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Mark 200 - Tell Us

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Mark 13:3,4

When I was a kid, I wanted to know how things worked. My uncle gave me a small, inexpensive cuckoo clock. It wasn’t to hang in my room, it was to tear apart and see how it worked. I had lots of fun figuring out how to remove the clock works from the box. And then removing each gear and spring carefully so as not to damage them. In the end, I had a really nice pile of pieces, all arranged by type and size.

And then came the task of putting it all back together. I quickly got bored with it and moved on to watch cartoons. The pile shortly made its way to the trash can.

We have an insatiable thirst to know. We think that if we have enough knowledge that we’ll totally understand. If we have all the facts, if we see and understand all the moving parts that life will make sense. And once we understand, then we will be able to accept what’s happened.

The other side of understanding and knowing is that we can prepare for what’s coming. Why else do people stay glued to their TV, mobile phone, or radio when a storm approaches. Or when a hurricane has formed, people watch the spinning cloud formation over, and over, and over, and over, until they are almost hypnotized.

On the other side of knowing is that we can control it. If we have enough information, enough data, enough insight, enough measurements, then we’ll have complete knowledge about it. And with knowledge comes power, power to monitor and manage it.

All of this is pride. Pride in human understanding. Pride in our power. Pride in ourselves. And when we’re proud in ourselves, there’s no room for anyone else. Let alone God.

The disciples have these same feelings. If they have the warning signals, if they know the signs, then they can prepare for it. They can steer clear of it. Avoid it.

Another advantage of being in the know is the power we have. If we know, then there’s everyone else that doesn’t. They’re the uninformed. The less knowledgeable people that we can act superior to. After all, if everyone knew it, then there’s no secret. And with special knowledge, there’s power.

We all like to be in the know. Be on the inside. Inside the inner circle. Have the inside scoop. We want to know before our friends so we can have the thrill and power of telling them. Or being smug and not tell them.

You have to give the disciples one thing though. They went to Jesus with their question. They didn’t go to the people in power. The people with the most initials at the end of their names. The people with the larger social media following. They actually went to the one who knows.

When it comes to the mysteries of life, who do we turn to? When we are in need of answers, who do we ask? When we are just full of questions, who do we think has the answers?

When the disciples turn to Jesus, they show that they are not totally clueless. They actually have some wisdom, some right answers by going to the one who has all the answers.

But more than answers, Jesus also has power. Power to do more thank know the future. To do more than just get ready for the future. Jesus has power and authority to make the future. He controls the path of history.

And when we listen to him, when we worship him, when we follow him, that’s when life gets exciting and most interesting. There is no boredom when we follow God. There’s fulfillment. Meaning. Purpose.

The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

Daniel 11:32b

Are you weak? Then you need to know God to become strong.

Are you bored? They you need to know God to carry our great exploits. To take action. To stand when others run away.

God tells us how to have a life worth living. A life empty of fear and doubt. A life full of meaning and purpose. A life empty of boredom and apathy. A life overflowing with energy and excitement.

A life worth living.

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