Mark 13:37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” (ESV)
Much of what is said in the Olivet Discourse here in Mark seems to be speaking directly to the disciples (v. 5), to their immediate future in spreading the good news about Jesus (v. 9-13), and events centered around Judea (v. 14) culminating in the destruction of the Temple (v. 2) in A.D. 70 (cf. v. 30). But at the same time, some things seem to point to a future time foreshadowed here: cosmic signs (v. 24), references to all humanity (v. 20), separation of judgment and the return of Christ (v. 26-27), as well as references to a past event (the abomination of desolation in 168 B.C.) perhaps prefiguring an eschatological happening (v.14). It would seem that Jesus may be following the tradition of the prophets in muddling immediate future events together with eschatological consummation.
So what’s the point? What Jesus says to the Apostles, He says to all: “Stay awake!” Be on guard! Watch out. People of God, don’t let your guard down! The Master has left us in charge of His mission (v. 34). We need to be about His business, constantly, ready for the next kingdom opportunity. Don’t be distracted by the things of the world, the worries and concerns of this life. Stay focused on the mission (like a soldier).
Come Lord Jesus. I long for Your return, Your coming. I long for justice! But empower these hands to do the work of the kingdom, while we wait. Cleanse my mind and purify my heart lest I become distracted. Help me to see where the Father is working (Jn. 5:19-20) even when I am in the midst of my own trials & struggles. Come Holy Spirit, come in power. Light a fire in me for mission. Father God be glorified!
In Jesus’ name – Amen,