For most of us in the pew all scripture has little hidden gems that we sometimes pass over or just don’t recognize. We have become so accustom to reading and hearing the word and in that forest of words we miss the tree of added knowledge that strengthens our faith. The disciples were impressed by the grandeur of the Temple as we read in verses 1 and 2. Jesus’ reply, “not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down”, a statement that leads to a literary pattern that Mark used often in the Gospel. Jesus makes a public statement (v.2) then the disciples question him privately (vv. 3-4) to explain what he had said. This time it was the first four disciples who were called that were pressing him to give them a sign as to when this destruction of the Temple would occur. In an earlier instance ( 8: 11-12) the Pharisees had sought to test Jesus by demanding that he prove his authority, which is not the case here. Jesus’ reply (vv.5-13) does not provide the disciples with the sign they seek. Instead in these verses Jesus is telling them how to conduct themselves in times of turmoil and persecution. Jesus speaks to discipleship. They must be able and willing to testify to the gospel, understand they will be put upon because of their faith and in (v.8) not to interpret political and social turmoil as a sign of the end time. We see here a rather common occurrence over the years in the “church”, the preaching of the end times and the signs that point to its being upon us. These apocalyptic writings speak of the evil to come before the ending and in some instances the righteous being led astray. Jesus’ words warn of false prophets, political turmoil, natural disasters and if that isn’t enough a church that while engaged in a mission to the gentiles will find itself hated by both Jews and Gentiles. However, here in chapter 13 Mark does not deny that a crisis exists, he counsels both HOPE and Patience. Here is that “little gem”  I wrote of earlier. Dr.Roger Hahn speaks of it as “Patient Expectation”. 

I lean toward this patient expectation to mean that as christians we are to expect certain times of turmoil in our lives. The turmoil endured by Jesus and his disciples was the result of such evil times. They could expect to be persecuted and in some instances put to death, family and friends would be turned against each other. In times of social and political turmoil christians are often at risk for their beliefs. These are the things we can expect now….in this time. Then there is a patient expectation that leads to something wonderful. Jesus and the disciples suffered all the way to the Cross and their patient enduring of  the expected evil of others led them to the resurrection and the salvation of the believers. To me this is a wonderful thought to endure with “patient expectation”, verses 9-13 Jesus reminds the disciples that their task is to preach the gospel. We too are the disciples of this day and our task is to give testimony to the gospel. Through patience and endurance to the promise of the word we will see our Expectation of salvation. Remember Jesus’ words Mark 13:13

13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

We will wait serving our Lord and savior, preaching and teaching the gospel, with “Patient Expectation”…….

Life is Good

jk

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