Text: Mark 13:1-13
Theme: “On account of me, you will stand”
A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. The Gospel of Mark, chapter 13, verses 1-13 serves as our sermon text
for this morning, which reads as follows:
(1) And as [Jesus] came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to
him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
(2) And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will
not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
(3) And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and
James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
(4) “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when
all these things are about to be accomplished?”
(5) And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray.
(6) Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many
(7) And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This
must take place, but the end is not yet.
(8) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These
are but the beginning of the birth pains.
(9) “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and
you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and
kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.
(10) And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.
(11) And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be
anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in
that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
(12) And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his
child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death.
(13) And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who
endures to the end will be saved. This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray the words of Psalm 130:
(1) A Song of Ascents. Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
(2) O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my
pleas for mercy!
(3) If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
(4) But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
(5) I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
(6) my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more
than watchmen for the morning.
(7) O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
(8) And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. Amen.
A. Jesus declared:
1. But be on your guard.
2. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in
synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to
bear witness before them.
3. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. . . .
4. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures
to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:9–10, 13)
B. The Gospel of Mark describes in chapter 13 the fact that Jesus and his
disciples are sitting on the Mount of Olives.
1. Before them was a spectacular view of the temple and Jerusalem.
2. They could see hundreds of worshipers who would gather every day at the
temple to watch the priests, who daily stood before the temple altar
repeatedly offering the sacrifices.
3. But others were also watching.
4. On the northwest corner of the temple mount was the Antonia Fortress,
from which the occupying Romans could easily keep an eye on things.
5. King Herod was also watching from his fortress palace.
6. Then there were the religious teachers:
B. legalistic Pharisees,
C. and liberals,
D. the culturally accommodating Sadducees
E. and the zealots promoting civil unrest and violence.
7. Life was a serious if not deadly scene of political and cultural “war”
C. But on that day, it was peaceful and quiet as Jesus and the disciples
sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple.
1. The temple walls, buildings, and gates had been built with exquisitely
carved stones inlaid with gold and silver.
2. In recent years, archaeologists have discovered huge foundation stones
hidden below the ground.
3. In Jesus’ day, they would have been visible.
4. These gigantic limestone blocks are ten times larger than Stonehenge and
twenty-five times larger than the stones used in the Egyptian pyramids.
5. The stones in the pyramids weighed fifteen tons.
6. The largest stone at Stonehenge is forty tons.
7. A single stone in the wall of the temple is 415 tons!
8. You can see why one disciple said to Jesus, “Look Teacher, what
wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” (verse 1).
3. Change is a-coming!
A. In times of uncertainty and anxiety caused by social and economic chaos,
natural disasters, wars, and moral decline, people search for that which is
secure, lasting, and true.
1. In such times, the Jews looked to the temple in Jerusalem for salvation.
2. It was not because of its massive stone walls but because it was where
the Lord God promised to abide with his grace.
3. The Lord God put his name on this place, and where his name is, there is
4. In the prayer of dedication at the completion of the building of the
temple, the repeated refrain was that when the people as individuals or as
a nation repent of their sins and wickedness and turn to the temple, the
Lord God says:
A. “I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”
(2 Chronicles 7:14).
5. As Jesus walked out of the temple with his disciples, he said:
A. “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone
upon another that will not be thrown down” (verse 2).
B. Really Jesus? Thanks a lot for the good news!
6. Looking at the temple, the disciples asked Jesus:
A. “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all
these things are about to be accomplished?” (verse 4).
B. Jesus’ answer was twofold.
1. He began with that which is most important.
A. First, he told them to be on guard.
B. Many will come in his name and lead people astray.
2. Several times in Mark 13, Jesus urges his disciples and us to watch:
A. “Be on your guard”;
B. “Be on guard”;
C. “When you see these things”;
D. “Keep awake”;
E. “Stay awake.”
C. Second, Jesus answered the disciples’ “When?” question by explaining
that the end has already begun.
1. That is why he has come to Jerusalem.
2. That is why they are looking at the temple.
3. It is Tuesday of Holy Week.
4. In three days, Jesus will be taken out of the city and be sacrificed as
the Lamb of God for the sins of the world.
5. This fact is explained for us in Hebrews 10:
A. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the
same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had
offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right
hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a
footstool for his feet. (Hebrews 10:11–13)
D. The temple was destroyed in AD 70, but the glory of the Lord, the Lord’s
gracious presence, remains among us today in the Body of Christ.
1. St. John writes in the first chapter of his Gospel:
A. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his
glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”
2. So Jesus sent out his apostles and his Church, both clergy and laity, to
proclaim and live the message of the crucified and risen Christ, who is
full of grace and truth.
3. Not your truth or my truth, but The Truth.
4. “The only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
2. The truth, the message of the Gospel, is seen as scandalous and foolish
by the world.
A. But there would be resistance to the message of the Gospel of Christ and
to those sent to proclaim this message.
