Mark 13 is an unexpected chapter in the context of the rest of Mark’s gospel, and it’s not easy to interpret.
But one thing is clear to me, the incredible news that one day, perhaps even in my lifetime, Jesus will return in glory and that God wants me to be ready for it.
He warns me, strongly, to “watch out” (v5), be “on guard” (v22) and “keep watch” (v35), and paints a frightening picture of persecution and turmoil in the “last days”.
These end times began with the destruction of the Temple in AD70 and have continued throughout history, ebbing and flowing. They will continue to do so, peaking it seems immediately before Jesus returns, as the Message puts it, “in grand style, his Arrival filling the sky – no one will miss it! He’ll dispatch the angels; they will pull in the chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.”
In the past, I have found this prospect unsettling. Today, though, I realise that we should anticipate with relish this magnificent culmination of God winning back a lost and fallen world.
God’s ultimate act of love in sending Jesus isn’t over yet!