World English Bible translation
13:3As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 13:4 "Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are all about to be accomplished?"
13:5Jesus, answering, began to tell them, "Be careful that no one leads you astray. 13:6 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and will lead many astray.
13:7"When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don't be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. 13:8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains. 13:9 But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. Before governors and kings you will stand for my sake, for a testimony to them. 13:10 The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 13:11 When they lead you away and deliver you up, don't be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
The section of the Gospel of Mark that begins in chapter 13 is traditionally called the Olivet discourse. This name is taken from Today's Scripture. The disciples had remarked to Jesus about the beauty of the temple and the size of the stones that were used in its construction. But Jesus told them that there would come a time when not one stone would be standing on another. He was telling them that they should seek after the things that would really last in life, things of the Kingdom of God.
Peter, James, John and Andrew pulled Jesus aside and asked Him to explain what He meant. The first thing that Jesus does is give them a warning about what will come. He told them that many would come in His name that would seek to lead the faithful astray. This warning should apply whenever people write or speak about prophecy. It is very easy to lead people astray where prophecy is concerned. It is one thing to have an opinion what some prophecy means or even what you believe will happen in the future. It is quite another to pass your beliefs and convictions off as the only correct interpretation.
Then Jesus began to tell them some of the things that would happen. There would be wars, earthquakes and famines. But, more directly for the disciples, Jesus told them that they would be beaten and tried. They would suffer for the name of Christ. Even so, the gospel would be preached to all nations. The word of Christ would go out into every country and to every people. Some would accept the good news of the word and many would reject it. But Jesus tells them to not be anxious. When the time comes for them to witness about Christ, it will be the Holy Spirit that speaks through them.
There will be times when we do not know how we should achieve the things that God wants us to accomplish. But, we should heed the words of Christ. Do not be anxious. It is the Spirit of God who lives and moves through us. Allow the Spirit to direct your feet and hands and you need never be fearful again.
Are you fearful because you think that you are in control of what will happen to you? Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you?
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