1. Jesus told his disciples in very plain terms:
A. “Be on guard [watch out]. For they will deliver you over to councils,
and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors
and kings for my sake [on account of me], to bear witness before them. And
the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations” (verses 9–11).
B. On Monday, January 24 2021, Bishop Juhana Pohjola, the bishop of the
Mission Diocese of the [Lutheran] Church of Finland stood before the
officials of the Finnish court and answered to the charges of “incitement
against a group of people” being brought against him by Finland’s
1. Guess what crime for which he was accused?:
A. teaching the biblical, Christian doctrine that marriage is a union of
one man and one woman, male and female.
B. He was simply repeating that which is taught in the Bible, revealed in
natural law (for those who truly believe in science), and taught by Jesus
2. In Mark 10, Jesus responded to the question of the Pharisees concerning
marriage and divorce by saying:
A. “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female”
3. Now either Jesus is lying or what Jesus said back then does not apply to
C. Male and female He created them!
1. This is the way God created this beautiful world.
2. This is the stuff of biology class in junior high and high school!
3. When man attempts to unseat God as the creator and become creator
himself, anything goes.
A. God the Father in turn becomes God the Mother,
B. Christ becomes Christa,
C. and the Bride of Christ (that is, the Church) becomes a “he,”
D. and Christians (God’s children) are not sure what gender they are, but
then again, it does not really matter, now does it?
D. Dear people of God, regardless of what officials who think they are
judging you, they have no authority to judge you in the things of God.
1. Nor are you judging them.
2. God is the one who judges us all, and, as the old Latin saying goes, lex
semper accusat, the Law always accuses.
3. You are called and sent by God only to speak his Law in its truth and
purity, not what has been corrupted by government lawmakers or Supreme
4. And you are also sent to proclaim the Gospel, God’s Good News that:
A. “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans
1. The time will come!
A. Payday will come for all of us.
1. Nothing we can do will stop it.
2. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a).
3. You, I, government officials, everyone, will stand before God, our Judge.
4. What are we and they going to do then?
A. Hold up man-made legal documents and laws from our government redefining
marriage, hate speech, and other gender-twisting nonsense?
5. God is not going to be very impressed.
6. This will not be a good place to be on Judgment Day.
7. Rather, what we will need to do on Judgment Day is call a good lawyer.
A. No, not a good lawyer, BUT the best lawyer.
8. Who might that be?:
A. “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1
B. The word advocate is our old friend parakletos, which also means
“comforter” or “helper.”
C. In this context, it undoubtedly signifies a legal advocate, a legal
counsel for the defense.
B. Picture yourself in a jail cell.
1. You are guilty as sin and you know it.
2. You are facing the death sentence.
3. You need to find a good lawyer.
4. No, you need the BEST lawyer you can find.
5. Then you receive the message that a lawyer has agreed to defend you,
A. “have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the
propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of
the whole world” (1 John 2:1–2).
C. Without question, we are living in unsettling times, when everything we
value, rely upon, and trust in seems to be melting down and falling apart.
1. The Jews looked to the temple.
2. We look to our churches.
3. Fort Wayne, Indiana has been called the “City of Churches.”
4. This can be seen each year before Christmas when the downtown churches
organize the tour of the historic churches.
5. The immigrants who came to Fort Wayne and built churches like St. Paul’s
Lutheran built it to reflect what they believe.
6. What they heard and confessed there brought stability, order, and hope
to their lives in this new land.
7. The soaring roof with elaborate artwork lifted the heart and soul to God.
8. The altar and pulpit with statues, candles, and beautiful paraments
brought the eyes back down to where God has chosen to meet them
today—namely, through his Holy Word and the blessed Sacrament, where he
bestows upon them forgiveness, life, and salvation from sin, death, and the
9. If a church like St. Paul’s Lutheran or our beloved First Lutheran is
ever destroyed, as the temple in Jerusalem was in AD 70, the glory of the
Lord will remain among us through his Word and Sacrament.
A. When Jesus sent out his disciples to witness, he said:
1. “You Will Stand before Governors and Kings for My Sake, to Bear Witness
2. And the Gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations” (verses 9–10).
B. Jesus warns His disciples about the coming troubles they will face as
they bring the Gospel into the world.
1. He encourages them and us to trust God and rely on the Holy Spirit,
especially when opposition and persecution comes.
2. Nobody likes to be shown their sin.
3. As Christians, we proclaim Law and Gospel.
4. We need to be ready to endure the loss of everything, including our
5. Because God wants all people to hear the Gospel, He prolongs the New
Testament age so that the Church may witness to all the earth.
6. To Him alone we owe the survival of our personal faith as well. Amen.
C. Let us pray:
830 Spread the Reign of God the Lord (stanza 6)
Lord of harvest, great and kind,
Rouse to action heart and mind;
Let the gath’ring nations all
See Your light and heed Your call. Amen.
Text: Public domain
D. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus.
E. In the Name of the Father…Amen.