- What comes into your mind when you think about the end of the world?
- This week we will be looking at Jesus’ challenging teaching about coming persecution and the end of time. Whether on your own or with a group, begin your study by asking God to speak to you. Then read aloud Mark 13.
- This section of Mark’s Gospel can be very confusing because of the variety of prophetic, apocalyptic, and historical references. It might be helpful to consult a few other sources for further background:Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Isaiah 13:10; 34:4. Some of the apocryphal books also provide historical background: 1 Maccabees 1:41-64; 2 Maccabees 6:1-11.
- There are four major places where Jesus calls people to ‘watch out’ or ‘be on your guard’ (13:5, 9, 23, 33). What is Jesus calling His disciples to be attentive to?
- It is likely that Jesus’ words were in part fulfilled when Jerusalem fell to the Romans in A.D. 70. Take a moment to look up more information on that historical event. How does it shed light on this text?
- At the same time, some of Jesus’ words point to a future event when He will bodily return at the end of human history. Verses 32-37 should be read in this light. What does Jesus call us to in that regard?
- What do you think it means for us to be attentive today?
- What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you from this study? Write it down. If you are in a small group, discuss this together.
Next week we will continue in the Gospel of Mark by looking at Jesus’ words in Mark 12:28-34. To prepare for next week’s message, please read that Scripture passage ahead of time.