Stand Firm to the End

March 4th, 2012

RG AUDIO 030412Mark 13:3-23

The slope of the Mount of Olives has a beautiful view of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Even today tourists and pilgrims will stop to enjoy and photograph the scene. In Jesus’ day the refurbished and expanded temple, along with the city walls, civic buildings, and palaces of the Herodian dynasty, would have been quite impressive. Jesus’ disciples were certainly impressed. They were perhaps shocked to hear Jesus say, “Not one stone will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (v. 2).

When they stopped for a rest four of the disciples asked for further explanation, “When will these things happen?” and “What will be the sign?” (v. 4). Jesus’ response was also perhaps not what they expected. Rather than a timetable to answer “when” and “what” he tells them “how” to be ready: don’t be deceived, be on your guard, expect opposition, persecution, betrayal, and rebellion. Jesus’ concern was their endurance. That remains Jesus’ concern for his disciples today.

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