Ready or not, Jesus is coming. This is His warning, not only for Christians, but for all people. In the last verse of Mark 13, Jesus said, “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” We are not to be wasting time by living as if this world is all there is. We are not to get overly focused on the timing of the end of this world and Christ’s return.
Pastor and author Sinclair Ferguson said, “How sad it is that instead of seeing Jesus teaching as a way to live in the future, as to spur on further obedience and faithfulness, it has often been used as an excuse for either controversy or laziness in the Christian church.” We know Ferguson’s pointed remark is right. A stroll through our favorite Christian bookstore on online Christian book distributor’s website proves it true. Books and movies on this or that view of the end times are what sells, which means this is what many Christians want. Yet the Bible only teaches two things for certain about the return of Christ: He will return and no one except for the Father (not even the human Jesus) knows when. Understanding these two things and removing our obsession with uncertain details can radically alter the way in which we live our Christian lives in the present.
The point of this week’s passage, for instance, is that we are to live in awareness that the Master (Jesus) could return at any time. Mark’s gospel illustrates that in the fourteen compact verses contained in this week’s passage, while Matthew does so in an entire chapter and a half! (Matthew 24:41-25:46). If Jesus’ words in Matthew and Mark don’t encourage you to more rigorous faithfulness, perhaps you have not yet let Jesus last words in our passage have the last word in your own life – “I say to you all – Watch!”
Consider the following questions as you meditate on this weeks passage. What are the ways in which Jesus suggests we should live? What are the practical implications of verse 31 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”