- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Temple building (1-2) — Jesus predicted the destruction of magnificent temple building, symbolic meaning of his own death (body) so that he could build new temple (resurrection). This prediction set a context of his next teaching in chapter 13.
The End of the age (3-37) —- Mark 13 is called “Little Apocalypse.” We need to read it as one unit so that we understand the point that Jesus makes, and for us to feel a spiritual dynamic in this chapter. Three theological terms appears in this chapter and they have same meaning; Apocalypse (regarding the end of age), Eschatology (relating on what is going to happen in the end times), Parousia (the return of Christ). Overall tense of the events in Chapter 13 is future, “it will happen in the future,” “the end is not yet.”
Signs of the end time — The appearance of deceivers, wars, upheaval of nature, the persecution of Jesus’ disciples, the appearance of the desolating sacrilege, and of false Christ.
Warnings —- “ do not be deceived,” “watch out,” “on your guard,” “ be alert,” “watch,” “do not fear,” “ no one know about that day.”
Hope —- the intention of the text is to call the followers of Jesus to hope for the coming of Jesus again to complete his Kingdom. This hope sustains Christians undergoing persecution and strengthen them to endure to the end.
Message from this chapter — The historical signs that many people associate with end of the world have occurred but the final coming of Jesus will lies in the future. To fix a date for the Parousia (return of Jesus) or the end of the world is not on our hand. “Only the Father knows.” (v32). The message from Mark 13 strengthen Christians in the present. It arms them against the wiles of deceivers it sustains them in whatever suffering or persecution they must endure. It motivates us to get on living with hope and trust in God. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (31)
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Ask yourself, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?”
- Pray God that the God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth.
- Live it out through the day.