Sacred Repetition

From Mark 13:32-37 / Sacred Repetition – Ancient writing was different than today, in that one did not have at their disposal the tools we commonly use for emphasis. To highlight something, we can bold, underline, italicize, highlight with a color, capitalize, or any combination of these and others. The Biblical emphases were most often by way of repetition. So when Jesus would say “truly, truly” before saying something, He was adding emphasis to it. And in these closing 7 verses of His prophetic discourse, Jesus’ uses that technique powerfully. First is: “no one knows”, “you do not know”, and “you do not know”. All referring to the time of His return. You’d think we’d get that. Hal Lindsey doesn’t know. Chuck Smith didn’t know. Harold Camping didn’t know. Charles Taze Russell didn’t know. Jack Van Impe didn’t know. And you can cancel out Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Glenn Beck, and a genuine plethora of others. If we didn’t get it, we need to NO ONE knows, and YOU DO NOT know. No one WILL know. Don’t listen to anyone who says they do. They are either lying or deceived. I’m pretty sure “NO ONE”, rules everybody out. Second is: “keep awake”, “stay awake” and “stay awake.” In Matthew’s fuller rendering of this discourse, it specifically refers to taking on a lax attitude toward personal holiness in the intervening years before His return. So we can sum up Jesus’ eschatological preparations for His people in these 2 summarizing statements: No one knows when He’s coming, so stay awake in anticipation of meeting Him. You can throw all your timeline charts out. Or maybe get your money back.

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