#DailyDevotion Would You Like An Eschatological Sandwich?
Mark 13:3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Jesus answer to the disciples question can be divided into several parts. People often get confused because they expect Jesus to answer a question directly and only answer with things directly dealing with the question asked him. But Jesus often doesn’t answer the person’s question and often answers the question the questioner should have asked. But Jesus here answers the disciples’ question with a eschatological (last days) sandwich.
So the first slice of bread is versus 5-8. These are things that will occurs throughout the last days which begin no later than the crucifixion but could start as soon as Jesus’ birth. These things, wars, political unrest, earthquakes, famines, etc. will all be occurring during the Last Days, which we are in. We should not be disturbed by it.
The meat of the sandwich begins at verse 9 and goes to at least verse 18 but could go as far as verse 20. These are things that will happen during the apostolic period. Let’s face it they won’t be held for trial in synagogues after 70 AD when the Jews became reviled by the Roman Empire. The apostles would stand before governors, kings and even the Roman emperor to confess the faith of Jesus Christ. During this time Christians would be betrayed into the hands of both Jewish authorities and Roman authorities. They became hated by all. And as Paul testifies in several of his letters and the book of Acts, the gospel had been preached to the whole world, every creature under the sun as far as the word and promise of God are concerned. But yet, we are still called to continue to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, the free gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins in his name. The second slice of bread continues no later than verse 21 and continues talking about the last days in general. But you remember, ‘he who endures to the end will be saved.’ Continue in the faith, hear God’s word, receive Christ’s gifts, pray and do good.
Gracious God and Father, grant us repentance and faith that we may always use the gifts you have given us in Christ Jesus that we may endure to the end and be saved when come before you at the Last Judgment. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.