Mark 13:5-6

Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. The life of the first followers of Jesus after his resurrection was chaotic. There were many claims and ideas around who Jesus “really” was and what he represented. Believers were trying to understand what the relationship between Jesus and God was like. In this text Mark is reminding his readers that Jesus warned of being lead astray. He warns of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the gathering storm clouds of war. Jesus also warned of imitators. Those who would seek to exploit Jesus’ name to achieve their own ends. Yet in this confusion and climate of threat, chaos and impending disaster Jesus tells those who follow not to be alarmed. These are the signs of new life. Birth pangs leading to a new way of living. We can be easily distracted by news of disaster and calamity and so lose sight of what God has promised for us in Christ. We can get confused over what Jesus is calling us to by those who pretend to speak for him. “By their fruits you will know them” They way of Jesus leads to liberation for all. New life for all.