Promise Amidst Tribulation. 24 “But in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, 27 and then he will send out the angels and gather (his) elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.
As noted in most outlines, we are jumping into the middle of Mark’s “Oliver Discourse.” Pheme Perkins  nicely locates it for us: “Both of the previous sections end with a note of warning to the elect: Persecution requires endurance (v. 13); the presence of false messiahs requires careful attention to the prophecies in the discourse (v. 23). Both sections also assure the faithful that they will be among the elect (vv. 13b, 20b). Thus each unit of prophetic discourse directs the reader’s attention from the present or impending historical experiences of persecution to the culmination of all things at the end time. The faithful testimony of Jesus’ disciples before human courts will assure them that the Son of Man will testify on their behalf in the heavenly court (13:9–13 echoes 8:34–38). A prophecy concerning the coming of the Son of Man to gather the elect now makes explicit the expectations built up in the previous sections.” Continue reading