe there are assurances we can find in his words – that’s what we’ll be focused on.
Jesus begins this section pointing to a prophecy from Daniel 9 which references “the sacrilegious object that causes desecration”. From the Jewish perspective today, and back in Jesus’ time, this was a historic event, not something yet to be fulfilled. What does that tell us about Jesus’ statement here?
In v19, what will the world be like in the time period he’s describing? What does that tell us about the direction the world is taking…and how does it effect our expectations about the state of the world?
As you read this section over, who or what seems to have the upper hand through it all? Yet what is the final outcome that Jesus predicts?
Verses 28-31, of Mark 13, tell us that we can expect an intensifying of troubles, leading up to the grand finale…just like we see buds and leaves sprouting and leading into summer and harvest. In v31, Jesus makes a prediction about his predictions…what is it that he says? What assurances do you find in that?
The final section, v 32-37 sort of put the final qualifier on the issue. What does He say about these events? What do we need to factor in because of this qualifier?
That should give us plenty to mull over and chew on this week. Hope to see you on Sunday!