St Mark 13 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Thirteen: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/13?lang=eng

13 take heed

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This chapter is full of warning for Christians: Read Mark 13:1-37.

‘And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him,

“Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

‘And Jesus answering said unto him,

“Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

‘And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

“Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?”

‘And Jesus answering them began to say,

Take heed lest any man deceive you” (Mark 13:1-5).

Here in verses 5 and 6, the Savior issues this first warning, “Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”

So we need to be aware of those who are trying to lead us away from Christ, pretending to be something they are not. We must seek to have the Spirit with us on a continual basis, so that we are not deceived. What can you and I do personally to ensure that we are not deceived.

The Savior gave us more signs to prepare us for the troubles that the world will face before His Second Coming; and more particularly warnings to those who believe in Him. He wants us to be prepared, and not to fear.

“And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows” (vs. 7-8).

We have yet much to endure in the way of sorrow. Jesus was known as a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief (See Isaiah 53:3). “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). Isn’t it the same for us? Shouldn’t we have to endure some sorrow to become like Him? Don’t the sorrows we face, help us turn more fully to our Father and to His Son’s atonement, which has the power to make us whole? And in doing so, aren’t we promised His peace even in the midst of sorrow? “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

In verse 9, again Jesus speaks the words, “Take heed”:

But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.”

The early disciples did face all these things. Will the disciples of the latter days also face these challenges? It seems so, from the following verses.

“And the gospel must first be published among all nations” (vs. 10).

This has been in the process for thousands of years, and more particularly again since the Restoration.

“But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost” (vs. 11).

We need to treasure up the words of Christ from day to day, and when we need to speak, the Holy Ghost will give us the words to say. We should speak by the Spirit. “Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:85).

“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death” (vs. 12).

There will be disloyalty even among family members because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Will we be able to put God first? Do we carry that conviction in our hearts?

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (vs. 13).

Will we endure the shame of the world for our Savior? He will certainly save us, every time, if we do.

“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judæa flee to the mountains” (vs. 14).

We are seeing the prophecies being fulfilled. There will be little safety felt anywhere. Shouldn’t we flee to the mountains of the Lord, where we can be taught with power from on high, and where we can receive the power of priesthood blessings? We need to go to the temple! The temples are the Mountain of the Lord. They are holy places where we can stand with security and not be moved.

Also, we need to be ready to leave everything and flee to an appointed place.

When we go to the temples, are we not leaving the world behind to be with the Lord?

Some challenges that we will face when it is time to flee: Read Mark 13: 15-19.

And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.” 

And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days” (vs 20).

In verses 21 and 22, we are told to not follow after false Christs and false prophets:

“And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”

“If it were possible…” If we are the elect of God, we must heed the warnings and follow the Spirit, so that it will not be possible for Satan to deceive us.

“But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things” (vs. 23).

More Signs: Read Mark 13:24-27.

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” (vs. 24-26).

Can you imagine? This is what we have waited for our entire lives? Are we paying attention to the signs? Are we heeding the warnings? Are we moving to higher ground? Will we be prepared to meet Him at His Coming?

“And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” (vs. 27).

Parable of the Fig Tree and Other Comparisons: Read Mark 13: 28-37:

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.” 

Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

Take ye heedwatch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.”

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.”

His voice is unto all. If we are watching and if we see the signs, how can we help others to watch, see, and take heed?

And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

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