What Jesus Did! 'Shortening the Days' — Mark 13:14-20

Wednesday, September 25, 2024

[Jesus continued,] "The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he should not be." (Reader, pay attention!) "Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in winter. For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days."
— Mark 13:14-20 NLT

Key Thought

What events was Jesus prophesying about? Scholars have different interpretations. Some early Christians understood Jesus' prophecies as referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Christians did "flee to the hills" and escaped the carnage. Jesus' words in this context led him to talk about his second coming a few verses later (Mark 13:24-27). At the Lord's return in glory, the troubles and tumult of the end time will be great. Yet despite all outward appearances, God will remain in control and will protect and bring deliverance for his people during these distressing times. As God's children, those whose allegiance is to the Lord Jesus and whose lives are focused on his Kingdom, our triumph is secure. It cannot be taken from us — not by Satan's power, not by evil times, and not by death itself. Our God is in control and our Lord is on the horizon to usher us into his eternal presence. Our task is to remain faithful and be ready for his deliverance.

Today's Prayer

O Father, empower me to remain faithful to you no matter the times or my circumstance. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Colossians 3:1-4
  • Hebrews 3:12-13
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11


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Illustration of Mark 13:14-20 NLT — "The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he should not be."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.