Date: November 18, 2018
Jesus’ conversation found in the beginning of today’s text from Mark’s Gospel was difficult to hear and hard to understand for the disciples who sat with Jesus so long ago. In many ways it is also difficult for us to understand and hear these words two thousand years later: Jesus is describing the life that is to come for the disciples and for those who will follow. His intention is not to scare the disciples but to prepare them and help them understand that there are certain things that are important as he prepares to leave.
As Jesus prepares the disciples for the trials and persecutions that are to come there are several things that Jesus obviously thinks are important to pass on. Perhaps it is the holiness of the moment as they sit together or perhaps it is clarification about what God will do. Jesus tells of the destruction that will come and the trouble that will face the people of this earth, but he also gives his friends some words of advice. Jesus tells the disciples to be aware and to watch out for those who will try to take the name of Christ and lead the disciples astray. Jesus knows that the disciples have been dependent upon him and he worries about their future path. Out of this care and concern Jesus tells them to keep the teachings and the path that he has set for them and that no matter what destruction or persecution may come to remain faithful to his guidance.