ONLY THE ABBA KNOWS - PART 1 


MARK 13

JESUS TEACHES US TO ADDRESS THE FATHER AS ABBA


32"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming-in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-36lest, coming suddenly, he find you


v. 32 - "the Father"-Aramaic for "Daddy" is Abba - never used in prayer by Jews. But Jesus taught intimacy with the Father. Note that Abba is the first word a child knows for Father. So Jesus calls us by this name to humble dependency, as a child who sits upon the Father's lap. 
See the Lord's Prayer in Gethsemane. Note His complete submission:

  • Mark 14:36 - "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you." 
  • Romans 8:15 - Paul uses Abba to show we have received the Spirit of adoption. 
  • Galatians 4:6 - similarly emphasizes that true sons call God Abba Father. 

Who is the Abba? What is He like? Jesus teaches a loving Father: 

  • Matt. 6:6-8 - He listens and anticipates our every need
  • Matt. 10:29-30 - He numbers our hairs just as He watches over the sparrows
  • Luke 6:35-36 - He loves even His enemies
  • Luke 11:11-13 - He gives His children the best, even His Holy Spirit
  • Luke 15:11-32 - He is indulgent and forgiving of His erring children. 

"That day and hour no one knows" - The Abba rejects our "need to know"

  Luke 17:20 - Kingdom does not come with scrupulous observation of signs - e.g.. 1998 was once hyped as the time, because Israel was established in 1948 (7x7=49+1=Jubilee). But such efforts have appeared again and again across the centuries (see Lesson 3) and continue to surface almost annually. The initial manifestation of the kingdom was Jesus. Where the King is, there is the King reigning. So for that generation the Kingdom was "in your midst" and "within your grasp." 

  Mark 8:12 - a sign from heaven will not be given this generation {more on this in later studies). Note that Jesus had already given them abundant proof of who He was. Note also that they completely overlooked the feeding of the 4,000 - reminiscent of the Manna in the wilderness. If they rejected this sign-and other signs-then no other sign would be of any value. 

  Matt.4:7 - do not put the LORD your God to the test (see Deuteronomy 6:16). The devil tempts Jesus to force God the Father to do his will. Jesus will not. In Exodus 17 the people quarreled with Moses about the lack of water. They "put the LORD to the test," v.2. 

"not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son" - Jesus speaks in the time of His humiliation. He calls upon us to be equally humble and willing to accept our limits

  • Phil. 2:5-7 - He emptied Himself of all His privileges. Think, act, live in the same way as did your Savior. 
  • Hebrews 2:9-17 - our High Priest tasted death for everyone. Trust Him. He is the author and originator of your salvation. You have nothing to fear. 
  • Acts 1:7 - the Father has set the times and dates by His own authority. This is not your concern, nor your commission. You will receive power to witness "to the ends of the earth." So move forward in that power, the power of the Spirit. 

v.33-37 - "Take heed, watch and pray. . . watch." He speaks "to all"! 
Watchful expectancy and guarded awareness of human sinfulness, perversity. 
A servant can't do his job if he is constantly computing when his master will return.

  • 1 Thess.3:2-5 - rather labor patiently in hope. 
  • 2 Peter 3:3-10 - remain expectant, however. 

The day of the LORD will come, make no mistake. Be ready at all times, but do not assume that you will be given information about when that time is. Only the Abba knows. 

Discussion


1. Comment on "Rapture Indexes" - a list of earthquakes, wars, disasters to gauge the probabilities of the end times.


2. Apocalyptic delusions abound: Branch Davidians, the Antichrist's birth known, Economic conspiracies, Mark of the Beast: 666, the establishment of the state of Israel, the rise of Rock Music, etc. What does Jesus say in this text about such cravings to know when the end will come, based upon such observations? 


3. In Mark 13 Jesus does say what must happen. Elijah must come, v.11-13; the Son of Man must suffer, die, rise again; the Temple must be destroyed; the disciples will be persecuted; the gospel will be preached worldwide. All this has happened. But does Jesus ever say when the end will come? Why/ why not?


4. In view of all this how are the disciples to prepare for the Master's return? 


5. What temptations do we face as we await the Master's return?


 

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