Mark Chapter 13 Second Continued
Mark 13:23 “But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.”
“Take ye heed”: Jesus issues a prophetic warning to be on guard. He has told the elect refugees of the future all that they need to know to avoid being misled and deceived by Satan’s emissaries.
Prophecy in the biblical sense often involves “forthtelling,” or setting forth God’s verdict on a present situation. It can however, also involve “forthtelling,” as here. Jesus’ ministry included the fulfilling of the prophetic office in both senses.
Here again, the Lord Jesus was warning Peter and the other disciples to remember what He told them about what was going to happen before it happened, so that they would not run away. They would still believe that He was Messiah in the face of all these problems. He was not only telling the disciples, but all believers for all ages even unto our time.
Mark 13:24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,”
“In those days, after that tribulation”: “Those days” describes the events of (verses 6-23), and thus “that tribulation”, refers to the Great Tribulation Jesus just spoke of. This also means that what He was about to describe (verses 24-27), will occur immediately at the end of the future tribulation period (Matt. 24:29).
Jesus was telling when this shall happen (in the last days after the tribulation). This I believe, happens during the wrath of God. There are a number of ways to look at this. In our Revelation teaching, we were pretty broad in our coverage.
There will also, be a lack of light coming from the Church after the Christians leave the earth: so the darkness will be physical and spiritual.
Mark 13:25 “And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.”
“Stars of heaven shall fall”: Heavenly bodies will careen at random through space (Rev. 6:13-14; 8:10-13; 16:8, 17-20).
“Powers that are in heaven”: All the forces of energy that hold everything in space constant, and which Christ controls, He will allow to become random and chaotic (Isa. 13:6-16; 34:1-5; 2 Pet. 3:10-12).
The Creator of the world is angry. His wrath has come up in His face. There will be shaking in heaven and on earth.
In Hebrews 12:25-27 we read: “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:” “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” “And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”
Mark 13:26 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”
“Son of man” (see note on 2:10).
“Coming in the clouds with great power and glory”: Jesus will return to earth in the same manner in which He left it (Acts 1:9-11; Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 1:7). The psalmist said that God uses “clouds” as His chariot (Psalm 104:3), and (Isa. 19:1), pictures the Lord riding on a cloud.
Although these “clouds” could be natural, they more likely describe the supernatural “glory cloud” that represented God’s presence in Old Testament Israel.
While Christ possesses “great power and glory,” His return will be accompanied with visible manifestations of that power and glory (Rev. 6:15-17, 11:15-19; 16:17-21; 19:11-16), He will redeem the elect, restore the devastated earth, and establish His rule on earth (see Daniel 7:13).
Every verse of this section is laden with Old Testament imagery. Jesus would have been intimately familiar with it. Naturally the Son of God would uphold, and express Himself in terms of the Word of God. Jesus held the Old Testament in very high esteem.
The “Son of man coming” here, will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He is coming for His elect. This will be the Lord in all His magnificence. As He went away in a cloud, He will return in a cloud. He will be clothed as it were in a cloud. There will be such brightness that it will light all of heaven, because He is the Light.
Many believe we will see the Cross, others believe we will see a golden sword, but I believe we will see the glorified Lord. The Lord’s great power is unsurpassed, because He will rule over everything in the earth, under the earth, and above the earth. There is no greater power.
Mark 13:27 “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.”
“Angels”: A number of angels return with Christ (8:38; Matt. 16:27; see note).
“Gather … his elect”: Angels are God’s gatherers, they gather unbelievers for judgment (Matt. 13:41, 49-50), and they gather the elect for glory. The “elect” will include the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, their converts (Rev. 7:9), and the converts of the angelic preachers. They will also include the Old Testament saints, gathered out of their graves and united with their redeemed spirits (Sam. 12:1-3).
“From the four winds”: A colloquial expression meaning “from everywhere,” and similar to the expression “from the four corners of the world.” None of the elect on earth or in heaven will miss entering the kingdom.
This is speaking of the angels who take orders from the Lord. The elect that will be gathered are the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be people of all nationalities. This is talking about those who are alive in Christ when the Lord returns, and those who are dead in Christ also.
Mark 13:28 “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:”
“A parable” (see note on 4:2). “Fig tree” (see note on 11:13).
We know that the fig tree symbolizes “Israel”. Israel sprouted again and became alive in 1948 (when they became a nation).
Mark 13:29 “So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, [even] at the doors.”
Just as the fig tree’s buds turning into leaves was a sign of the nearness of summer, the events Jesus described as birth pains (verse 6-23), are to be a clear indication of the return of Christ (see note on Matt. 24:32).
“These things”: The events of (verses 6-23).
“It is nigh”: (Luke 21:31 says) “The kingdom of God is near.” That is consistent with the questions the disciple initially asked Jesus (verse 4), which was about the signs that would herald the establishment of the kingdom.
When Israel became a nation, we were to realize that the return of the Lord was very close. It is nigh even at the doors.
Mark 13:30 “Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.”
“Verily I say unto you” (see note on 3:28).
“This generation”: The generation of people living during the end times that witnesses the signs and events leading to the return of Christ (see note on Matt. 24:34).
“This generation:” Jesus perhaps means that the Jewish genea (“race,” “people”), will survive until the Son of Man returns. Or perhaps “all these things” makes primary reference to the events connected with Jerusalem’s fall at A.D. 70. In this case Jesus speaks of the disciples themselves, along with their contemporaries (see 8:12, 38; 9:19).
Now here is where the controversy comes in. How long is a generation? Is this speaking of forty years, or fifty, or seventy, or one hundred and twenty years? All of these numbers have been spoken of as a generation somewhere in the Bible. God’s time and man’s time are not the same, so we really cannot figure God out.
Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”
“Heaven and earth shall pass away”: The universe as we know it will be dramatically altered after the thousand-year reign of Christ (see notes on 2 Peter 3:10-13).
“My words shall not pass away”: it is impossible for God’s Word to be negated, destroyed, or altered in any way (Psalm 19:9; Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17; John 10:35).
God makes a similar claim about His Word (in Isaiah 40:8).
Mark 13:32 “But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
“That day and that hour”: The exact day and time of Christ’s return (see note on Matt. 24:36).
“Knoweth no man”: The time of Christ’s return will not be revealed in advance to any man. At this time, it was known only to God the Father.
“Angels”: While all the angelic beings enjoy intimacy with God, hover around His throne to do His bidding (Isa. 6:2-7), and continually behold Him (Matt. 18:10), they have no knowledge of the time of Christ’s return.
“Neither the Son”: When Jesus spoke these words to the disciples; even He had no knowledge of the date and time of His return. Although Jesus was fully God (John 1:1, 14), when He became a man, He voluntarily restricted the use of certain divine attributes (Phil. 2:6-8). He did not manifest them unless directed by the Father (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38).
He demonstrated His omniscience on several occasions (John 2:25; 13:3), but He voluntarily restricted that omniscience to only those things God wanted Him to know during the days of His humanity (John 15:15).
Such was the case regarding the knowledge of the date and time of His return. After He was resurrected, Jesus resumed His full divine knowledge (Matt. 28:18; Acts 1:7).
Many of the general features about the end are clear, but not the chronological specifics.
We have connected this knowledge of the Father and not the Son about the time with the Jewish wedding. In the Jewish wedding, the Son (Jesus), goes away to build a home for His bride (the Christians).
When the Father approves of the house, the Son goes for the bride. The groom stands on a hill outside of town at midnight and blows a trumpet, and the bride comes out to meet Him. Doesn’t this sound like the rapture of the Church?
Mark 13:33 “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”
“Take ye heed”: Christ sounded a warning for believers to be on guard (see note on verse 5). Even believers do not have in themselves sufficient resources to be alert to spiritual dangers that can so easily surprise them.
See the other warnings (in verses 5, 9, and 23). Jesus is not trying to encourage idle curiosity about last things, but rather to stir up His followers in faithful living always.
The Lord will return again, no one knows for sure when, but we must be staying ready. Surely we will give an account to the Lord when He returns. I love the song “We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes”. That is exactly what we must do.
Mark 13:34 “[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.”
“Porter”: In Jesus’ day, this individual guarded the outer gate of the house, so as to be ready to let the returning master in upon his arrival. All Christ’s disciples are to be like doorkeepers, always remaining alert and vigilant for their Master’s return.
The servants are the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ from all ages. The porter is like the ministers. The ministers must keep reminding the believers to watch and be ready, because we do not know when He is coming, only that He is coming when we least expect Him.
The Son of man of course, is Jesus; and this is speaking of when He went to heaven in the cloud and sat at the right hand of the Father. He left the disciples and all believers in Christ to do the work till He returns. All the world belongs to Jesus; the Father gave it to Him.
Mark 13:35 “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:”
“At even … or in the morning”: The normal expressions designating the 4 three-hour watches of the night from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a. m. Their names identify the ends of the three-hour periods rather than the periods’ beginnings.
These are the four watches of the night. It is so easy to get complacent and say, “He isn’t coming”. But that is a lie of the devil. The Church must not get careless. It must go on teaching the absolute truth. Jesus is coming back for a Church without spot or wrinkle.
To follow the instructions He left, we must know His instructions well. His instructions are in the Bible. Watch and be ready.
Mark 13:36 “Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.”
In Proverbs, we are warned about spiritual sleeping. This is getting satisfied with things the way they are and not looking for His return.
Titus 2:12-13 “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;”
We must stay alert living as pure a life as we can, staying ready.
Mark 13:37 “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
The message, “Watch,” extends even to the present hour.
Jesus in this sentence here, is explaining that it is not for just the disciples of that day, but for all believers of all time.
Mark Chapter 13 Second Continued Questions
1. What was Jesus telling them to take heed of in verse 23?
2. Why was He warning Peter and the others?
3. In verse 24, what two things shall happen after the tribulation of those days?
4. What does the author believe the time is called when the sun and moon are darkened?
5. What two types of darkness could this be talking about?
6. What will happen to the stars of heaven?
7. The powers in heaven shall be __________________________.
8. What does Hebrews 12:25-26, tell us about this time?
9. Who is the shaker?
10. How will the Son of man come?
11. Who is this Son of man?
12. What are some signs people believe we will see in the sky?
13. What does the author believe we will see?
14. Where is the Lord’s rule?
15. Who does the Lord send to gather His people?
16. Where will His angels gather them from?
17. Who are the elect of the Lord?
18. What are we to learn a parable of?
19. Who is this really speaking of?
20. When did they become a nation?
21. There are several different times that have been classified as a generation, forty years being the most prominent, name two others.
22. “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but ____ ________ shall not pass away.”
23. Who, besides man, does not know the day or hour of the return of the Lord?
24. What Jewish tradition reminds us of the rapture?
25. What are we warned to do, because we do not know the time?
26. In verse 34, who do the servants symbolize?
27. Who does the porter symbolize?
28. What four times are mentioned that He might come back?
29. Where can we find instructions on what we should do as we wait for His return?
30. In verse 36, what type of sleeping is this talking about?
31. In Titus 2:12, how should we live?
32. In verse 37, who is the warning to?