The Coming of the King: March 26
The Servant King
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life for a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
The Coming of the King
Mark 13:32-37 | March 26, 2017
Review: Last week, we were invited to reflect on the places where we have authority and what Jesus might say to us if he met us in our places of authority. Share any reflections that you had during this past week as you meditated on this question.
Introduction: This is week four in our Lenten study on Jesus, The Servant King. As Jesus makes his way to the cross, he begins to teach his disciples about his return. Walking out of the Temple, a disciples remarks on the beauty and grandeur of the structures around them. In reply, Jesus declares that “not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.” This prophecy would come to pass just a few years later in 70 A.D. when the military might of Rome would destroy Jerusalem and burn the temple,
but there is more going on here in Jesus’ words.
C.T. Studd, a missionary at the end of the 19th century wrote a poem with the famous words, “Only one life ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” The author of Hebrews puts it this way in chapter 12:26-27, “now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven. This phrase ‘Yet once more’ indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” As Christians, we proclaim the mystery of faith that “Christ has died, Christ, has Risen, Christ will come again.” When Christ comes again in glory, we will all be called to give an account, and in that day, only that which is done for Christ will last.
Therefore, Christ called his disciples, and he calls us, to keep alert, to stay awake, and to prepare for the return of the King.
Pray: Lord God Almighty, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you. Thank you that even as you came to save us from our sins, you are coming again in glory so that we might be with you. Grant us your wisdom and grace as we open your word together, and may we learn to rest in you as we await your coming. Through Christ our Lord we pray, amen.
Read: Mark 13:32-37
‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’
1. Share about a time of expectation or a time when you had to stay alert. How did that expectation impact your life? What are the characteristics of being alert or expectant? How ‘alert’ are you on a day to day basis?
2. Jesus tells his disciples to keep alert because they do not know when he will return. Why do you think that we are not told when Christ will return?
3. How often do you think about the return of Christ? Do you think that it is important to talk about his return?
4. What might change in your life if you expected Jesus to return at any moment? Do you think it would make your life easier or more challenging? How does expectation relate to Christ’s invitation in Matthew 11:28-30 to come and find rest in him?
5. Jesus uses the language of staying awake and keeping alert: What does this mean in regard to our relationship with the Lord? How do we “stay awake?” What makes it difficult to keep alert?
6. In this parable, Jesus speaks about each servant having their work for which they are accountable. What work has God given to you? What does it mean for you to stay awake in this particular area? How might your work be helping to prepare for Christ’s return?
Application: As you go throughout your week, reflect on the ways in which you are living with expectation for Christ’s coming. Where do you find yourself ‘falling asleep’?
Consider opening each new day with the simple prayer, “Lord, make me alert to your presence and help my life point to the reality that you are coming again. Amen.”
Pray: Gracious Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that we are quick to grow tired and complacent. You tell us to stay awake, but we have trouble keeping our eyes open and often miss your presence in our lives and in our world. By the power of your Holy Spirit that you have poured out upon your people, keep us awake and alert to your coming. May we live as people of expectation; people who believe that through Christ, the best is always yet to come. May all that we do be to your Glory; for you are our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.