Mark 13

The end of the age will be marked by religious apostasy (v. 6), wars and rumors of wars (v. 7), upheavals among kingdoms (v. 8), earthquakes, famines, and trouble (v. 8), the publishing of the gospel in all nations (v. 10), disregard of law (v. 12), and manifestations of hatred toward the preachers of the gospel (v. 13). The age will culminate in a time of trouble such as the world has never known (v. 19), and will end in the glorious appearing of the Christ in the clouds (v. 26). Let it be our care that whenever He will come He may find us at our duty, ready to meet Him.

1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

9 ¶ But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 ¶ But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:

16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

24 ¶ But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

32 ¶ But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Mark 13:1-13 – Coming Tribulations

   Our Lord departed from the Temple, never again to enter its sacred precincts or to open His mouth in public teaching. When He withdrew, the whole system of Judaism was given over to desolation, and the predictions spoken at this time were minutely fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem under Titus. The Temple was blotted out—indeed, a ploughshare passed over its site; the people were sold into slavery or butchered in the gladiatorial shows; their nationality was obliterated; and their land given to strangers. For more than eighteen centuries the holy places have been defiled.
   Christ’s words contain a further reference to His second advent. The signs here mentioned were carefully scanned by the early Christians, as one after another they were fulfilled. They saw the Roman world convulsed by rival claimants for the imperial purple; they knew by bitter experience the brunt of the world’s hatred; they realized that by the labors of the great apostle of the Gentiles, and others, the gospel had been preached throughout the known world—and when these signs were being fulfilled, and the Roman eagles gathered to prey on the carcass of Judaism, from which the life had passed, they hastened to flee to Pella, from whence they beheld the collapse of the Jewish state. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 13:14-37 – “Watch!”

   The fall of Jerusalem, Mark 13:14-23. This abomination had been predicted by Daniel, Daniel 9:27, Josephus says that the Romans brought their standards into the Temple, and offered sacrifices to them, and proclaimed Titus emperor. Probably there is to be a yet further fulfillment of these significant words. Houses in the East are, for the most part, provided with staircases outside the wall, so that the occupants, seeing the approach of danger, could flee without going through their homes, Mark 13:15. The ungodly owe more than they realize to the elect who dwell among them, Mark 13:20. Let us not be deceived by the appearance of false doctrines or teachers; there are also false Christs, Mark 13:22.
   The second advent, Mark 13:24-27. These signs may refer to the disorganization of political rule, or to literal convulsions of the elements. The ministry of angels was very real to Jesus, and their function in the future ages is clearly defined. As Enoch was translated before the deluge, so will the saints be gathered before the final sorrows, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17. It would seem as if Christ’s coming is to bring summer to our world. This generation may refer to the fact that the Jewish people would remain as a distinct people. Our Lord had so emptied Himself, that in His human nature He knew not the hour, and was content to know only as the Father told Him. He has now resumed the glory of the knowledge which He had before all worlds. Have we each one found our work? Let us watch! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 13:34 – In the marts of commerce, in the looms of labor, while the sun is climbing hotly up the sky, and the race of human pursuits and competitions is going vigorously on, there is work enough for the sincere and honest workman. The sphere for personal improvement was never so large. To brace the body for service or for suffering; to bring it into subjection to the control of the master-faculty; to acquaint the mind with all wisdom; to hoard with miser’s care every fragment of beneficial knowledge; to twine the beautiful around the true, as the acanthus-leaf around the Corinthian pillar; to quell the sinward propensities of nature; to evolve into the completeness of its moral manhood; to have the passions in harness, and firmly curb them; to “bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:49); to strive after that mind “which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5), – here is a field of labor wide enough for the most resolute will. (Punshon)

Mark 13:35—Ye know not when the master of the house cometh.

   No, we know not. It is better that we should not knew. But He must be very near. Even has past: the beams of his presence had just died off the world, and the after-glow was still lingering in the ministry of the apostles in the early Church. Midnight has past; it reached its deepest darkness in the middle ages, when only a few holy souls shone like stars in the surrounding gloom. Cock-crow has past; Wickliffe and Luther, and others, heralded the morning. And now the morning is upon us; nay, it is shining more and more unto the perfect day. He must be near, even at the doors. Be ready, O virgin souls, to go forth to meet Him!
   But may not these words be interpreted in yet another way? Jesus comes to us in the evening twilight, when the joy of our life seems slowly waning. He comes to us in the deep night of depression, bereavement, and anguish. He comes to us in the hope and expectancy of each new dawn, when we gird ourselves to fresh toils and endeavors. He comes to us in the morning, and satisfies us with his mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all the day. Only let us watch for his coming, with ears attent to his lightest footfall, his softest whisper. Then, when He shows Himself through the lattice, or softly whispers (Song of Solomon 2:10), “Come away,” we shall arise and go forth with Him to the beds of lilies and the gardens of myrrh.
   Are we quite sure that we belong to his house? “Whose house are we,” says the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews. But there are conditions: we must be born into it by regeneration; we must walk as becometh saints; we must hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. Christ is Lord over this house, and his will is law (Hebrew 3:1-9). —Our Daily Homily

Mark 13:35 – Up, and be doing. The heavenly Master is on His journey, and the talents for use or abuse are now in our hands. Oh! let us not have to mourn, when too late, forfeited opportunities. The talents, ours today, may be demanded by the Owner tomorrow. (MacDuff)

Mark 13:37 – A Christian is always on duty. (Mark Guy Pearse)