Daily Readings & Thought for August 18th. “YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE TIME WILL COME”
Today we again read what is known as ‘The Olivet Prophecy’; we read it every 2 months, is it TOO familiar to us?
This teaching of Jesus is specifically to his disciples as they sat on the Mount of Olives where they could look down on the Temple. He had shocked them by saying the Temple was soon going to be destroyed.
Much of our chapter today (Mark 13) is primarily about the coming destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem and the extreme plight of the people at that time. This happened in AD70. But in some of his words Jesus extends his vision beyond that time to his second coming when there will be a an even greater time of trouble; it will involve the whole world, but Jerusalem with be the focal point. Some of his words apply to both that time (AD67-70) when, according to Josephus about a million Jews died, but other words apply specifically to the final time of trouble. Jesus says there will be “such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of creation until now and never will be (again).” [Mark 13 v.19]
Christ’s words end with a personal message and parable which all true believers must heed: “Be on your guard, stay awake. For you do not know when the time will come” [v.33]. Jesus talks of a “man going on a journey” (himself) who “puts his servants in charge, each with his work” [v.34]
What is the work of these servants? They are in charge! In charge of what? The answer is that they are to represent him, they are in charge of his message, although they “do not know when the Master will come” [v.35].
On another occasion Jesus answered a query by Peter by warning that some servants would think “My Master is delayed in coming” and they begin to beat their fellow servants “and to eat and drink and get drunk, and the master of that servant will come … (at) an hour he does not know” [Luke 12 v.45,46].
The lack of diligent Bible reading today is becoming more evident. Yet the world knows it is facing an impossible future and more and more people, especially young people are living for the moment, that is all most want to think about! Are you a servant of the Lord? If so, hear Jesus’ words, “Be on your guard, stay awake,” discover the power of prayer for, wrote James, “the prayer of a righteous person has great power in its working” [5 v.16]. Let us serve the Lord by making his word known to any who will listen.