God’s Saving Word: Joy
Mark 13:1–23: Jesus explains to the disciples what will happen to the Temple in Jerusalem, and he speaks about the persecutions his followers will suffer. The reference to “The Awful Horror” (verse 14) probably referred to the prophecy that someone would set up an idol in the holy place in the Temple and make people worship it instead of God (see Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11).
Jesus Speaks of the Destruction of the Temple
13 As Jesus was leaving the Temple, one of his disciples said, “Look, Teacher! What wonderful stones and buildings!”
2 Jesus answered, “You see these great buildings? Not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one of them will be thrown down.”
Troubles and Persecutions
3 Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, across from the Temple, when Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him in private. 4 “Tell us when this will be,” they said, “and tell us what will happen to show that the time has come for all these things to take place.”
5 Jesus said to them, “Watch out, and don’t let anyone fool you. 6 Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will fool many people. 7 And don’t be troubled when you hear the noise of battles close by and news of battles far away. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come. 8 Countries will fight each other; kingdoms will attack one another. There will be earthquakes everywhere, and there will be famines. These things are like the first pains of childbirth.
9 “You yourselves must watch out. You will be arrested and taken to court. You will be beaten in the synagogues; you will stand before rulers and kings for my sake to tell them the Good News. 10 But before the end comes, the gospel must be preached to all peoples. 11 And when you are arrested and taken to court, do not worry ahead of time about what you are going to say; when the time comes, say whatever is then given to you. For the words you speak will not be yours; they will come from the Holy Spirit. 12 Men will hand over their own brothers to be put to death, and fathers will do the same to their children. Children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved.
The Awful Horror
14 “You will see ‘The Awful Horror’ standing in the place where he should not be.” (Note to the reader: understand what this means!) “Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills. 15 Someone who is on the roof of a house must not lose time by going down into the house to get anything to take along. 16 Someone who is in the field must not go back to the house for a cloak. 17 How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! 18 Pray to God that these things will not happen in the winter! 19 For the trouble of those days will be far worse than any the world has ever known from the very beginning when God created the world until the present time. Nor will there ever be anything like it again. 20 But the Lord has reduced the number of those days; if he had not, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, he has reduced those days.
21 “Then, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’—do not believe it. 22 For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will perform miracles and wonders in order to deceive even God’s chosen people, if possible. 23 Be on your guard! I have told you everything ahead of time.
Today’s Key Verse: Mark 13:10
[Jesus said]: “Before the end comes, the gospel must be preached to all peoples.”
The word “apocalypse” comes from the Greek word apokalypsis, which means a revealing or an uncovering. Mark 13 is sometimes called the “little Apocalypse” because Jesus speaks of future events. What are your thoughts when reading what Jesus tells his followers?
Lord Jesus, empower me to be a faithful witness to you and to share the Good News of your love and salvation. Amen.
Mark 13:24–37: Jesus foretells of the coming of the Son of Man.