²⁴But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, ²⁵and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.
²⁶Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
²⁷And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
²⁸Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
²⁹Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
³⁰Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
³¹Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
³²But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
³³Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
³⁴It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.
³⁵Therefore, be on the alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning, ³⁶in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.
³⁷What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!‘”
Although we do not know when Jesus will return, we can and must eagerly await His arrival.
The period of persecution does not always continue. There is coming a time of distress, and that is at the same time an announcement of the return of Jesus.
Nature is always involved in great deeds of our God (Cf. Exodus 19:16-20; Hebrews 12:26,27). This is also the case with the return of Jesus, of which our Lord speaks in the language and images of Daniel 7 (Mark 13:24-26).
His servants from all nations will gather into His Kingdom those who have listened to God’s call and faithfully fulfilled their commission (Mark 13:27). This is a happy prospect, that caresses us!
From Mark 13:28, Jesus calls us to pay close attention to the events He spoke of earlier in this chapter. He does this on the basis of the familiar image of the budding fig tree (In Hosea 9:10, the fig tree is a picture of Israel). Such a fig tree heralds summer.
Likewise, the events announced by Jesus will herald his imminent return (Mark 13:28,29). But make no mistake. It may take a while.
Two temptations lie at the door here.
- We expect an immediate return from Jesus
- or put it on hold because of the ignorance of when He will return (Compare 2 Thessalonians 2: 1,2; 2 Peter 3: 3,4). It is the art of faith to live with both perspectives:
▪︎ on the one hand to confess the proximity of the consummation,
▪︎ on the other hand not to want to calculate the date (Mark 13:32).
Heaven and earth – unimaginable as that may be – will one day pass away, but what Jesus foretold is certain and will come to pass (Mark 13:31).
We should not consult with our own promptings but with the Bible. Read it under the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
At the end of this section, the Lord Jesus indicates with another parable how important it is that we always look forward to His return with eagerness and patience.
Jesus is still waiting to come.
The audience and we must not relax in the tasks He has assigned to us.
We may look to Jesus. Then He will be welcome to us (Mark 13: 33-37).
Are we ready to meet Him (Compare Luke 12:36)?
Questions for self-reflection
a. In what way are you not vigilant?
b. How can you become that?
▪︎ Ask God to teach you to be on guard.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl