Mark 13. My NIV Bible has 2 headings that help in getting an overview of this chapter.
The first is headed “signs of the end of the age,” but I would like to focus on the second one “the day and the hour unknown” verse 32-37.
Clearly it is a warning for the reader.
The authoritative commands (imperatives) that are soaked in this closing paragraph are worth meditating on:
‘Be on guard; be alert’ – verse 33
‘Keep watch‘ – verse 35
‘Watch!’ – verse 37
In a nutshell, we must be prepared for the day when the ‘Son of Man comes in the clouds with great power and glory’.
Whenever we read this Gospel, Mark, we should be asking and answering at least three questions from the text:
Who is Jesus? He is the Son of Man – verse 26
What did He do? He warned His disciples – verse 5 and verse 35
What does it mean to follow Him? Be ready verse 32-37
But, what does it mean to be ready? And how can we be ready today?
When I was a very young believer, someone told me about ‘the 5 minute rule’ which is to live now as if the LORD will return in 300 seconds’ time! Instead of speculating, instead of listening to false prophets, we should be waiting, trusting God who promised that His Son, our LORD Jesus will come back again as Judge – in 5 minutes’ time. Ready with our lives in order; ready with our houses in order – ready if He returned in the next 5 minutes! Are you ready?
As we wait, one way we show we’re ready is by proclaiming the gospel at any and every opportunity – warning others, as we have been warned, about Christ’s imminent return as Judge. Your task today, even now, is to not give up telling others about Jesus. But, before you do that, speak first to God about those on our hearts and our prayer lists who need to come to faith in Christ.
Our Father in heaven, please keep us alert. Help us to live as if, in the next five minutes, You will bring to an end this world as we know it. Help us to be urgent not only about our lifestyle, but also about those who need salvation in Christ. We name them before you now in Jesus’ Name. Amen.