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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Thirty-Two)




Day Thirty-Two



Scripture: Mark 13:1-23

1 As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ 2 Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’ 3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 ‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?’ 5 Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. 7 When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs. 9 ‘As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. 10 And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

14 ‘But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; 15 someone on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away; 16 someone in the field must not turn back to get a coat. 17 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days. 21 And if anyone says to you at that time, “Look! Here is the Messiah!” or “Look! There he is!”—do not believe it. 22 False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be alert; I have already told you everything.



Observation:



Are we living in the end times? We see nations rising against nations, earthquakes in various places, and famines. Should we think we are witnessing the beginning of the eschatological time? The global pandemic followed by increased tensions around the world and the current climate crisis make us wonder if we are indeed living in the time Jesus warned about.


However, many New Testament scholars insist that Mark would not have thought Jesus was talking about the end of the world in this address. The warnings Jesus gave make perfect sense if he was talking about the imminent siege of the Roman armies around Jerusalem. The “sun and moon” symbolized the political power at that time.


Therefore, what we need to pay attention to today from Jesus's warning is this: “be ware that no one lead you astray.” Still, there are too many self-appointed “messiahs” around us. Some say money will save you. Some say power or fame will save you. May we not go astray by these false prophets.


On the other hand, I think about how painful it must have been for Jesus to predict the fall of Jerusalem. Why couldn’t they hear him crying out like this?


Application:

  1. Who are the false “messiahs” around you? What is their message today?

  2. What should we do not to go astray but to listen to the voice of the true Messiah?



Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Cast My Cares

















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