Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings.
Reflective Bible Study.
Focus Passage: Mark 13:14-23 (GW)If we ever wondered or worried about a time when we are persecuted, or singled out for our faith, understanding this passage may give some hope to this worry. In this passage, we jump into the middle of a larger message Jesus is sharing with His disciples, warning them of challenges that will come their way, and challenging them to keep their faith and belief in Him. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all include this warning, but Matthew and Mark focus on a different “hinge event” to trigger this event than Luke does. The hinge event in Matthew and Mark have to do with a “disgusting thing that will cause destruction standing where it should not” (v. 14) while Luke is a little less cryptic when He directs our attention to “When you see armies camped around Jerusalem . . .” (Luke 21:20) However, while these are the key events that start this event, that is not the promise. The promise is found at the end of a few verses later. After Jesus describes what His followers should do and what they should pray for, He summarizes this time period by saying: “It will be a time of misery that has not happened from the beginning of God’s creation until now, and will certainly never happen again.” (v. 19) The first part of this summary is pretty depressing, but it ends with a promise: This horrible time of misery “will certainly never happen again”. There are some Bible commentators who believe that this horrible event was the persecution of the Jesus’ followers in the last portion of the first century, leading up to/through the dark ages. Other commentators believe that while there is reason to believe the start point being the destruction of Jerusalem, so much history and persecution has happened that perhaps this prophecy was not fulfilled at that point in time, and instead, it is still a future event that can hold significance for God’s chosen people. In the same way, there are those who are expecting and looking for an upcoming horrible “time of trouble” that meets this description, while others look to Jesus’ return being described as “a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) which most likely means that He will return when we least expect it – meaning it may not be in a period of time where there is persecution, because that might prompt some to expect it. All this is to draw our attention to Jesus’ promise: He will return, and no matter what comes our way, God has promised to protect His people through anything and everything that Satan throws at us. God’s protection might not be the protection we expect, but His protection is from His “eternity perspective”, which means that even if our life on earth ends, we will be given a new life that lasts for eternity! This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today! Read this article on the web on it's official page: Never Again: Mark 13:14-23