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Mark 13:31-37

Background: Before this Jesus has told about the signs of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. He has spoken about the persecution of Christians, delusions, wars and catastrophes but also about the signs of spring. Now he starts talking about the time of his return. Verses 34-35 contain a small parable of the master of a house, who is going abroad and arranges works in his house during his absence. As the master Jesus means himself and as the house he means his church.

Verses 32-33. (Verse 31 will be dealt last.)

Verse 34. At that time there were many slaves in a house. The only duty of a certain slave was to stay awake at night and guard the door. Night watchmen are still employed by private homes in many countries of Asia and Africa.

Verse 35. The night was then divided into three-hour watches, which were: the evening (nine o’clock), midnight, cockcrow (three o’clock), and dawn.

Verse 36

Verse 37

Verse 31

Concluding questions

Glad tidings: Jesus kept watch in Gethsemane while shedding blood sweat. Our watch keeping means that we stick to the word of God in both major and minor things without forgetting what Jesus has done for us.

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