Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 1:1–2:25, Mark 13:24–14:21, Prov 6:1–5
Today’s Theme: Eternal Words
Today we see the eternal power of God’s word. The prophecies of Jesus are so sure that they are like a fig tree, indicating the nearness of His coming, just like the leaves on a tree point to the coming season.
We can trust in the word of God which is sure and eternal.
2 Kings 1:1–2:25
Humility can save you
Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, “O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight.(2 Kings 1:13, ESV)
Because of humility this captain of fifty, was able to save his life and the lives of those with him.
Dedication and commitment
And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.(2 Kings 2:2, ESV)
This man was dedicated and committed despite rejection… a lesson for us today.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”(2 Kings 2:9, ESV)
This was a bold request. Exercise your faith and make a bold request from God today.
Tear away the old self
And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.(2 Kings 2:12–13, ESV)
Symbolic of tearing away the old self and taking up the new, this is needed especially to serve the Lord effectively. Romans 13:14
A purifying miracle
Then he went to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the Lord, I have healed this water; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.”(2 Kings 2:21, ESV)
This is an amazing miracle, salt does purify so it has symbolic significance. We need salt in our lives too, to heal and preserve us and others.
Don’t make fun of people
He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”(2 Kings 2:23, ESV)
Making fun of people can be dangerous, we should not allow folly to bring shame to us.
A meteor shower
and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.(Mark 13:25, ESV)
This is not a star as we know it, the word is ‘aster’ and just means ‘heavenly body’, so this is likely a meteor shower.
The elect gathered
And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.(Mark 13:27, ESV)
The doctrine of election is made clear here, we are not universalist.
The fig tree?
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.(Mark 13:28, ESV)
This is a general lesson from a fig tree, Jesus has given us prophecies to indicate when the time of His second coming is close. He compares the events which He prophesies, to a tree putting out leaves and letting us know summer is near.
The whole body of Jesus’ prophecies concerning His return, are the fig tree. We watch to see His prophecies come to pass, as an indicator to the closeness of His return.
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.(Mark 13:30, ESV)
Two powerful truths here; one is that this world will pass away. Secondly, it is that the words of Jesus are eternal. We can trust in God’s word.
Jesus limits Himself while on earth
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.(Mark 13:32, ESV)
Jesus limited His knowledge while on earth in His incarnation.
Be on guard
Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.(Mark 13:33, ESV)
This is the command to the church, we must be alert.
Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—(Mark 13:35, ESV)
Only by staying in the word will we stay awake.
The madness of religion
for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”(Mark 14:2, ESV)
What a murdering religious spirit. Read it again, this shows the folly of religion.
Give God everything
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.(Mark 14:6, ESV)
Giving our all to God is a beautiful thing, and this act of devotion is always proclaimed with the Gospel.
Don’t betray Jesus
For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”(Mark 14:21, ESV)
The fate of Judas was indeed terrible, the lesson for us is that we should not turn our backs on and betray Jesus
Fulfil your pledges
Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber;(Proverbs 6:4, ESV)
This entire message is saying that we must quickly fulfil our words and promises to others.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 14