My Words Will Not Pass Away
by Matt Fray
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Let’s be honest: while every passage of the Bible is equally inspired, not every passage is equally clear. And for two thousand years, casual readers and scholarly interpreters have unanimously agreed that Mark 13:1-37 is one of those less clear passages. Along with it’s parallels in Matthew 24:1-51 and Luke 21:5-36, this a long, complex, and sometimes hard to believe passage. There are shocking announcements (v. 2), uncomfortable warnings (vv. 6-13), prophetic allusions (vv. 14), confusing predictions (vv. 15-27), and unexplained parables (vv. 28 and 34). If you are looking for a quick sound-byte of inspiration or guidance for your next morning devotional time, you just might want to look elsewhere.
But for all its challenges, this passage is a precious gift to us, and if you mine it faithfully you will discover unending riches of truth. One of those riches is found in Mark 13:31 where Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” This verse is a precious reminder that all that Jesus says in this passage, even though it is sometimes hard to believe, is trustworthy and true. His words have not passed away, but have been fulfilled already. And His words will not pass away, but will be fulfilled in the age to come.
In His excellent book, Taking God at His Word, PCA pastor Kevin DeYoung reminds us of this as he writes, “We do not follow myths. We are not interested in stories with a nice moral to them. We are not helped by hoping in spiritual possibilities which we know to be historically impossible. These things in the gospel story happened. God predicted them. He fulfilled them. He inspired the written record of them. Therefore we ought to believe them (Kevin DeYoung, Taking God at His Word, pp. 40-41).”
We cannot understand all that is now or will be for us as God’s people. God simply has not told us everything. But what God has said is more sure and lasting than any experience, relationship, accomplishment, or possession. And what Jesus has told us about His return is even more sure and lasting than the light of the sun, moon, and stars. And so while we see through a glass darkly now, we live in the promise that Christ will return and we will see Him then face to face. Until that day, we rest on His unchanging grace and His Word which will never, ever pass away.