I’m continuing to look at the Gospel of Mark. In this section, Jesus is teaching His disciples about His Second Coming. It seems that what Jesus taught is different than what many are teaching in our generation.
As He brings this teaching to a close, the Lord begins to summarize for His followers.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Before He finishes this section of His teaching, Jesus emphasizes the certainty of His words. It will take place as He said. We will see it approaching just as we see the changes of the seasons. If we are believers who are prepared to meet Christ, then this day will not take us unawares.
Let me add a note here. Some teachers use this section to fix a date for the return. They reason that the budding fig tree is when Israel became a nation again in 1948 or perhaps when the United Nations recognized them in 1965. This line of thinking continues as they explain that a generation is 40-50 years. That would have made the year of the return 1988, 1998, 2005, or 2015!
Jesus said that we wouldn’t know the day or the hour. In reality, the word generation in the above verse could also be translated race. Jesus could have merely been saying that, as a sign to prove the truth of His statement, the Jews would never be totally exterminated. Considering the persecutions and the atrocities that have been committed against them, this is a miracle in itself.
The Lord then seals the certainty of what He says. He contrasts the Word that He speaks to the natural heavens and the earth.
The earth and the sky that we see now are only temporary. There will come a day when they’re changed by the Lord.
Right now, because of sin, everything is subject to decay – which, in terms of Physics, is the Third Law of Thermodynamics. When Christ returns, He will make all things new – with no more decay. I’m looking forward to that day with great anticipation.
His Word, however, will never change. It is forever settled in Heaven. I can put my trust in Christ, knowing that He will always bring about His revealed plan to completion. That’s true whether we’re talking about world events or my personal life.
So, as we continue living in these last days before Christ’s return, let’s focus our hearts and minds on Him. That’s how we’ll receive the strength and wisdom needed to be victorious until the end of this age.
Maranatha! Even so, come quickly, Lord!
Question: How are you preparing yourself for the Lord’s return?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi