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FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 24


v.1,2 Destruction of the Temple

v.3-8 General Signs of the beginning

v.9-14 Coming Persecution & Falling Away

v.15-22 Coming Desolation & Distress

v.23-26 Beware False Messiahs

v.27-31 His Second Coming

v.32-35 Watch for the Signs

v.36-44 The Day and Hour Unknown

v.45-51 Parable of the waiting servants



v.1,2 Destruction of the Temple


v.1 (outside the temple the disciples comment on the grand building) Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.

v.2 (Jesus says it will be thrown down) “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”


[Comment: Jesus warns of the temple's destruction (in AD70) in response to comments from his disciples.]



v.3-8 General Signs of the beginning


v.3 (the disciples ask when it will happen) As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

v.4 (don't be deceived he replies) Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.

v.5 (many will come claiming to be Messiah but don't be taken in) For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many.

v.6 (even when you hear of wars, it's not the time of the end) You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

v.7 (many upheavals will happen) Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

v.8 (but they are just early day happenings, not the end) All these are the beginning of birth pains.


[Comment: Jesus starts to expound on the ‘last days' – see Acts 2:17 – a long period leading on to the ‘end times' – see Dan 12:2. These are a number of things that wil happen throughout the church era.]



v.9-14 Coming Persecution & Falling Away


v.9 (times will be tough for my followers) “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

v.10,11 (many will turn from the faith and much deception will occur) At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

v.12,13 (wickedness will increase, love will decrease, but hold firm) Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

v.14 (the gospel will be preached around the whole world before the end) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.


[Comment: Persecution of the church will be known throughout as wickedness increases despite the gospel going to all nations.]



v.15-22 Coming Desolation & Distress


v.15,16 (when an idol is seen in the temple, start running) “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,' [Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

v.17 (don't pause at home) Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.

v.18 (don't pause in the field) Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.

v.19 (for the defenceless it will be terrible) How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!

v.20 (pray it will happen when you can easily get away) Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.

v.21 (it will be the most terrible of times) For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equalled again.

v.22 (so some will survive it will be cut short) “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.


[Comment: There is coming (soon) distress.]



v.23-26 Beware False Messiahs


v.23 (again reject apparent Messiah's) At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!' or, ‘There he is!' do not believe it.

v.24 (they will all be false even if doing signs and wonders) For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

v.25 (I've given you due warning) See, I have told you ahead of time.

v.26 (don't believe what you might hear about me) “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,' do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it.


[Comment: There will be counterfeit Messiahs.]



v.27-31 His Second Coming


v.27 (as the lightning in the sky, so will be my coming) For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

v.28 (crowds gather for morbid things – that won't be me) Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

v.29 (you'll know it by what goes on in the sky) “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' [Isa 13:10; 34:4]

v.30 (then you'll see me coming power in the sky so everyone can see) “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. [Dan 7:13-14 ]

v.31 (and my angels will collect up the believers) And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.


[Comment: But his real return will be seen in the skies – see Acts 1:11]



v.32-35 Watch for the Signs


v.32 (you learn by nature how seasons change) “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

v.33 (so watch for these signs) Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.

v.34 (this existence of mankind will see it happen) Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

v.35 (my words will never be lost) Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


[Comment: Jesus exhorts them to watch for these ‘signs', some of which will come soon.]



v.36-44 The Day and Hour Unknown


v.36 (only the Father knows exactly when that will be) “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

v.37 (it will be rather like what happened with Noah) As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

v.38,39 (people ignored his warnings until the flood came and it was too late. So it will be at the end) For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

v.40,41 (individuals will be snatched away) Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

v.42 (so remain alert) “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

v.43  (be vigilant as a house owner who had been warned about a break-in) But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

v.44 (so, not knowing when, you must just remain alert) So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.


[Comment: Jesus warns them that no one except the Father in heaven knows exactly when these things will occur.]



v.45-51 Parable of the waiting servants


v.45 (who can be qualified to feed my people to the end, preparing them and keeping them ready) “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?

v.46 (how good if he's still faithfully doing it when I come) It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.

v.47 (such a one will be rewarded) Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

v.48,49 (but if such a one falls away, he'll be in trouble) But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.

v.50 (… if the master comes when he's not expecting) The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.

v.51 (he will be severely dealt with) He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


[Comment: The call, therefore, is to be ready, whenever he returns.]



Continue to Chapter 25