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Jesus Is Coming Back -- Soon (a study of Mark 13:24-37, the Olivet Discourse)

Jesus could come back today, or it might be centuries.


Bible Study Ideas and Commentary for Mark 13:24-37

Mark's version of the Olivet Discourse doesn't have all of the details in Matthew's, but it paints a clear picture for Jesus' followers. Jesus is returning -- soon -- and all of the signs point to it. But those signs do not "prove" when He is returning. We are to remain always vigilant, always focused on our mission, always ready to see Him in His glory.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (13:31)


Warning: It's an End Times Prophecy Passage!

The more we study the end times, the more I realize that a lot of Christians seem to be distracted by them -- they care more about the "what?" than the "why?". That puts me in a weird place. I want to focus on how this passage affects our lives today, and I will. But I know that a lot of people who read this post also want to dig into the controversial unanswerables. So here's my compromise -- I'll include the "end times nitty gritty" stuff in asides and links, and I will focus on the "what it all means" in my commentary.


Let's Start Here: We've Studied This Passage Before

Lifeway really hasn't changed its perspective on this passage since 2019, and neither have I, so my previous post on this passage is still useful:

Here's a rundown of what you would find in that post:

  • A summary of the parallel passage in Matthew 24

  • What are "signs of the times"?

  • How bad was the fall of Jerusalem?

  • How the "experts" say the universe will end


My Best Resource: When We Studied Matthew 24

I talked a lot of Matthew 24 in my last Mark post even though we had studied Matthew 24 just two years before. Well, that was before I put any of these notes online. They're online now!

Matthew 24 is called "The Olivet Discourse" (because Jesus was on the Mount of Olives when He gave it), and it's one of my very favorite passages. I've taught it on many occasions outside of Sunday School. One of my biggest points is to tell Christians that what you believe about Revelation will inform how you understand the Olivet Discourse. And that's all way beyond the scope of what we can hope to cover in one Bible study session.


I am very hesitant to share this set of notes with you because I worry it will create more unnecessary questions than answers, but if you promise not to get sidetracked on the crazier questions, I'll let you read it.


Here's what I cover in this download:

  • The primary views on how to interpret Revelation (preterist, historicist, futurist, idealist)

  • The primary views on the Millennium (amillennial, postmillennial, premillennial)

  • The primary views on the Tribulation (dispensational, midtribulational, historical)

  • The passages in the Bible that speak to the end times

  • An outline of Revelation

  • An outline of Matthew 24 * (page 7)

  • Diagrams showing how people try to explain Revelation

  • An outline of Daniel's "seventy sevens"

  • The primary views on the Return of Christ / the Rapture

  • The primary views on the Last Judgment and the Resurrection

  • The primary views on what happens to the Jews

  • The primary views on the New Heaven and Earth

The End Times
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Download PDF • 1.26MB

Note that we did study Daniel's "seventy sevens" a few years ago (end of post)


Note: I am only sharing all of this because some of you will be interested. If you study any of that other stuff, promise that you will spend more time studying this week's passage. And please don't try to cover this in your group Bible study time. In my experience, those discussions tend to distract from the real reason Jesus shared this prophecy with His disciples.


All right. We good?


Getting Started: Things to Think About

Questions You'd Like Answered

I like to tell Christians that when we get to heaven and stand before God, all of those questions we thought were so important won't seem so important.


But for the sake of this discussion, let's think about those questions we'd really like to have answers for.


On our way back from the conference last week in Chicago, we decided to detour through Cincinatti and visit the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. An interesting place with some really impressive artwork:

So of course that's been the question on my mind -- what really happened? How did Noah build the ark? What was on the ark? How'd the flood happen? I'm really, really curious about this.


What about you? What are those burning questions in your mind?


Current Events: Antisemitism on the Rise

In the latest "I don't know why I'm so surprised how awful people can be" episode, I was saddened to see these types of headlines:

I'm sure you've seen or heard reports like this. Based on what we're going to read in this week's passage, I have no doubt that Jesus' disciples would have seen all of this (violence against Jews and against Jerusalem in particular) as a "sign" that "the end is near".


How about you? Assuming you have done sober-minded thinking about "the signs of the times", what are the things that have happened in your lifetime that have made you think "the end is near"? My goal in these notes is to give us a biblical/historical perspective to help us process those kinds of events. But even if you don't agree with me, I'm sure we can all find hope in two things: (1) God is in control, and (2) Jesus is coming back.

 

Where We Are in Mark

We're getting pretty close to the crucifixion. This chapter (the Olivet Discourse) is Jesus' last "in public" teaching. It covers some of the most dramatic truths Jesus shared with His disciples. This is going to be one (or maybe two) days after last week's passage. Jesus has spent the day teaching in the temple, calling out the Jewish leaders for their hypocrisy. On the way out, Jesus' disciples call attention to the splendor of the temple. (The great foundation stones of the temple complex are still impressive, even in ruin.)



What made the disciples think about the temple? Based on Mark's arrangement, it seems to be this:

  • 12:38-40 -- beware the hypocrites who "devour widow's houses"

  • 12:41-44 -- Jesus praises the widow who gave all she had to the temple

The disciples thought Jesus was telling them that the temple was worth the sacrifice. And that's why they called attention to the temple itself. But no, Jesus was using that as a parable of judgment against those who had lost sight of what was important.


Thus, Jesus proceeds to tell the disciples what would actually happen to this "great temple".


Here are two things to note for when you study this passage:

  • Jesus, "the glory", is leaving the temple for the last time. Mark only mentions the temple once more -- this is a parallel to God abandoning the temple in Ezekiel 10.

  • The primary debate about this chapter is if Jesus is talking about the fall of Jerusalem, the Second Coming, or both. And if both, which is He talking about when?

 

This Week's Big Idea: What Can We Know about the End Times?

This week's passage is generally included in the study of what is called “eschatology”, from the Greek word eschatos meaning “last.” A study of the End Times. If you want to push your Christian comradery with another Christian, just bring this up. Godly and wonderful Christians have wildly different views about what the Bible means with respect to the end of human history.


I'm always happy to share my personal opinions, but I think this section just needs to be about what Bible-believing Christians can agree on. Let's start here:

  1. God is in control of future events. - He has a plan, and everything will unfold according to His plan.

  2. Jesus Christ will return.

Don't sleep on how important those two things are.


So, what are the things Christians tend to argue about?

  • Events before and after the return of Christ.

  • The sequence of those events.

  • The nature of the "millennium". (see Revelation 20:1-10)

  • The relationship between the Jews and the Church.


Finally, what can we all agree that the Bible says?

  • The return of Christ will be personal or literal. (John 14:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

  • The return of Christ will be visible. (Acts 1:11, 1 John 3:2, Revelation 1:7)

  • The return of Christ is eminent. (James 5:8, 1 Peter 4:7, Revelation 1:3, Revelation 22:7, 20)

  • The return of Christ will be sudden (without warning). (Matthew 24:36-44, Luke 12:35-40, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3)

  • The return of Christ will be preceded by signs.

    • Wars, earthquakes and famines – Mark 13:7-8

    • Preaching of the gospel to all nations – Mark 13:10

    • False Prophets – Mark 13:22

    • Signs in the heavens – Mark 13:24-25

    • Man of lawlessness – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10

  • The return of Christ will transform believers. (1 Corinthians 15:51-57, Philippians 3:20-21, 1 John 3:2)

  • The return of Christ ought to motivate believers. (I.e., The Bible does not speak of the return of Christ to satisfy curiosity but to motivate us to godly living.) (Matthew 24:44-51, 1 Corinthians 15:58, Titus 2:12-13, James 5:7-9, 1 Peter 4:7-11)

  • The return of Christ ought to encourage believers. (John 14:1-3, Philippians 3:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, Hebrews 9:28)

I truly believe that if we spent more time focusing on that, we would not be so bothered by the disagreements Christians have about the end times.


You see, we agree on more than you might realize. So, what seems to be the biggest hangup in this debate? To me, it's as simple as this: how can the return of Christ be sudden/unpredictable if all of these things happen right before it? The answers to that question explain each of the major viewpoints:

  • There are two parts to His return – coming for His saints (rapture) and coming with His saints (second coming).

  • All of the signs have already taken place.

