2021_06_09 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- Mark 13
Several weeks ago I had major surgery to remove my prostate. It was successful in removing the cancer (great news), but the recovery was painful, and really uncomfortable. Fortunately, my surgeon and his team had prepared me for what to expect, so that the pain didn’t scare or surprise me. In Mark 13 we hear Jesus preparing His disciples for trouble that is coming, so that they won’t be caught off guard. The first warning was the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem that His disciples were admiring at the beginning of the chapter. In AD 70 it is utterly destroyed by the Romans. Jesus warned the disciples so His followers would remember His words when this happened, and find hope that God was still in control. The rest of the chapter (also found in Matthew 24 and Luke 21) describes another time, when things will be much, much worse, and show the signs of the coming end of history as we know it.
Rather than try to dissect every detail of this section, I find it more valuable to recognize these three things from Jesus’ warning: First, even though we see modern progress all around us like technology, medicine and science, human-nature hasn’t changed; we are all infected by sin and need a savior. Second, we have an enemy that is actively pursuing any means possible to keep us from faith in Christ. Satan can be disguised in all kinds of ways, including political and religious forms. We must be on-guard by knowing what the Bible teaches and following it, otherwise, we can and will be deceived. Third, no matter how difficult things become (historically Christians have often suffered due to their allegiance to Jesus) for those of us who have surrendered to follow Jesus, He will be with us and carry us through! Isaiah 41:10 is a great promise to hold onto when we are experiencing trouble due to our being faithful to Him:
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (NLT)