Summary: In this passage Jesus shares with us some rather stark realities that mankind is at best Castle builders. That human saviors are only deceivers. That is the bad news. The GOOD NEWS is that God is King, Jesus is Savior and the Holy Spirit will lead us to everlasting salvation.
Theme: Collapse, Deception and Marching orders
Proposition: In this passage Jesus shares with us some rather stark realities that mankind is at best Castle builders. That human saviors are only deceivers. That is the bad news. The GOOD NEWS is that God is King, Jesus is Savior and the Holy Spirit will lead us to everlasting salvation.
Grace and peace from God our Father, the Holy Spirit and the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
This morning our Marcan passage should easily resonate with anyone born after the year 1990. You have grown up in a age when movie box office hit after movie box office hit have promoted a singular theme; that being, the coming collapse/destruction of our world and even our universe. Over the past 25 years Hollywood has profited billions of dollars from the production of apocalyptic movies and films. It seems like every other week or month there is a new movie dealing with the destruction of our world and/or mankind.
Apocalyptic movies have not always enjoyed such wide scale notoriety and popularity. Prior to the 1950's there were only about four or five major Hollywood films that dealt with the apocalypse or end time destruction. Americans simply did not have an appetite for such movies. However, during the 70's, 80's and 90's things began to intensify as Hollywood began producing about 33 major apocalyptic type movies a year. Then as the new century rolled around things began to really scintillate. From 2000 to 2009, Hollywood produced over 62 major movies dealing with the end of the world events. Nearly twice as many apocalyptic movies were produced in one decade than had been made in the previous two decades.
Currently, we are in year six of the new cycle and already 58 major apocalyptic movies have hit the big screens. This means that if we stay on the current trajectory by the time 2019 rolls around there will be nearly 100 major movies made dealing with the destruction of the world/universe in this last decade alone. That is quite a growth industry. From just a mere four or five movies just a few decades ago to nearly 100 movies today. Hollywood has found a profitable niche. And recently TV producers have began to pick up on the genre.
So, as we look at Mark 13:1-13, it may seem very similar to a modern day movie plot. In fact, if we close our eyes and allow someone to read the passage to us, we can almost envision it on the big screen.
+We can see the Temple as it starts to shake and large pieces of alabaster rock and gold come crashing down crushing and wrecking havoc. Perhaps it has been hit by a bomb or an violent earthquake. Perhaps a foreign army has come in to destroy it. (Actually, that is what happened in 70 AD).
+We can see the start and end and the restarting and continuation of war after war. Uniforms and weapons forever changing but the killing, pillaging and massive destruction simply being consistently constant. Mankind turning on one another and devouring one another.
+We can see charismatic leader after charismatic leader coming to power promising everything would be well under their leadership only to see them start wars and division. We can see false promises, false Messiahs and self-absorbed politicians rising to power.
+We can see earthquakes, famines, floods, climate change and the beginning of global devastation.
If we just close our eyes, our passage does seem like a modern day apocalyptic movie. On the surface it seems like something that should be alongside such movies as Resident Evil, The Maze Runner, Hunger Games, The Book of Eli or the movie , After Earth. Even World War Z seems like it would fit alongside of Mark 13 perfectly. It seems like we could make a mega hit out of what we read here in Mark chapter 13.
However, there is one major difference and it is that difference that makes all the difference in the world. All of those movies are simply stories someone made up. They are someone's fantasies and they are works of fiction. That is to say, they are not real. There is no impending attack of vampires, zombies or aliens. There is no impending attack of mega robots or ancient dinosaurs.
What we have in Mark 13, however, is the very word of God spoken by His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. And it is for that reason that we must look at this passage differently and that we must listen to each word that has been written. For Mark 13 has some foundational truths that we need to hear and absorb.
Hannah's song that we find in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 that was read earlier is complementary to our Marcan passage. 1 Samuel 2:1-10 reminds us that what Jesus tells us here is not something brand new. As beautiful of a song as Hannah's song is, it is a song about upheaval and societal change. It is a song that talks about destruction, chaos and radical transformations. It is a song about the joy that will come when the evil oppressors are destroyed and when the rich will be humbled and the poor are raised. If you really examine the words of Hannah's song, they like Mark 13 can be some scary stuff.