Today’s Bible Reading:
Jesus Foretells the Future
1As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.”
2Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
3Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, 4“Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?”
5Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 6for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 7And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 8Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
9“When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 10For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. 11But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12“A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Verse of the Day:
Today’s reading continues in the book of Mark where we left off from the widow’s offering. Jesus and His disciples are now leaving the Temple. This is the last time that Jesus will leave the Temple in Jerusalem before His death.
First, the disciples point out to Him how beautiful the buildings are that are surrounding the Temple.
Here is an example of what that area was like during that time:
Jesus starts getting real with the disciples about what is about to come.
He points out that this magnificent Temple will be completely destroyed (and it was destroyed by the Romans around 70AD).
Next – Peter, James, John and Andrew approach Jesus privately to ask a question. These 4 were known as the inner circle of the disciples. They wanted to know when all of these things were going to happen.
With the previous conversation that had just taken place about the Temple, maybe they thought that would be part of everything that was going to happen to Jesus.
I don’t think there was any way they could be prepared for everything Jesus was about to unload on them at this moment.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Many will come in my name claiming to be the Messiah
- There will be wars and rumors of wars
- This won’t be the end
- There will be birth pains (represents divine judgment in other parts of the Bible)
- They will hand you over
- You will be beaten in the synagogues
- You will have to stand before the governors
- You’ll preach to all the nations (meaning that the disciples will reach others besides their own people)
- The Holy Spirit will help you
- Families will be against one another
- Everyone will hate you because you are my followers
- The one who endures to the end will be saved.
That sure is a lot to swallow.
Sometimes, I believe Jesus wants to get real with us like He did with His disciples. No sugar coating, no telling us exactly what we want to hear – everything wrapped up in a pretty neat package with a bow. Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?
But, the reality is that we live in a fallen world full of sin. Life is full of the consequences of that sin and we will face obstacles until we meet Jesus in Heaven.
Jesus wants us to be prepared. Jesus wants us to know the truth.
And here’s the best part: He does not leave us to face it all alone.
The Holy Spirit is still an ever present help in our time of need. The Holy Spirit intercedes when we don’t know what to pray. The Holy Spirit gives us words to say when we don’t know what to say.
And we see now in our current reality of terrorism that these words have never been more true:
“And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.”
Rest assured, these words also still hold true:
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
YES. Endure. Persevere. Keep on keepin’ on, friends.
What did you take from today’s reading?