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Mark 13 v 7 - 8 & 24 - 27

As we continue to attempt to solve this chapter's puzzle, we are focussing today on the verses relating to Christ's return. It is unmistakable that here Jesus is talking of His coming again. As He does generally, Jesus gives three pictures to illustrate His points: 1. the day of the Lord was to be preceded by a period of wars. It was common to Jewish apocalyptic thought that this was to be the case, so Jesus used images which were part and parcel of Jewish dreams of the future. The interesting thing has been recently that there has always been war in one part of the world or another. Since I've been alive, I would be surprised if there had been a period of time when there was no war anywhere! Partly this is because we know of all the major issues in the world and that there are areas of the world-such as the Middle East-where some kind of fighting is very likely at any time! 2. The day of the Lord was to be preceded by the darkening of sun and moon. The prophets of the Old Testament made that clear in their utterances- Amos 8 v 9; Joel 2 v 10, Ezekiel 32 v 7, 8; Isaiah 13 v 10-and so it is apparent once again that Jesus used the pictures which were popular and understood in His day. 3. The day of the Lord was to be preceded by the gathering of the Jews from throughout the world to Jerusalem. Again, we have prophecies to that effect in Isaiah, Micah and Zechariah (10 v 6-11) and it would have been common knowledge to the Jews. So, what we can surmise is that Jesus uses the language and images which were familiar to the Jews and which they had used for centuries before His birth. What this means is that we do not need to get too tied up with the details of the pictures, but remind ourselves that Jesus promised that He would return again.

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