“As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?’ And Jesus began to say to them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. Be on your guard.'” Mark 13:3-5,9
A handful of Jesus’s followers, marveling at the wonderful temple complex, are confused at His telling them the great buildings will be destroyed. They gather with Jesus for an intimate conversation and ask Him to explain. He is clear and loving in His response, preparing them for what was to come. The bad news of His impending death and resurrection, His absence from them, the persecution of believers and destruction of Jerusalem, is laced with the good news that His Holy Spirit would be with them, they could endure for His name’s sake with understanding, strength, hope, and security. He gave many details, but withheld some, adequately supplying what they needed to know and wisely measuring what would keep them dependent on Him.
How gracious and personal is our God to attend to our questions, wondering, fears of the unknown! He prepares us for what lies ahead by telling us the truth we need to know, warning us to be on guard, promising present love, power, and care. When we gaze at distant mountains, we see most clearly what lies just before us, but enough to know that there are valleys and peaks beyond. While He does not reveal every detail, God always gives enough; we are to absorb the insight He imparts and trust Him with the rest.
My Lord, when life presents conundrums, when I do not understand Your teachings or commands or ways or whys, keep me coming to You. May I close the door on worldly thinking, unfounded assumptions, and popular opinion, and hear You in private. Grant alertness and discernment to handle rightly what You reveal, and what is unrevealed that You know lies ahead.