Mark 13

Things to Come

1 1As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!"
2 And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? 2Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down."
3 As He was sitting on 3the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, 4Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately *,
4 "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?"
5 And Jesus began to say to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.
6 "Many will come in My name, saying, '5I am He!' and will mislead many.
7 "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.
8 "For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 "But be on your guard; for they will 6deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged 7in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.
10 "8The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
11 "9When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever * is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
12 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
13 "10You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
14 "But 11when you see the 12ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand ), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
15 "13The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house;
16 and the one who is in the field must not turn back * to get his coat.
17 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
18 "But pray that it may not happen in the winter.
19 "For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred 14since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never * will.
20 "Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no * life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
21 "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ '; or, 'Behold, He is there '; do not believe him;
22 for false Christs and 15false prophets will arise, and will show 16signs and 17wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
23 "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.

The Return of Christ

24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, 18THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,
25 19AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.
26 "Then they will see 20THE SON OF MAN 21COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory.
27 "And then He will send forth the angels, and 22will gather together His elect from the four winds, 23from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
28 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
29 "Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
30 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
31 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
32 "24But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
33 "Take heed, 25keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
34 "26It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.
35 "Therefore, 27be on the alert -for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or 28when the rooster crows, or 29in the morning -
36 in case he should come suddenly and find you 30asleep.
37 "What I say to you I say to all, '31Be on the alert!' "

Mark 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

The destruction of the temple foretold. (1-4) Christ's prophetic declaration. (5-13) Christ's prophecy. (14-23) His prophetic declarations. (24-27) Watchfulness urged. (28-37)

Verses 1-4 See how little Christ values outward pomp, where there is not real purity of heart. He looks with pity upon the ruin of precious souls, and weeps over them, but we do not find him look with pity upon the ruin of a fine house. Let us then be reminded how needful it is for us to have a more lasting abode in heaven, and to be prepared for it by the influences of the Holy Spirit, sought in the earnest use of all the means of grace.

Verses 5-13 Our Lord Jesus, in reply to the disciples' question, does not so much satisfy their curiosity as direct their consciences. When many are deceived, we should thereby be awakened to look to ourselves. And the disciples of Christ, if it be not their own fault, may enjoy holy security and peace of mind, when all around is in disorder. But they must take heed that they are not drawn away from Christ and their duty to him, by the sufferings they will meet with for his sake. They shall be hated of all men: trouble enough! Yet the work they were called to should be carried on and prosper. Though they may be crushed and borne down, the gospel cannot be. The salvation promised is more than deliverance from evil, it is everlasting blessedness.

Verses 14-23 The Jews in rebelling against the Romans, and in persecuting the Christians, hastened their own ruin apace. Here we have a prediction of that ruin which came upon them within less than forty years after this. Such destruction and desolation, that the like cannot be found in any history. Promises of power to persevere, and cautions against falling away, well agree with each other. But the more we consider these things, the more we shall see abundant cause to flee without delay for refuge to Christ, and to renounce every earthly object, for the salvation of our souls.

Verses 24-27 The disciples had confounded the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. This mistake Christ set right, and showed that the day of Christ's coming, and the day of judgment, shall be after that tribulation. Here he foretells the final dissolution of the present frame and fabric of the world. Also, the visible appearance of the Lord Jesus coming in the clouds, and the gathering together of all the elect to him.

Verses 28-37 We have the application of this prophetic sermon. As to the destruction of Jerusalem, expect it to come very shortly. As to the end of the world, do not inquire when it will come, for of that day and that hour knoweth no man. Christ, as God, could not be ignorant of anything; but the Divine wisdom which dwelt in our Saviour, communicated itself to his human soul according to the Divine pleasure. As to both, our duty is to watch and pray. Our Lord Jesus, when he ascended on high, left something for all his servants to do. We ought to be always upon our watch, in expectation of his return. This applies to Christ's coming to us at our death, as well as to the general judgment. We know not whether our Master will come in the days of youth, or middle age, or old age; but, as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore we must expect death. Our great care must be, that, whenever our Lord comes, he may not find us secure, indulging in ease and sloth, mindless of our work and duty. He says to all, Watch, that you may be found in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Cross References 31

  • 1. Mark 13:1-37: {Matthew 24; Luke 21:5-36}
  • 2. Luke 19:44
  • 3. Matthew 21:1
  • 4. Matthew 17:1
  • 5. John 8:24
  • 6. Matthew 10:17
  • 7. Matthew 10:17
  • 8. Matthew 24:14
  • 9. Mark 13:11-13: {Matthew 10:19-22; Luke 21:12-17}
  • 10. Matthew 10:22; John 15:21
  • 11. Matthew 24:15
  • 12. Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11
  • 13. Luke 17:31
  • 14. Daniel 12:1; Mark 10:6
  • 15. Matthew 7:15
  • 16. Matthew 24:24; John 4:48
  • 17. Matthew 24:24; John 4:48
  • 18. Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10, 31; Joel 3:15; Revelation 6:12
  • 19. Isaiah 34:4; Revelation 6:13
  • 20. Daniel 7:13; Revelation 1:7
  • 21. Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38
  • 22. Deuteronomy 30:4
  • 23. Zechariah 2:6
  • 24. Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7
  • 25. Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2
  • 26. Luke 12:36-38
  • 27. Matthew 24:42; Mark 13:37
  • 28. Mark 14:30
  • 29. Matthew 14:25; Mark 6:48
  • 30. Romans 13:11
  • 31. Matthew 24:42; Mark 13:35

Footnotes 21

Mark 13 Commentaries

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