Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
I think it is worthwhile to read all of Mark 13 to help put this verse in context. One of the disciples opens the chapter by marveling at all of the amazing buildings in Jerusalem. It doesn’t say which disciple says this, but based on this statement, I would be willing to bet this is a first time visit for this disciple. I think back to when I visited New York about 13 years ago, and the first time that I saw Times Square at night in person. I was blown away by Times Square, how much bigger Manhattan is than the Loop, the Statue of Liberty, and Central Park. I’m sure most of you have had a similar experience somewhere that you have visited in your lifetime.
What does Jesus say in response to the excitement of the disciples experiencing Jerusalem (during the Passover mind you) maybe for the first time, or at least for the first time in a while? In a nutshell, he says “Ya, see all these buildings? They will all be destroyed and nothing will be left standing.” I’m sure that took the wind right out of the sails of that particular disciple.
From there, Jesus goes on to teach the disciples about the end of times and what it will be like, as well as all the things that need to happen before that time comes. Some people might argue that the ball has begun to roll, seeing as we’ve had so many tragic natural disasters and a seemingly uptick in wars worldwide. Jesus does warn us that, though we may see things that may signify the end of times, we don’t really know for sure. Not even Jesus himself knows the time or day. So, in the meantime, we need to just keep living in His Word.
But through it all, although all other things will come to an end, the Word of God will never come to an end. Even right up until the end of times, and beyond, God’s Word will live. This makes me think about something that Bo said in his sermon today. From “In the beginning…” times to The Revelation, and all the words in between are The Word of God. The Bible means so many different things to so many different people, and there are interpretations abound. But regardless, as we wrestle with our own faith journey and understanding of scripture, God’s words will never pass.