We start our preparation for this great season of Advent not with Jesus’ birth but by looking forward, to our Lord’s Second Coming. In the preceding verses of Mark 13, Jesus teaches important truths about what will happen before He returns to earth at the end of history. While we are given some clues about what will unfold, it is clear that Jesus wants to divert our attention from fruitless and divisive speculation about dates, towards faithful service. So Jesus concludes this teaching on His Second Coming with these few verses focusing on the need to stay alert and remain faithful to the task He has given us to do. Jesus uses the parable of a master leaving his servants to do their duties while he goes on a journey to help us understand this point. No one knows exactly when the master will return.
- What is the main message of today’s parable? Is it that Jesus expects to find us doing the work he asked us to do when he returns?- In the parable each of the servants had been given “his own work to do” (verse 34). What “work” has Jesus given to all Christians to do? What things has he given you to do personally?- Consider what can happen when debating with other Christians about when Jesus will return. Compare this to our responsibility towards our fellow servants in Jesus’ parable. Which is more constructive?- Mark 13 reminds us this world will one day come to an end. Are we spending too much time investing in temporal things?
Praise God – one day Jesus will return again in great power and glory and the end of history lies under His direct control. Pray for those who haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness yet. Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus to them and that they will respond to His grace and mercy. Ask God to give you the grace and strength you need to serve Him and do his will. Pray that God will keep you from becoming weary or discouraged.
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