Kingdom Come, Kingdom Coming
Gospel of Mark: Kingdom Invasion
Week #12: Kingdom Come, Kingdom Coming
od’s kingdom is in conflict with earthly kingdoms because ultimately it is not of this world. Though God’s kingdom comes to invade earth through Jesus, and subsequently through his Spirit-empowered followers, the consummation of the kingdom of God will occur when Christ returns to earth and all things are placed under his sovereign reign. This discourse on the end of the age reminds us that God’s kingdom is “already, but not yet.”
READ Mark 13
Often in biblical prophecy, the next predicted event in salvation history is set against the backdrop of that Final Day. This is sometimes called “prophetic foreshortening.” That is why it is sometimes difficult to decipher when Jesus is speaking about the destruction of the temple and fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and when he is speaking about the end of the age and his Second Coming.
- What are some of the things Jesus says will happen after he departs (Mark 13:5-13)?
- How do Jesus’ words in Mark 13:5-13 prepare the early church to persevere under trial, and not to assume they will escape suffering?
- How would you apply these words today?
- Whether the events of Mark 13:14-23 happened in the past or are still in the future, what evidence do you find that God is in control in the midst of the turmoil?
- In any time of tribulation, what hope do Christians find in Mark 13:24-27?
- Six times in this chapter, Jesus warns to keep watch and be on guard (Mark 13:5, 9,23,33,35, and 37). Why?
- In Mark 13:4, some of the disciples wanted to know “when these things will happen,” and yet Jesus never gives them a direct answer. Today, many still want to make predictions or have a timetable about Christ’s return. Is this Jesus’ main concern in this chapter? How would you summarize Jesus’ instruction to his followers in Mark 13?
- What do you think it means to live in the tension of the “Already” (Christ inaugurates his kingdom at his first coming) and the “Not Yet” (the kingdom will not be fully realized until Christ returns)? Can you think of any implications for living in this “in-between” time?
§ How does the “already” part of the kingdom encourage you that the kingdom of God can powerfully impact people’s lives today?
§ How does the “not yet” aspect of the kingdom give you hope that this sinful and broken world will one day be put right?
- Does this chapter have any implications for how we exercise perseverance and patience? If so, what are the implications?
- What do you think it means for you to keep watch and be on guard as you await the coming kingdom?
The following questions will be posted on-line for comments:
- How would you summarize Jesus’ instructions to his followers who are waiting for the end of the age?
- What do you think it looks like to keep watch and be on guard while we wait?
- Did you have any new thoughts, questions, or insights from reading this chapter?
- What personal application did you get from this lesson?
- Do you have any other comments about this week’s passage and lesson?