Be on the alert — Mark 13-15

God’s word is the food for the soul; it’s insight into a realm we cannot see; and it’s wisdom beyond what we’re able to come up with on our own. You are to be commended for being disciplined enough to read everyday from God’s word, in spite of the busyness of the season. Christmas is a time for feasting — physical and spiritual food. Don’t starve!

No one knows — Mark 13:32

The world’s history is full of prophets of the end of the world. The most recent prophecy that I’m aware of came from a Mr. Campbell (I think), who predicted a May 21, 2011. And of course, there’s an expectation, based on the Mayan calendar for an end to the world near Christmas of 2012. Adventists in the 1800’s predicted the coming of the Lord but had their “Great Disappointment” in 1843 and 1844. And the Jehovah’s Witnesses on the basis of Mr. Rutherford’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die prophecy that the Lord would return in 1925 were also disappointed and had to change the name of the book to Millions Now Living May Never Die.

So many unnecessary disappointments. All they had to have done is read Jesus’ words, “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Mark 13:32, NAS95). No man, no angels, and not even the Lord Jesus Himself know or will know. The timing of the event is the Father’s prerogative, His call. And although it might be a date circled on a Heavenly calendar in God’s personal office (as if), but it might be as much a matter of the condition of the world. Or a combination of the two. Or a factor we have no knowledge of. But never, ever be fooled into thinking that anyone in this world — or the next — will have any idea when the second coming of Jesus will be. I have a rule of thumb: If anyone claims that they know the day or the hour, the one thing that we can know for sure is that Jesus won’t come that day.

Be on the alert — Mark 13:33-37

Jesus follows up this assurance that no one will know the day or the hour with His main point: Be on the alert! Don’t fall asleep spiritually. Don’t get caught up in spiritual neglect or get spiritually out of focus. Those on the alert are paying attention, are not getting distracted, are on their toes, are ready for whatever is coming, and realize the need for staying prepared for the unexpected. How spiritually alert are you?

Remove this cup from Me — Mark 14:36

Was Jesus really human? We sometimes look at Jesus and think first of His divinity and how powerful He was. But the Scripture is also very clear that though He was God in the flesh, He “emptied Himself” (Phil 2:5ff) to become a man. Looking at this passage the conclusion is obvious, He was indeed human. He did have the same longing that we have not to die, not to suffer, not to suffer the indignities, pains, and shames of the cross. “Remove this cup from Me,” He said. But He also added, “Not My will, but Yours be done.” Are you facing some crisis? Some suffering? Some injustices? Have you prayed to the Lord, “Remove this cup from me”? Me too. Are you still willing to do what’s right? Do God’s will rather your own?

A certain young man — Mark 14:51-52

It’s no huge thing here, but the young man that is mentioned in this part of Mark is likely to be Mark himself. Tradition tells us that the last Passover was held in the upper room of Mark’s own home. And when Mark — who was probably supposed to be in bed — heard Jesus and His disciples leaving, his curiosity got the better of him and he followed them out to Gethsemane to see where they were going in the middle of the night. This makes Mark an eyewitness of the things that he is writing about — narrowly escaping capture and arrest at Jesus’ arrest. Coming home naked must’ve been quite the story to explain to momma, don’t you think. It’s probably the reason why Mark’s Gospel is full of interesting details, gestures, and picturesque descriptions, not found in the other Gospels.

When is blasphemy not blasphemy? — Mark 14:62-64

If anyone else had said the things that Jesus had said, His words would have indeed been blasphemy. But instead of condemnation, the Father raised Him from the dead to declare to all that He indeed was and is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Will Rogers once said, “It ain’t bragging, if it’s true.”

Why have you forsaken Me? — Mark 15:34

You may have heard of this before, but it’s worth another moment to think about it — the worst part of the crucifixion appears to have been the separation of Christ from the Father. In perfect union for all of eternity, now separated not by Jesus’ sin, but ours. And since it is OURS (plural), it had to have been quite the mountain of sin, don’t you think? I’m blown away, when I let my imagination try to grasp the spiritual magnitude of what Jesus was bearing that day. Never let the words, slip from your mouth, “Lord, You’re just asking too much.”

See you tomorrow, Lord willing.

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About parklinscomb

I'm a minister for the church of Christ in Manchester NH where I've worked since the 1970's. I'm a big fan of my family, archaeology, the Bible, the Lord's church, and Gander Brook Christian Camp.
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