At the end of Jesus’ sermon about the end of the world, His longest sermon in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says something that has puzzled people ever since. Let’s see if we can “unpuzzle” it.
“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” – Mark 13:30-31 (NKJV)
This statement by Jesus has puzzled many people because this is the only time in His prophetic discourse in which Jesus mentions a specific time period. The disciples had asked about when the temple would be destroyed, and Christians have been wondering when Jesus will return since then.
To what was Jesus referring when He said, “this generation will certainly not pass away until these things have happened?” Some people have thought that Jesus was saying that the second coming would happen in the lifetimes of the disciples listening to him.
However, in its proper context, the most natural explanation is that Jesus was talking about the generation that would experience significant distress and who would witness the signs in the heavens. He was saying that the final events at the end of the world would be rapid ones.
Every generation of those who love Jesus has hoped to be the ones who would see Jesus come. He will undoubtedly return soon, as he promised, but he hasn’t returned yet.
What effect does waiting for Jesus to return have on you? Does it make you anxious or concerned, or are you waiting in peace and joy, enjoying the abundant life Christ promised you today?