MATTHEW CHAPTER 24
Verse by verse, with some commentary.
v. 1-26 The Warnings
v.27-36 The Events
v.37-51 The Responsibilities
1. And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
2. And He answered and said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down."
This was historically fulfilled when Titus marched on Jerusalem in AD70 to quell the Jewish revolt.
3. And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
The disciples were more concerned about signs and times, i.e. just like us who want to know "concrete" things.
4. And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.
However, Jesus does not answer them directly, but instead points to something more important. Jesus uses the term "misleads" quite a few times in this chapter. Evidently, He was more concerned about our being mislead rather than about His own coming.
5. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ', and will mislead many.
What does "Christ" mean? - the anointed one.
6. "And you will be hearing of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
Do not be unduly worried by what is going on around the world.
7. "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
8. "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Birth pangs before something which is about to give birth. Pain before relief.
9. "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name.
Tribulation - thlipsis, not wrath - thumos. Acts 11:26 - it is the bearing of Christ's name (bearing our cross).
10. "And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.
Apostasy, mainly because it is no longer worthwhile or profitable to have the tag of Christian.
11. "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.
12. "And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
13. "But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.
14. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
The condition for the end is that the gospel be preached. By whom? What is the "end"?
15. "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
Daniel 9:27 - Antiochus IV Epiphanes set up a staute of Jupiter in the Holy of Holies, and sacrificed a pig on the altar. NB. Titus did not.
16. then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
17. let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house;
18. and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak.
19. "But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days!
20. "But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath;
21. for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.
NB - "Great Tribulation"
22. "And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.
23. "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him.
24. "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
Again the word "Mislead" (or deceive). Note again "signs and wonders", the very things which the disciples had asked Jesus but which He did not want to say, because we would then look at them and not at God.
25. "Behold, I have told you in advance.
This is Jesus' warning - how should we respond?
26. "If therefore they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go forth, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them.
27. "For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
The coming of the Son of Man shall be visible to ALL, not secret. i.e. there is no "secret" rapture.
28. "Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
29. "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,
The "signs". Have they occured? Note that it is BEFORE the 2nd coming.
30. and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Why will the tribes mourn? How will Jesus return? - Acts 1:11
31. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
First He comes, in full view of all the world, Then the "rapture".
32. "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
33. even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
34. "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
What is this "generation"?
35. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
36. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
37. "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
38. "For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
It is not so much that they were indulging in debauchery, but that they were indifferent and complacent. It is the indifference.
39. and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
40. "Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
NB - this verse does NOT support the theory of secret rapture. The intent is to illustrate the suddeness of the event, so much so that your very neighbour might just as well drop dead of a heart attack right next to you.
41. "Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
42. "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
Does this mean that Christ can come anytime?
43. "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Paul repeats this in 1 Thess 5:2. "But you...are not of the night" - lesson - be alert and keep watch.
44. "For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
This happens when we are not alert or watchful. Jesus tells us to "Watch and pray" Matt 26:41.
45. "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?
Now comes our responsibility.
46. "Blessed is the slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
47. "Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
48. "But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,'
49. and shall begin to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards;
50. the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know,
51. and shall cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; weeping shall be there and the gnashing of teeth.
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