How do we prepare for a transition? We know how the saying goes: “All good things must come to an end.” The Gospel of Mark continues to point us to the picture of Christ as a suffering servant, whose message has pierced hearts, but what now? Where will He go from here with His message?
The way of life for many of Jesus’s followers is beginning to change. They have been eyewitnesses with a front-row view as Christ has inaugurated the forthcoming kingdom of God. This message serves as an equalizer for rich and poor, those of social status and even the outcast. The gospel message serves to turn the world upside down. Future endeavors and goals will be brought about with social and political upheaval and unrest. Jesus uses a familiar metaphor of the fig tree to build up the anticipation of the Messiah’s reign. Jesus tells them, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mark 13:31). In other words, they are to remember that God’s faithful Word can be trusted.
Approaching this timeframe will come at a cost to many. Those willing to listen and hear Him were blessed to witness His ministry and its impact, hopefully turning their hearts and lives over to Him. But now, they must turn their sight toward envisioning a life without Jesus. Suffering and isolation is on the horizon for all who follow Him.
Believers are reminded that the true prize is not an established kingdom here on earth but the timeless truth of God’s Word. People change and ideas evolve over time, but God’s Word is timeless and trustworthy. The solid foundation of God’s Word calms our deepest fears and dries weeping eyes.
The disciples have witnessed the ministry of Jesus but must now prepare for His departure, one that will leave them seemingly destitute. Their comfort for the future is our comfort at present and beyond: God’s Word will stand. Christ invites His followers to be watchful and to not waver. The swift transitions of life present a diversity of scenarios that will seem insurmountable aside from God’s help. Believers turn not to the systems of the world but are comforted by the unfailing Word of God. The faithful look to Him and His promises during perilous times to anchor their hope in a future yet to behold.
What transitions are about to take place in your own life? Do you feel prepared for what is about to transpire? Systems fail and promises wax cold. The incarnate one affirms that the cosmos is no limitation to the Son of God—He has beginning and no end. Humans and their earthly ways are like grass; they will wither, but the Word of God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:7). Christ affirms that tribulations will be triumphed to reveal a glorious coronation. Trials will be triumphed over, and believers will forever be in the presence of the Almighty. Our hearts should be comforted as He is “making everything new… these words are faithful and true” (Revelation 21:5). We are in the midst of an unstable and expiring world, but the promises of God have no expiration and shall endure eternally.