  • The signs and the return could all take place within a small window of time.

Yep, I think it's that simple. (Yes, there are a lot of additional theories out there! But the people who hold them don't seem to care what the entire Bible has to say about the end times; they tend to focus on one passage and let their imaginations run wild.)


With that out of the way, let's turn our attention to this week's passage.

 

Part 1: Jesus Is Coming Back (Mark 13:24-27)

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; 25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 He will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

This strikes me as a very awkward place to jump into this passage. But in all fairness, my alternative is to start at the beginning of the chapter, and I'm very aware that nobody can cover this entire chapter in just one sitting!


It seems to me that Jesus is here talking about His return (the Second Coming). Great! We all agree about that! So, what's the problem?


Simple -- in verse 30, Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place."


So, huh.


As with Jesus' prediction of His transfiguration, the skeptics will argue that "Jesus thought He was coming back soon, but He was wrong." Throw that possibility out. Jesus is never wrong.


In the next section, we will talk about how people have tried to interpret the word "generation". (And it my other posts, I go into detail about the word "tribulation".) For now, I just want to put us back in the context of this chapter.


Matthew makes the disciples' question(s) a little clearer than Mark does. The disciples have asked Jesus three questions:

  • When will Jerusalem be destroyed?

  • What will be the sign of Your return?

  • What will be the sign of the end of the age?

They thought their questions had one answer. But in the Olivet Discourse, Jesus has to explain that each question must be treated separately.

  • Jerusalem will be destroyed in a catastrophic way, but that is not the end.

  • In fact, there are many signs that will fool many people, but they are not the end.

  • But all of the signs cumulatively demonstrate that the end is near.

  • In Revelation, we learn that Jesus' Second Coming isn't "the very end".

And that's why Jesus focused specifically on the destruction of the temple. It would be the ultimate "false sign". Of course the disciples would assume that the destruction of the temple would be part of the "last battle"! And people ever since have been convinced that their "signs of the times" are the "last straw". So, most of this chapter is Jesus explaining that these terrible events are not "the end". But more about this below.


Aside: I believe that the verses previous to this verse predict the destruction of Jerusalem. So what gives? Didn't I just say that these verses talk about the Second Coming? If you really want to get into those weeds, you'll have to read my Matthew 24 post. Essentially, I believe that Jesus' illustration about the fall of Jerusalem is a kind of aside -- "the ultimate false sign". Verses 22 and 23 aren't unique to the fall of Jerusalem but are the kinds of drastic things that will happen from that point on. Thus, verse 24's "that tribulation" is again talking about all of the signs that will accumulate over the ages.


And let's not kid ourselves -- as I talk about in those other posts, countless Christians have believed countless times that they were living in "the very last day", and they built bunkers and joined cults, and said bizarre things, and so on. But they were wrong to come to that conclusion.


Why? What is "the sign" of "the very end"?


In this case, it's something cosmic. The sun and moon darken. The stars fall from the sky. Those are prophecies from Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4 about "the day of the Lord" -- the day prophesied in the Old Testament when God will pour out His wrath on His enemies and destroy them.


The point is, you can't miss it. There will be no debating "is this it?"


When "those things" happen, Jesus -- the Son of Man (see Daniel 7) -- will return in glory and all the earth will see Him together.


(By the way, this "rapture" happens after the tribulation of those days. Just saying.)


What's our takeaway here?

  • Jesus is coming back.

  • No one will miss His coming.

  • Jesus Himself is personally coming back.

  • Jesus' return will be the great "day of the Lord".

This should be of great encouragement to us. Jesus will judge His enemies. Jesus will conquer His enemies. Jesus will set all things right. He Himself promised us this.

 

Part 2: Jesus Is Coming Back Soon (Mark 13:28-31)

28 “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near—at the door. 30 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

What did the fig tree do to get dragged into this? Jesus has already cursed the fig tree, and now He's associating it with the end of time? Well, what was the controversy about the fig tree? Why did Jesus curse it? Because it gave the "sign" of fruitfulness, but it had no fruit. But it still bore the "sign" of summer's approach -- fresh leaves.


What are "signs" you use to mark the passage of time? (As in, do you notice when certain birds appear or disappear? Changes in the weather? Things like football season or hunting season?)


