Day 13

In and around the Temple…

Mark 13:1-13 NIV84

As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. …”

What are the disciples fascinated by in this passage?

Jesus reminds His disciples that something new is in the process of being birthed. What are the signs of its arrival — the “birth pains”?

Do you see an increasing frequency and intensity of these labor pains?

Jesus warns the disciples to be on guard and to watch out for those who deceive. Anything that encourages us to cling to this world, as it is now, and not long for the new heaven and the new earth is a deceiver. Do you find yourself caught up in the things of this world? Do you recognize areas in your life where you are being deceived? What can you do to begin letting go and start preparing for what is to come?

Heavenly Father, keep my heart and mind focused on things above. Let my hope be in You alone. Tender my heart to those who are lost and hurting. I want to be someone who helps deliver Your plan into action, and doesn’t hinder its arrival.

In Jerusalem. Taken by Peetie Edwards.
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