The Pony Under the Pile: Reflections on Mark 13:1-8

He also offered this advice in the darkest days of World War II: "If you're going through hell, keep going." This saying is an apt summary of the good news that is to be found beneath the pile of fears and famines, pains and persecutions of Mark 13.

Country singer Rodney Atkins echoes Churchill's words in his lyrics to "If You're Going Through Hell, Keep on Going:"

Well you know those times
When you feel like there's a sign there on your back
Says I don't mind if ya kick me
Seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You'd think they can't get worse than that
And then they do 
If you're going through hell
Keep on going,
Don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there.

This all begs the question, "When we're going through hell, how can we keep on going?"

The answer? By remembering two pieces of very good news concealed in the pile of pains, pangs, and persecutions of this text:

  1. The Holy Spirit supports us in every dreaded encounter and event.
  2. The one who keeps the faith and endures to the end will participate in Jesus' victory over death.

Sources Consulted

Hugh Anderson, The New Century Bible Commentary on Mark (William B.

Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987).

R.T. France, "The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text," The New International Greek Testament Commentary Series (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002).

12/2/2022 9:10:36 PM
  • Progressive Christian
  • Edgy Exegesis
  • Bible Study
  • Progressive Christianity
  • Protestantism
  • Alyce McKenzie
    About Alyce McKenzie
    Alyce M. McKenzie is the George W. and Nell Ayers Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.