Jesus is making a very simple point here: you should know from the signs of the times that Jesus' return is growing near. That's all He's saying here.


Where this gets complicated is the fact that it's been 2,000 years and a lot of terrible things have happened. Does "near" mean something different to Jesus than to us?

Combine that with the fact that Jesus speaks of "this generation", and a lot of Bible readers conclude that something must be wrong -- that Jesus is taking too long.


To get around this, a number of Bible scholars have concluded that "this generation" refers to "every generation of believers until Christ returns", and thus "near" just means "in the future". If that turns out to be the case, I'm fine with that. But I think it means something else.


I think Jesus wants us to look at these "signs" like a proverbial snowball. As it rolls down the hill, it gets bigger and bigger. As the years pass, the signs accumulate. But how do you know when it's "full sized"?

But the snowball is rolling down the hill. The signs Jesus has talked about -- wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution, the destruction of Jerusalem -- all of those signs have taken place. In fact, all of those signs took place in the generation of the disciples!


In other words, "this generation" does refer to the generation of the disciples, and the signs Jesus talked about did take place in their lifetime. But He wasn't talking about "the end" (the "final sign" -- His return in glory) -- He was talking about the signs that point to it.


The signs have taken place. Jesus could return at any moment. But yet the signs continue. How do we know when "the snowball is full"? The point is that we don't. We don't know if there are more signs to come. "Near" could mean "really, really soon", but it doesn't have to. It could just mean "sometime in the future". But we do know that they remind us that the end draws closer.


Why is so important to Christians to believe that the return of Christ could happen at any moment?


Urgency.


One of my favorite sayings about the Christian life is "We should plan as if Jesus isn't returning for 1,000 years, but we should live as if Jesus is returning tonight."


Well, if my interpretation of this passage is correct, then Jesus could be returning tonight! All of the conditions have been fulfilled! We're just waiting for that last sign -- the cosmic signs that accompany Christ's actual return from heaven.


[Aside: does this give you a little sympathy for why people in the past were so disturbed by solar and lunar eclipses?]


Jesus is coming back soon. It could be tonight. It could be next year. WE DON'T KNOW. Call back to the opening discussion -- what are signs in your lifetime that suggest to you that Jesus' return is getting closer?


We are to take those signs seriously! They remind us that Jesus is coming back -- soon.


But Jesus also gives us some perspective in the next verses.

 

Part 3: But We Don't Know When (Mark 13:32-37)

32 “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son —but only the Father.
33 “Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming.
34 “It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his servants, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. 35 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. 36 Otherwise, when he comes suddenly he might find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!”

I'm partial to Matthew's version, specifically Matthew 25 in which Matthew records three additional parables to help us understand what He says in these verses. Read my Matthew 24 post for details.

  • The Faithful and Wicked Servants: the master came back unexpectedly; the emphasis is on the servants’ behavior when the master returns .

  • The Wise and Foolish Virgins: the bridegroom was late in his coming; the emphasis is on how prepared the virgins were for the bridegroom’s lateness.

  • The Wise and Foolish Servants: the master came back right on time after a very long time; the emphasis is on what happened while he was gone.

  • The Sheep and the Goats: not about length of time at all but the sort of behavior that will be rewarded and punished when Jesus returns.

Jesus' return could be sooner that you think; it could be later than you think.


What actually matters about Christ's return? What you are doing when He does return.


Some folks have lost sleep over the fact that Jesus didn't know when He was returning, as if it were some sort of limitation on His part. No, this is just one of the consequences of the plan for the Son to take on humanity. When He willingly did so, He willingly gave the Father the "right" to arrange parts of the plan. While He was on earth, Jesus did not "need to know" when He would return, so the Father didn't tell Him. I can speculate all kinds of reasons why that might be the case (including the Father not giving that burden to the Son), but we don't know why. We can just be assured that it is a good reason.


The parable that Mark shares is the first of the four in Matthew's Gospel. Truth be told, it gets Jesus' point across nice and succinctly. Remember that Mark tended to "get to the point", whereas Matthew tended to include more of the details.


