This text is used for the Lectionary Year B on November 15, 2015.
Over the years, the thirteenth chapter in Mark’s Gospel has gone by many titles. It has alternatively been called the “Little Apocalypse” because of its hypothesized source material, the “Olivet” discourse for its setting on the Mount of Olives, and the “Eschatological” or “Prophetic” discourse in reference to its presumed genres. One epithet on which scholars can agree for Mark 13 is that of longest discourse in the Gospel of Mark.
Aside from its pride of length, the passage’s pride of place in this gospel clearly signals to Mark’s audience its importance. Its narrative placement as the final teaching material of Jesus’ ministry and as the speech that occurs immediately before the start of his passion shows that it obviously must be a significant discourse. Open a commentary to its discussion of this passage, however, and you will likely be told that, although it is extremely important, it is also one of the most notoriously problematic parts of the NT to interpret.
This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on December 1, 2013.
Christian hope is our confidence that God is the God of the future as well as the past and present. He is the One who WAS and IS and IS TO COME. He is both Alpha and Omega. That hope grows out of the consistent biblical message that God is working out his loving purposes in human history for all of creation. The events of history, despite human pride and violence, cannot frustrate those plans. In God’s own time and in God’s own way the reign of God will be extended to the entire creation. Jesus reaffirmed this hope as an essential part of his message about the dawning of the kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17).
The certainty of the consummation of the age to come is not questioned in Jesus’ teaching and ministry. The acts of power he performs — healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, even raising the dead – foreshadow the coming day when all who know him live forever in wholeness, joy, and peace in the presence of God on earth (Revelation 21:3-5). In fact, this consistent affirmation of hope became part of ancient Christian creeds: “He will come again to judge the living and the dead.”