Mark Chapter Thirteen
In chapter 13 the Lord takes up much more the service of the apostles in the circumstances that would surround them, than the development of the dispensations and the ways of God with respect to the kingdom-a point of view more presented in Matthew, who treats of this subject.
It will be observed, that the disciples' question takes only a general view of the subject which pre-occupied them. They ask when the judgment upon the temple and all these things shall be fulfilled. And from verses 9-13, although some circumstances found in Matthew 24 are included, the passage relates even more to that which is said in Matthew 10. It speaks of the service which the disciples would accomplish in the midst of Israel, and in testimony against persecuting authorities, the gospel being preached in all nations before the end came. They were, as preachers, to fill the place which Jesus had occupied among the people, only that the testimony was to extend much farther. It would be in the face of all possible suffering and most trying persecutions.
But there would be a moment when this service should end. The well-known sign of the abomination that maketh desolate would point it out. They were then to flee. These would be the days of unparalleled distress, and of signs and wonders, which, if it were possible, would deceive the very elect. But they were forewarned. Everything should be shaken after that time, and the Son of man should come. Power should take the place of testimony, and the Son of man should gather together His elect (of Israel) from all parts of the earth.
It appears to me that in this Gospel, more than in any other, the Lord brings together the judgment on Jerusalem then at hand, and that which is yet to come, carrying the mind on to the latter, because He is here more occupied with the conduct of His disciples during those events. Israel, the whole system into which the Lord had come, was to be set aside provisionally, in order to bring in the assembly and the kingdom in its heavenly character, and afterwards the millennium-that is, the assembly in its glory and the kingdom established in power-when the legal system and Israel under the first covenant should be finally set aside. At these two periods the general position of the disciples would be the same; but the events of the latter period would be definitive and important, and the Lord speaks especially of them. Nevertheless that which was the most imminent, and which, for the present, set aside Israel and the testimony, required that a warning should be addressed to the disciples on account of their immediate danger; and they receive it accordingly.
The effort of the Jews to re-establish their system at the end, in despite of God, will but lead to open apostasy and definitive judgment. This will be the time of unequalled affliction, of which the Lord speaks. But from the time of the first destruction of Jerusalem by Titus until the coming of the Lord, the Jews are considered as set aside and under this judgment, in what degree soever it may have been accomplished.
The disciples are commanded to watch, for they know not the hour. It is the conduct of the disciples in this respect which is here especially before the eyes of the Lord. It is of this great day, and the hour of its arrival, that the angels and even the Son, as Prophet, know not. For Jesus must sit at the right hand of God until His enemies are made His footstool, and the time of His rising up is not revealed. The Father has kept it, says Jesus, in His own power. See Acts 3, where Peter proposes to the Jews the Lord's return. They rejected his testimony; and now they wait for the full accomplishment of all that has been spoken. Meantime the servants are left to serve during the Master's absence. He commanded the porter in particular to watch. They knew not at what hour the Master would come. This applies to the disciples in their connection with Israel, but at the same time it is a general principle. The Lord addresses it to all.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Mark》
The destruction of the temple foretold. (1-4) Christ's prophetic declaration. (5-13) Christ's prophecy. (14-23) His prophetic declarations. (24-27) Watchfulness urged. (28-37)
Commentary on Mark 13:1-4
(Read Mark 13:1-4)
See how little Christ values outward pomp, where there is not real purity of heart. He looks with pity upon the ruin of precious souls, and weeps over them, but we do not find him look with pity upon the ruin of a fine house. Let us then be reminded how needful it is for us to have a more lasting abode in heaven, and to be prepared for it by the influences of the Holy Spirit, sought in the earnest use of all the means of grace.
Commentary on Mark 13:5-13
(Read Mark 13:5-13)
Our Lord Jesus, in reply to the disciples' question, does not so much satisfy their curiosity as direct their consciences. When many are deceived, we should thereby be awakened to look to ourselves. And the disciples of Christ, if it be not their own fault, may enjoy holy security and peace of mind, when all around is in disorder. But they must take heed that they are not drawn away from Christ and their duty to him, by the sufferings they will meet with for his sake. They shall be hated of all men: trouble enough! Yet the work they were called to should be carried on and prosper. Though they may be crushed and borne down, the gospel cannot be. The salvation promised is more than deliverance from evil, it is everlasting blessedness.
Commentary on Mark 13:14-23
(Read Mark 13:14-23)
The Jews in rebelling against the Romans, and in persecuting the Christians, hastened their own ruin apace. Here we have a prediction of that ruin which came upon them within less than forty years after this. Such destruction and desolation, that the like cannot be found in any history. Promises of power to persevere, and cautions against falling away, well agree with each other. But the more we consider these things, the more we shall see abundant cause to flee without delay for refuge to Christ, and to renounce every earthly object, for the salvation of our souls.
Commentary on Mark 13:24-27
(Read Mark 13:24-27)
The disciples had confounded the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. This mistake Christ set right, and showed that the day of Christ's coming, and the day of judgment, shall be after that tribulation. Here he foretells the final dissolution of the present frame and fabric of the world. Also, the visible appearance of the Lord Jesus coming in the clouds, and the gathering together of all the elect to him.
Commentary on Mark 13:28-37
(Read Mark 13:28-37)
We have the application of this prophetic sermon. As to the destruction of Jerusalem, expect it to come very shortly. As to the end of the world, do not inquire when it will come, for of that day and that hour knoweth no man. Christ, as God, could not be ignorant of anything; but the Divine wisdom which dwelt in our Saviour, communicated itself to his human soul according to the Divine pleasure. As to both, our duty is to watch and pray. Our Lord Jesus, when he ascended on high, left something for all his servants to do. We ought to be always upon our watch, in expectation of his return. This applies to Christ's coming to us at our death, as well as to the general judgment. We know not whether our Master will come in the days of youth, or middle age, or old age; but, as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore we must expect death. Our great care must be, that, whenever our Lord comes, he may not find us secure, indulging in ease and sloth, mindless of our work and duty. He says to all, Watch, that you may be found in peace, without spot, and blameless.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Mark》
 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
Two questions are here asked; the one concerning the destruction of Jerusalem: the other concerning the end of the world.
 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.
 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
 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.
The Holy Ghost will help you. But do not depend upon any other help For all the nearest ties will be broken.
 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 Judaea flee to the mountains:
 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.
In those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation — May it not be doubted, whether this be yet fully accomplished? Is not much of this affliction still to come?
 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.
The elect — The Christians: whom he hath chosen - That is, hath taken out of, or separated from, the world, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
He hath shortened — That is, will surely shorten.
 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
But in those days — Which immediately precede the end of the world: after that tribulation - Above described.
 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.
He is nigh — The Son of man.
 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
All these things — Relating to the temple and the city.
 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Of that day — The day of judgment is often in the Scriptures emphatically called that day.
Neither the Son — Not as man: as man he was no more omniscient than omnipresent. But as God he knows all the circumstances of it.
 Take ye heed, watch 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.
The Son of man is as a man taking a far journey - Being about to leave this world and go to the Father, he appoints the services that are to be performed by all his servants, in their several stations. This seems chiefly to respect ministers at the day of judgment: but it may be applied to all men, and to the time of death. Matthew 25:14; Luke 19:12.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Mark》
Chapter 13. Foretell Tribulation
Earth Will Pass Away
God's Word Will Never Pass Away
I. Signs at the Return of the Lord
II. Disasters at the Return of the Lord
III. Watch at the Return of the Lord
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》