First Sunday in Advent

 Mark 13:32-37

 Other Readings: Genesis 6:1-3, 5-14, 17-22 and 1 Corinthians 1:3-9


  1. Who can predict the day when “heaven and earth will pass away”?
  2. Explain why it is a blessing that we do not know the timing.
  3. If Jesus is true God, and God knows everything, explain why Jesus said that even he did not know the hour.
  4. Why will it be so bad for someone if Jesus catches them “sleeping” (v. 36) at his return?
  5. What similarities can you find between Noah and his world and you and our world?


  1. No one can discover the Last Day with his or her logical calculations. Jesus will come at a time we not only do not know but will not expect.
  2. If we knew the time, we would be tempted to coast in our spiritual lives or to fall asleep and then set an alarm just before Christ’s return. This would be detrimental to our faith and dishonor God’s name. But our ignorance about the timing keeps us on our toes and more alert to the ways we can be ready and bring honor to God’s name.
  3. Before his resurrection, Jesus humbled himself and did not make full use of the divine power and knowledge he had as God. So here, Jesus, the Son of Man (v. 26) is speaking according to his human nature which—like ours—does not know the day or time. After his resurrection, Jesus took up full use of his divine characteristics and on his throne in heaven he knows what time he will return.
  4. The Last Day will be an “either/or” kind of thing. Either a person has saving faith in Jesus which is anticipating the Last Day or a person does not have saving trust. Those without faith and spiritually sleeping will not get a chance to come to faith on the Last Day. They will be sent to hell.
  5. Answers may vary, but here are some similarities that stick out – the world at both times has a shocking amount of evil and apathetic unbelievers; Noah and we have specific commands to carry out until the judgment comes; it may seem to us that God is taking a while to carry out his judgment; and God promises to save us when we trust in him, just as Noah did.