Today we read what is known as ‘The Olivet Prophecy’. This was given by Jesus specifically to his disciples as they sat on the Mount of Olives looking down on the temple. He had shocked them by saying the temple was soon going to be destroyed.

Much of Mark 13 is about the coming destruction of the temple and Jerusalem and the plight of the people at that time. This happened in AD 70. But in some of his words Jesus extends his vision beyond that time to his second coming when there will be an even greater time of trouble. It will involve the whole world Jerusalem as the focal point. Some of his words apply to both his second coming and AD 67-70 when, according to Josephus, about a million Jews died. Other words apply specifically to the final time of trouble. Jesus says there will be “such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of creation until now and never will be [again]” (Mark 13:19).

Christ’s words end with a personal message and parable, which all true believers must heed: “Be on your guard, stay awake. For you do not know when the time will come” (verse 33). Jesus talks of a “man going on a journey” (himself) who “puts his servants in charge, each with his work” (verse 34). What is the work of these servants? They are in charge! In charge of what? The answer is that they are to represent him, they are in charge of his message, although they “do not know when the Master will come” (verse 35).

On another occasion Jesus answered a query by Peter by warning that some servants would think “My Master is delayed in coming” and they begin to beat their fellow servants “and to eat and drink and get drunk, and the master of that servant will come … (at) an hour he does not know” (Luke 12:45,46).

The lack of diligent Bible reading today is evident, yet the world knows it is facing an impossible future. More people are living for the moment, which is all that most want to think about! Are you a servant of the Lord? If so, hear Jesus’ words, “Be on your guard, stay awake”, discover the power of prayer for “the prayer of a righteous person has great power in its working” (James5:16). Let us serve the Lord by making His word known to any who will listen.