Archive for October, 2008

Jesus’ Return

October 22, 2008 Leave a comment

At the end of chapter 13, Jesus explains the uncertainty of the time of his return in a different way.

Keep alert. You never know the exact time of Christ’s return.

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Fig Tree

October 21, 2008 Leave a comment

In verses 24-33, Jesus gives us parameters for his return:

  1. heavenly signs
  2. stars falling
  3. the Son of Man coming in the clouds
  4. gather the elect
  5. parable of the fig tree
  6. humanity will not pass away before Jesus returns
  7. no one knows the precise time except God the Father

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Telling the Future

October 20, 2008 Leave a comment

In the first 23 verses, we learn a great deal about how to determine when Jesus will return.

There are a few elements that we’ve already experienced, but many things that haven’t.

Until claiming that Jesus is returning, check out these verses for a checklist of prerequisite warning signs:

  1. false Christs
  2. wars and rumors of wars
  3. political turmoil
  4. earthquakes
  5. famines (this is just the beginning)
  6. Christians sent to court
  7. Christians flogged in synagogues
  8. Christians stand before political leaders
  9. gospel must be preached to every nation (this is a tough standard to meet)
  10. Holy Spirit will give Christians the words to testify, without preparation
  11. families will be divided and betray one another, even to death
  12. be hated because of following Christ
  13. Abomination of Desolation
    • don’t return home
    • don’t return to your field
    • woe to pregnant and nursing mothers
    • pray it won’t be winter
    • worst time in the history of humanity
    • even the elect wouldn’t survive if God didn’t “shorten” this awful time
    • don’t believe rumors of Christ’s return
    • false Christs will appear
    • false prophets will appear
  14. relax, because Jesus has already given us his game plan and historical outline

Categories: bible, mark

Outline of Mark 13

October 19, 2008 Leave a comment

The Very End of Time

  • Look at the amazing Temple!
  • Someday, this Temple will be utterly destroyed
  • Peter, James, John and Andrew ask for insider information about the end of the world
  • Jesus gives insider information about the end of the world, including signs that it’s coming
  • The signs are like leaves on a fig tree in spring

Categories: bible, mark, outline

Winning the Crowd

October 18, 2008 Leave a comment

In verses 35-37, Jesus wins over the crowd with his simple, cutting analysis of the temple scribes.

It’s similar to why people enjoy Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

How amazing that Jesus could appeal to the crowds so effectively.

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October 17, 2008 Leave a comment

In verses 41-44, Jesus teaches that generosity is proportional.

In other words, the less we have, the greater our sacrifice when we give to the Lord.

I have too much to be like the widow. All I can do is give generously to God’s work and pray for the right attitude of sacrifice.

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October 16, 2008 Leave a comment

In verses 38-40, Jesus warns against being swayed by the long, flowing robes and flamboyant manner of the temple leaders.

How often does this happen in contemporary politics?

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Wise Scribe

October 15, 2008 Leave a comment

In verses 28-34, we learn that not all of the scribes were against Jesus.

When your opponent answers wisely, give him the honor due such a response!

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Jesus 1,000,000; Opponents, Zero

October 13, 2008 Leave a comment

In verses 18-27, Jesus easily manages the Sadducees’ parable challenge.

It’s foolish to correlate marriages on earth to relationships in heaven.

We will all be one family, devoted to God, not separated by geography or time or race or any other artificial dividing line.

How does this apply to life on earth in the here and now? How can Christians achieve a heavenly level of unity and love? We sure don’t have it now, with dozens of denominations and petty bickering among clergy and lay people.

Categories: bible, mark

Render to Caesar

October 13, 2008 Leave a comment

What is Jesus saying in this object lesson, verses 13-17?

  1. Pharisees and Herodians step in to set up Jesus in a trap
  2. They try to butter Jesus up in verse 14
  3. Next, they set their trap, with no time in between
  4. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, to representatives of the non-Jewish government?
  5. Jesus immediately calls out his opponents in their set-up
  6. Don’t bother answering a trap question directly, but call out your opponent
  7. Jesus quickly follows up with a question of his own, one that puts his opponents on the defensive
  8. Jesus builds upon the answer to his question to humble his opponents
  9. Paying taxes is not disloyal to God, but holding back my heart from Jesus is disloyal!

Categories: bible, mark
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