ANCHORED DAILY: HOPE - Mark 13: 32-37

posted by Bethel Communications | Dec 2, 2021


Hi, this is Joe Svoboda, Bethel’s Group Life Director. Today’s reading is MK. 13:32-37. Let’s read it together. This passage has to do with the Jesus’ return.

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

Many an hour has been spent trying to decipher the return of our lord and there is no shortage of literature on this issue.

Some of this is worthy in its pursuit and yet some of it just seems to miss the point

Our task is not to deduce with exactness the return of our lord, for it will be as obvious as the budding fig tree when summer is nigh (Mk. 13:28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.”). So we see there are indicators that will give clue to the nearness of Jesus’s return and that they parallel seasonal changes. And while Jesus’ return will be a seasonal thing, the tasks he has left us to be about, are not.

Instead of spending so much time trying to time his return, we would be better served to just serve the tasks he has left us to do. 

This appears to be the primary point of the parable. Consider the parallel text in Mt. 24:45-46 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Well, then what tasks has he left us to do? 

For one, we are to be on the alert or to ‘stay awake’. What this means is to maintain a posture of expectation of the Master’s return at any moment. In a modern context, this would be equivalent to parents running a few errands and leaving the children with chores to complete before their return. The catch is, the children were not told when the parents would return, only that it would be soon. The children would be unwise to squander their time away not knowing when exactly mom and dad will return. Instead, they would be better suited to work diligently in the immediate time they have should the parents return quickly.

There is something else in this parable that is often missed. The being about the work assigned you is founded in a love and heart of service that can’t wait for his return. The idea is that when the master returns, he will find his house in perfect order and be blessed to have found it so. Imagine one of the servants greeting the master at his return, “My Lord, welcome home. We have missed you so. We hope that you will find the house in perfect order. All of us have worked tirelessly to carry out the tasks you assigned us before your departure. Now please, come in and enjoy what is rightfully yours.” 

 What if Jesus’ return would be now, yes right now. You walk outside and the sky has split and Jesus is descending. Would he find you doing exactly what he had instructed you to do when he left?

Here at Bethel we talk about 3 relationships, under which all the commands in the New Testament are represented. The 3 relationships are: Relationship with God, Relationship with His people and Relationship with the world. 

So let’s walk through the 3 relationships. First, the relationship with the Father. How is your relationship with the Father? How active is your relationship with him? What has He been talking to you about lately? Where is He convicting you, encouraging you, or growing you? Where have you experienced him working in you recently?

Secondly, your relationship with the church? How is it going? Are there conflicts between you and somebody else? How are you pursuing peace? Where are the needs? Are you serving each other? How are you helping others understand their unique identity in Christ and live out their unique calling? Are you discipling anyone? What is your frequency of contact?

Thirdly, how is your relationship with the world? And by that, I mean with those who do not follow Jesus. Who are you regularly praying for that is lost? How are you fostering meaningful relationships with those who don’t follow Jesus? When was the last time you shared the “good news” with someone? When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your neighbor or co-worker that involved you sharing your walk with Jesus?

We do not know when Jesus will return but we do know what we are to be about. Let us be found ready at his return, for he will return! I leave you with Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Gal. 6:9


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