Christ's Discourse on the Last Days.
SUMMARY.--The Destruction of the Temple Foretold. The Persecution of the Saints. The Gospel Preached to All Nations. The Awful Calamities of the Jewish Nation. Christ's Coming to Judgment. The Hour When He Shall Come Not Known. Watch, Pray, and Be Ready.
3. Peter and James . . . asked him privately. Matthew says "the disciples came to him privately," but does not name them. "Privately" probably means apart from the multitude. The destruction of the temple had been publicly foretold ( Matthew 23:38 Matthew 24:2 ).
9. Take heed to yourselves. In Matthew's report persecution is foretold, but the injunctions of verses 9, 10, 11 , or rather given in Matt. 10:18-20 , on which see notes. Take heed. Not to escape persecution, but to be ready for it. They shall deliver you to councils. Jewish courts. Besides the great national council, the Sanhedrim, each principal town had a smaller council, or local Sanhedrim. In the synagogues ye shall be beaten. In every Jewish synagogue there were three magistrates authorized to inflict certain punishments, scourging being one. The number of stripes could not exceed forty ( Deut. 25:3 ); hence they always stopped at thirty-nine. Governors and kings. Roman officials, such as Felix, Festus, Gallio, King Agrippa and Nero.
18. Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. Matt. 24:20 adds, "neither on the Sabbath day." The reasons for these monitions to the Jerusalem church are given in the notes on Matthew. The sign given by the Lord for the flight, the environment of the city by the Romans, and the panic that caused their sudden withdrawal, occurred on Tuesday, in October. Hence the flight was neither in the winter, nor on the Sabbath day.
30. This generation shall not pass. See notes on Matt. 24:34.
32. Of that day . . . knoweth no one, . . . neither the Son. When the Son was on earth in the flesh, he voluntarily subjected himself to limitations, among them ignorance of the hour when he would return again to judgment. If he voluntarily knew not, what folly of theologians to fix upon the time.
37. Watch. Observe in this chapter the emphasis given to Christ's exhortation, "Watch!" Matthew tells us how the Lord sought to impress these lessons of watchfulness and faithfulness still more deeply by the parables of the "Ten Virgins" ( Matt. 25:1-13 ), and the "Talents" ( Matt. 25:14-30 ), and closed all with a picture of the awful day when the Son of man should separate all nations from one another, as the shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats ( Matt. 25:31-46 ).