“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power . . .” Mark 13:26
There are so many who are sleepwalking through life. The ending of this chapter is an impassioned plea for watchfulness, speaking to every generation as it did the first Christians. It is a call to wake up! and pay attention to moments in which you are living. It’s a call for living on the alert, living expectantly with eyes, heart and mind wide awake.
To the same disciples to whom He had said, “follow,” Jesus now adds the command “watch.” The word watch reaches into every part of life. The importance of the command to watch, is a call which stresses both the urgency of an immediate and future hope. Three times in five verses, Jesus mentions staying awake or alert.
To “watch” gives guidance to our present responsibility to be found living faithful lives. For us, His disciples, to watch is to encounter the coming of the Son of Man, to rule in the midst of a severe trial, where His power brings clarity into our chaos. To “watch” is individual and inward. It always anticipates meeting Christ, not just at the end of life, but all through one’s life.
The vision of the cloud-coming King serves to strengthen our discipleship in the present. It arms us against the waves of deception. It sustains us wherever suffering and persecution must be endured. It motivates us to get on with preaching the gospel to all nations. It invigorates and empowers daily life by making each moment subject to the invasion of Jesus the Christ who comes to judge and save.
We must wake up! Arise from our sleep and watch! Or we will never notice our divine purpose slipping away. We’ll never notice the evil forces stealing the lives of many. We are to “watch” and pray against the sin that so easily trips us up. “Watch,” or we will let our communion with God slip away and our heart harden. We are to watch so that great opportunities for service don’t come and pass us by, unseen and unseized.
Are you awake?