And you can see Jesus' point -- "when the boss drops by your office, don't you want to be busy doing something valuable? but what if you don't know when the boss is returning?" I think we can all relate to that.


In the past, I've offered two exercises to illustrate this:

  • Give a group member a task and give them a time limit. Then, say "time's up" long before the limit. How did that make them feel? If you don't want to do that, you can always just ask people to share a time when someone came to their house/office earlier than expected.

  • Give a group member a task of watching something closely. Then, have several other group members attempt to "steal" it. Then, after a little bit, have someone engage them in a deep conversation, and have the "theft attempts" again. If you don't want to do that, just ask everybody to share ways it's harder to do something when distracted.

And that gets you to the main discussion. The point of this passage (and the Olivet Discourse in general) is to help believers realize that the "signs of the times" prove that Jesus' return is soon, but we don't know what "soon" means. Jesus could be returning today!


Jesus' purpose in sharing all of these signs and prophecies is not for us to get caught up in speculating about them, but for us to be sure that God is in control of history. No disaster or catastrophe happens outside of God's plan. That leads to two potential discussions:

  • Why does God allow these catastrophes in His plan?

  • Why is God delaying Jesus' return?


But Jesus' much bigger point is to spark this discussion:

  • What do we (as Christians) hope to be doing when Christ returns?

  • What distracts us from doing those things now?

  • What do we need to change in our life so as to be better focused on "the main thing"?


We have covered a lot of heavy stuff in this week's post -- and that's not including the other posts I've linked! But I hope I've convinced you that Jesus doesn't want us to speculate about the date of His Second Coming. Jesus wants us to live with the urgency that it could be tonight. And Jesus wants us to trust the Father that God has the right plan for Christ's return.

 

Closing Thoughts: A Harmony of the Gospels

It's so interesting to compare Matthew and Mark on this topic:

Matthew

Mark

​24:1 As Jesus left and was going out of the temple, his disciples came up and called his attention to its buildings. 2 He replied to them, “Do you see all these things? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here on another that will not be thrown down.”

13:1 As he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look! What massive stones! What impressive buildings!” 2 Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another—all will be thrown down.”

3 While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

​3 While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?”

​4 Jesus replied to them, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. 6 You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet.

​5 Jesus told them, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be alarmed; these things must take place, but it is not yet the end.

7 For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these events are the beginning of labor pains.

​ 8 For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

​9 “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 Then many will fall away, betray one another, and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

​9 “But you, be on your guard! They will hand you over to local courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them. 10 And it is necessary that the gospel be preached to all nations. 11 So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say, but say whatever is given to you at that time, for it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

​12 Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

​12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 You will be hated by everyone because of my name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.

​15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), 16 “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 A man on the housetop must not come down to get things out of his house, 18 and a man in the field must not go back to get his coat. 19 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days! 20 Pray that your escape may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.

​14 “When you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be” (let the reader understand), “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 A man on the housetop must not come down or go in to get anything out of his house, 16 and a man in the field must not go back to get his coat. 17 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days! 18 “Pray it won’t happen in winter.

21 For at that time there will be great distress, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again. 22 Unless those days were cut short, no one would be saved. But those days will be cut short because of the elect.

​ 19 For those will be days of tribulation, the kind that hasn’t been from the beginning of creation until now and never will be again. 20 If the Lord had not cut those days short, no one would be saved. But he cut those days short for the sake of the elect, whom he chose.

​23 “If anyone tells you then, ‘See, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Over here!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Take note: I have told you in advance.

​21 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘See, here is the Messiah! See, there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 And you must watch! I have told you everything in advance.

26 So if they tell you, ‘See, he’s in the wilderness!’ don’t go out; or, ‘See, he’s in the storerooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather.

​29 “Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

​24 “But in those days, after that tribulation: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; 25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 He will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

​32 “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize that he is near—at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

​28 “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near—at the door. 30 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

​36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels of heaven nor the Son—except the Father alone. 37 As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 38 For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark...

​32 “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son —but only the Father. 33 “Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming.

​45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes...

​34 “It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his servants, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. 35 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. 36 Otherwise, when he comes suddenly he might find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!”

Reading through it, why might you think that Matthew and Mark chose to include the different wording? or the extra verses here and there?

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