Lesson 73

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

13:34 "It is like a man, traveling to another country, having left his house, and given authority to his servants, and to each one his work, and also commanded the doorkeeper to keep watch. 13:35 Watch therefore, for you don't know when the lord of the house is coming, whether at evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning; 13:36 lest coming suddenly he might find you sleeping. 13:37 What I tell you, I tell all: Watch."

Today's Lesson

Today's Scripture brings to a close the Olivet Discourse. As the disciples and Jesus set on the Mount of Olives across from the Temple, the disciples remarked on the huge stones that had gone into making the temple. The sight of Jerusalem at the time of the Passover Feast must have been spectacular. But Jesus told the disciples that it would come to pass when not one stone of the Temple would stand on another. A few of the disciples asked Jesus what He meant. The Olivet Discourse, sometimes referred to as the Little Apocalypse, is the result.


Jesus concludes this passage with a short parable. A homeowner travels to another country and leaves his servants in charge of his house. They are commanded to keep watch and to remain prepared for his return. This situation describes our time until Christ returns. We have been left in charge of the household of God. We have been given a grave responsibility. Our job is to be watchful. We are given charge of God's house. We are His representatives and His servants. We are to remain vigilant for His return.


The imminent return of Christ has always been one of the prime beliefs of the Christian faith. Although there have certainly been times when the doctrine has fallen into disfavor, this teaching is one of the core beliefs of our faith. We are taught to live our lives as though Christ might return at any moment. This doctrine has been especially important to the church during times of persecution. It is quite possible that Mark has placed this section in such a prominent position because the audience that he was writing for was undergoing persecution.


Today we do not often dwell on being prepared for Christ's return. As the time passes, the concept recedes in significance to the human mind. But, this belief continues to be emphasized where the Spirit of God is active. Being prepared, being watchful, keeps our minds concentrated on what is important. It sharpens our focus. If we are watching for Christ, He will always be on our minds and in our hearts. If we do not believe that the end is near, we will not act as though our time is short.


This life is unpredictable. There are no guarantees here for tomorrow or for the next hour. Our lives are like grass. In one moment, our time may be snatched away. Do you live each moment prepared for the return of Christ? Are you ready, right now, for it all to end?


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