Message Title: Not the King
Main Text: Mark 13:1-8
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25
RCL Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:4-20 or Daniel 12:1-3 or 1 Samuel 2:1-10** Psalm 16 Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25 Mark 13:1-8
Focus: Jesus warns his disciples to not be led astray by false teachers.
Function: To raise caution towards our allegiances and loyalties by weighing them against scripture.
SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 10:11-25 11 Every priest stands every day serving and offering the same sacrifices over and over, sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right side of God. 13 Since then, he’s waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for his feet, 14 because he perfected the people who are being made holy with one offering for all time. 15 The Holy Spirit affirms this when saying, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them. After these days, says the Lord, I will place my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds. 17And I won’t remember their sins and their lawless behavior anymore. 18 When there is forgiveness for these things, there is no longer an offering for sin. 19 Brothers and sisters, we have confidence that we can enter the holy of holies by means of Jesus’ blood, 20 through a new and living way that he opened up for us through the curtain, which is his body, 21 and we have a great high priest over God’s house. 22 Therefore, let’s draw near with a genuine heart with the certainty that our faith gives us, since our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water. 23 Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable. 24 And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. 25 Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.
- AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT:
- Can you recognize a monarch by their crown?
- Ursala from The Little Mermaid
- Joffrey Baratheon from GOT
- Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland
- King Aragorn from The Return of the King
- The White Witch/Queen Jadis from The lion, The witch, and the wardrobe
- Bonus: Queen Anna from Frozen
- Can you recognize a monarch by their crown?
- I’m a sucker for stories about monarchs, both historical and fiction. Give me the story of King Arthur or King George VI and I’m all in. What is it about the stories of royalty that draws us in?
TRANSITION: Next Sunday is the final Sunday in the church calendar, known as Christ the King Sunday or Reign of Christ Sunday. We will take 2 weeks to consider kingship and Jesus’s role.
In our text today, Jesus warns of leaders who would mislead Jesus’ disciples and warns them to stay sharp. Let’s consider loyalty as we dive into this text.
MAIN TEXT: Mark 13:1-8 As Jesus left the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look! What awesome stones and buildings!” 2 Jesus responded, “Do you see these enormous buildings? Not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.” 3 Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? What sign will show that all these things are about to come to an end?” 5 Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many people will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ They will deceive many people. 7 When you hear of wars and reports of wars, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn’t the end yet. 8 Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be earthquakes and famines in all sorts of places. These things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end.
- “one of his disciples said”—an unnamed disciple is in awe of the Temple and expresses this awe to Jesus.
- “All will be demolished.”- Jesus seems to be in a dark place as he mentions that destruction will come to this beautiful place.
- At times in the different scriptures, Jesus predicts his death and the destruction of the Temple and the language can be confusing. However, this time, Jesus doesn’t blend those two topics. The Temple will fall. This beautiful, holy place will fall.
- “when will these things happen?”- naturally the disciples want to know when these events will unfold and how to be prepared.
- “Watch out that no one deceives you.”–Jesus doesn’t directly answer, his reply is to not be led astray.
- Put it in context:
- Just before this conversation, Jesus pointed out the giving of a poor widow. Even in her poverty, she gave to God.
- Now we have disciples in awe of this pretty building. What a juxtaposition?! This beautiful elaborate building is just a building. It doesn’t ensure the faithfulness of God’s people. Jews were supposed to provide for the widow, yet this woman was destitute. What happened?
- Little Apocalypse: In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus had already been teaching the disciples that he would be killed (starting in Mark 8). The disciples were to prepare for ministry without Jesus by their side. However, this apocalyptic teaching was different, this wasn’t about Jesus’ death…directly.
- These words of doom could sound overwhelming but there is more that the disciples may not be considering: Jesus will not be there when this destruction comes. They will experience this tragedy alone. Will they remain faithful amid suffering?
- Jesus’ prediction comes true:
- 70 A.D. the temple get’s destroyed and is never rebuilt again.
- Imagine the despair in Jesus’ followers when 40 years later the holy temple of God is destroyed. Would they remember these words? Would they feel comforted or that the world is ending?
- The End of the World: Every generation has events that feel like the end of times. Every generation has people speaking out saying “The End is Near!” because we need to “read the signs of the times!” Yet here we are in 2021 preparing for 2022.
- 70 AD temple destruction
APPLICATION: To raise caution towards our allegiances and loyalties by weighing them against scripture.
- Trials and tribulations are easy temptation breeding grounds to switch allegiances for self-preservation.
- In The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Edmund initially fostered a relationship with Queen Jadis because he thought she would elevate him above his siblings.
- In The Lord of The Rings, the Hobbits of Hobbiton intentionally ignored the rest of the world. They didn’t get involved. Their corner of the world was happy and safe, why should they interfere?
- Leaders can have selfish motives. It is important to ask questions and to assess things through the lens of Scripture with the guidance of God’s Spirit.
- Prince John in Robin Hood wanted the wealth of his kingdom for himself.
- The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland wanted subjects to flatter her and entertain her.
- We must temper our allegiance even to good leaders.
- Jesus first and foremost is our King.
- Every other law of the land or word of a ruler should be tempered through the words of Christ.
- Are we, as Christians, able to be critical thinkers?
- Are we able to test every leader, ruler, and power against the words of Christ?
- Can we tell the difference between false rulers and the One True King?
CONCLUSION: Next week we will celebrate the One True King. Come back next week and we will look for attributes of our king. Then we can test others according to the truth of Christ.