Mark 13:32-37

Mark 13:32 (KJB)
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

God states emphatically in this verse that no man will ever know the day and hour of the return of Christ. The term "no man" is in the cardinal form in the Greek making it a specific number. It is the word “oudeis." That fact illuminates the reality that not one man on earth will ever know the day or hour. Cardinal form means a specific number like one or two in contrast to the ordinal form which would be translated first or second. The word is only used in the cardinal form in seven inflections and over 100 times in the New Testament. It’s meanings are “none, no one, not one, in no way, nothing, worthless, no.” Some uses of the word which illustrate this are found in the following verses:

(Mat 6:24 KJV) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

(Luke 5:37 KJV) And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

(John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Each of these three verses uses the same word as used in Mark 13:32. Notice that the same word is used in John 14:6 when Jesus states that no man cometh unto the Father but by Him. This means that not one person in all of creation can come to the Father except through Christ. This is the essence of the cardinal form when it speaks of not even one. The word in Mark 13:32 is also in the Nominative Case. The Nominative Case is the naming case. It is used to show the subject of a sentence or a clause. This means that God is emphasizing the fact that NO ONE will ever know the exact timing of the Lord’s return. The word is also in the Nominative Case in the other three verses above and we see the emphasis in John 14:6 that NO MAN comes to the Father except through Christ.

So now when we do a comparison of John 14:6 and Mark 13:32, we see that the emphasis is on NO MAN. The logic is like this, if a man can come to the Father without Christ, then that means one can also know the day and hour of Christ’s return. God has written it to us very plainly and used the same words to emphasize the fact that that NO MAN can come to the Father without Christ and that same word also states unequivocally that no man will ever know the day or hour of Christ’s return. One more principle concerning the word and its usage. There is absolutely no time frame connected with this word which means it is in effect until the last day.

This verse also presents a great mystery in that it states that only the Father knows the date of Christ’s return and not the Son. Some my claim that Jesus did not have the same knowledge as His Father and therefore could not be God. That is absolutely false because when Jesus came to earth, He did everything in concert with the Father.

(John 5:30 KJV) I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

(John 5:19 KJV) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Since Jesus is eternal God, we must understand there are mysteries in the Godhead that we do not know about being finite creatures. The only thing I can offer concerning the statement that Jesus does not know the day nor the hour of His return was that as the Son of man, He did not know when His return was and it was not revealed to Him by the Father at that moment, but as the Son of God, He would know perfectly well when His return was. This verse may be worded this way to be a stumbling block to the unbelievers who want to lower the position of Jesus from God to man. It may have also been that that information was not to be given to the people at that time. (Acts 1:7 KJV) And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

Mark 13:33 (KJB)
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Jesus is speaking to the Apostles and is commanding them to watch and pray. The word in the Greek for watch in verse 33 is, “agrupneô ” which is a synonym of “gregôreô” and means “be on the alert, to be vigilant, or keep oneself awake.” In connection with watching, Jesus is telling them they are to pray. The word “watch” is in the Imperative Mood which makes it a command. The believer is commanded to be alert and to pray. Why? Jesus goes on to say that they do not know when the time is and this is why believers are to remain vigilant. The Lord does not tell us to be oblivious of the signs but He commands us to watch while we are involved in the ministry and the daily routines which we adopted which includes working as we saw in the two women at the mill (Mat 24:41 KJV) Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. and the two men in the field (Mat 24:40 KJV) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. It is clear from those verses that one was ready but was still involved in their daily routine. The believer is to be vigilant and alert to the signs while continuing to do ministry and their work. We are to be cognizant of the signs the Lord gave and if there were no signs coming to pass yet, then we are to continue in what we are doing. Watching is not date setting or cloud watching. (Eccl 8:5 KJV) Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

Mark 13:34 (KJB)
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Jesus begins with a conjunction because He is continuing the reason that believers are to watch and pray. He is likening Himself to a man who goes on a far journey and we have previously seen that the far journey is the time between His ascension and His return. First of all, Christ gives authority to His servants the believers and they have the authority to speak in His name and to bring the true Gospel which has authority over people because it is the Word of God. Secondly, He doles out work to every man and that is done by means of the distribution of the spiritual gifts when a person becomes saved. The spiritual gifts qualify a Christian to work in a certain area of ministry. Then the doorkeeper or the porter is commanded to watch. What is he watching for?

Mark 13:35 (KJB)
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

He is watching for the return of the Master. In the mean time, he is also watching out for the enemies which may come and try to plunder the house and steal all the goods and the servants. He is the first line of warning against any type of trouble. In the book of First Chronicles in chapter 9, there were 212 porters in the temple duty and they were Levites who had charge of the various entrances. Their main job was to guard the temple so no unclean person would be able to come in and defile it. So back to Mark 13:34, we see that the porter, who was specifically commanded to watch, was doing so as a faithful servant engaged in his duties which was given to him by his Master.

(John 10:1-3 KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. {2} But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. {3} To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

The porter in John 10 only opens the door of the sheepfold when he hears and recognized the true shepherd of the sheep. Now the porter can be considered every true believer because only they will recognize the true voice of the Shepherd and will not allow any false teachings to take root in themselves and this will prevent any infection of the other sheep with false gospels. So the porter represents every true believer who disallows false teachings and allows only the entrance of true teachings of Scripture. False teachings will not be allowed in and will be stopped right at the door so the estate of the master, the body of believers, will not suffer the ravages of false teachings.

Now back to Mark 13:35. Jesus gave the example of the porter watching for the master and now He admonishes the Christians that they are to watch or remain vigilant. Why? Because we are not going to know the time of the Lord’s return because He gives us three watches of the day, and does not specify any particular time. The only way a Christian can be ready for the Lord’s return is to be faithfully employed in fruitful ministry anticipating the Lord’s return.

Mark 13:36 (KJB)
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

Verse 36 is where the Lord is warning the Christians, not the unbelievers, that He may come suddenly or unexpectedly and find the Christians sleeping. We are living in an age of sleeping Christians. (Mat 13:25 KJV) But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. In Matthew 13:25, we are reading that while men slept, the enemies sowed tares among the wheat. In the Scriptures, the wheat is the true believers. The tares are the unbelievers plus it also points to the fact of false teachings which are found among the Christians. Do we live in a time of false teachings? Purpose driven church, date setting, Nation of Israel worshipped by churches and some media ministries, annihilation, no final judgment, no visible return of Christ, 1,000 year reign on earth, days of creation accepted as long periods of time, free will, counterfeit Bible versions, unbelievers in pulpits, tongues, signs and wonders, faith healers, etc. Christians have been fast asleep for many years and have allowed the tares to come in and sow the false teachings among the wheat. All of these things have happened to the church because they are asleep. Vigilance would demand a rejection of anything that is false.

Mark 13:37 (KJB)
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Jesus is making the statement that not only are the disciples to watch but He states that all are to watch. The “all” are the ones who will come after the disciples up until the last day. Based upon what we have already looked at in the Scriptures, the warning Jesus gives is not a command for Christians to set dates for His return. It is for His people to remain vigilant in their Christian walk while they are engaged in doing the work of the Lord. Christians are never to forsake the commands which Christ gives us to be vigilant in our stewardship of doing the Lord’s work. Date setting is tantamount to idleness because it stops and diverts a Christian from true Gospel studies. In all applications of watching, they are connected with faithful ministry.