MATTHEW 24….PART II
By Pat Andrews
In the previous segment of this study, we focused on the first three verses of Matthew 24 along with parallel passages in Mark and Luke. In order to understand this, or any other difficult passage, it’s important to first consider the context of what is being read. Who is talking, what is being discussed, etc. etc. In the context of Matthew 24, there is no doubt that Jesus is referring to the destruction of the Temple Buildings in Jerusalem, at some future date. Later on in the chapter, He is talking about His second coming.
The statements made in verse 2 and the questions asked in verse 3 will help us understand this difficult passage. As I pointed out last time, I believe that the disciples asked Jesus more than one question in verse 3. It would seem to be three questions, but the second and third questions are so closely related that I’m confident that there are only two questions. The reason I believe this is because Christ replies to only two questions. Not just one and not more than two. This is important.
This will be an overview of the rest of the chapter beginning with verse 4. It’s important to first look at the big picture and then go back and look at the text in more detail. Most of this chapter is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem that occurred in 70 A.D., when the Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem and laid siege to it. I mentioned last time that Jesus prophesied that this would happen, but He didn’t give a definite date, but He did tell them that it would take place in their lifetime.
This is also an important point. The destruction was coming; they didn’t know exactly when, but they knew that they would live to see it. The reason this is important to understand is because Jesus did tell them there would be signs that would lead up to Jerusalem’s fall, so they could flee before it was too late. Jesus mentions three different time periods that would occur before the final demise of Jerusalem. They could be classified as:
**1.** (KJV) **THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS** **(Matthew 24:4-18)** Or birth pangs…ESV
**2. NEARER SIGNS** **(Matthew 24:15-31 )**
**3. IT’S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR (Matthew 24:32-35)**
One of the people who asked me to write on this topic, told me that she would get confused about the verses that were talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the verses speaking of Second coming of Christ and the end of the world.
Jesus answered the two questions in the order that the disciples asked them:
1. When will the Temple be destroyed?
2. What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?
Verses 4 through 35 is the answer to the first question.
Verses 36 through 51 is answering the second question.
If you read ahead, you might think I’ve lost my mind when you get to verse 29. Jesus is talking about Stars falling and the sun and the moon, etc. He also mentions Jesus coming in the clouds and sending His angels, etc. You might be thinking that these few verses have to be talking about the end of the world, but they are not. I can prove this to you, using the Bible, if you hang in there with me until the next lesson. But for right now, please give me the benefit of the doubt and when I explain it; using the scriptures to do so, it will make perfect sense. I promise. Before the next lesson, this is what you should do:
· Go through verses 4-35 and see if you can pick out where I got the three different time segments and their names.
· As you read through these verses notice how much more dire the situation in Jerusalem becomes with each passing time period.
· Note how many times Jesus warns His disciples to not be DECEIVED or BELIEVE A LIE*.( Deceived about what? Lied to about what)? How could being deceived or believing a lie be a problem for those who would live to see Jerusalem fall?*
· Note how many times Jesus uses the phrase, “END OF TIME”. *Are all of these talking about the end of Jerusalem or the end of the world? Are only some of them talking about one or the other? The end of what time? The end of what?*
· Note how things are getting worse every time you see the word, “THEN”. *What is the word, “then” discussing? It’s definitely marking time, but what times?*
· Note how many times the phrase; “THOSE DAYS” are used. *Why does Jesus use that phrase so many times? Is He meaning only one day, or numerous days?*
· In verse 30, why does the word, “SIGN” appear right before the phrase, “OF THE SON OF MAN”?
· Why does Jesus use the word, “BUT” in verse 36?
· In verse 36, what day and what hour is Jesus referring to? Why is it that no one knows when that is, except the Father in Heaven?
· From verses 36 through 51, how many references are made to “THAT DAY” or “THAT HOUR”? How many times are “THAT DAY” or “THAT HOUR”, used in verses 4 through 35?
· In verses 4 through 39, “The Coming of the Lord” is compared three different times to something else. What are those three things that it’s compared to? I cut this question off at verse 39 because of the Greek Word, “PAROUSIA”. I’ll explain next time.
1,000 word limit is reached. I hope this helps.
I readily admit and am fully aware that not everyone will agree with me on what I write and that’s okay with me. I am going to stand before God someday and give an account of the things I taught. As of right now, what I believe on Matthew 24 harmonizes with all other scriptures. However; learning is a continual process and I admit it.
If you are confident that the arguments you make will be accepted by God, then there you go. If you’re willing to state your case before God as it is, then stand on it and defend it.