“Jesus said to them: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you’”.
Mk 13:5 NIV
At the time when Jesus lived in Israel there was a set of ideas floating around called Apocalyptic. One of the apocalyptic ideas was that a coming disaster was about to happen. The air, as we would say, was “thick with the thought of impending doom”, just as today the big bogey is “climate change”. It is understandable since Israel had suffered a number of invasions by foreign people. And usually there was another one in the distance making the sort of noise that suggested they were planning trouble. This all tended to create panic in the minds of the people. So the Israelites thought, “Who is there on the horizon who could sort the Romans out?” “Would they be worse for us than the Romans”. “God must have a part to play in this messy conflict between good and evil”. With this kind of panicky attitude there were plenty of people stirring up cranky ideas about this, that and the other. And Jesus knew it was all going on. So he warned the disciples to be on their guard, not to be duped by every Tom, Dick and Harry.
In addition, Jesus knew that storm clouds were gathering over his own head. Mischief was afoot. And his impending death spelt trouble – and possibly enmity – for the disciples.
Christian disciples need to watch out today. For one thing plenty of false teachings abound. Satan himself is busy waiting to entrap unwary Christian believers. Even unbelieving “friends” can be a problem without being aware of it. So can unbelieving family members. Disciples need to be on their watch against weaknesses of the flesh. And Jesus is available to help and strengthen you.
Lord, help me to be ever on guard against the designs of evil.