Matthew 24

Listen to Matthew 24

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

1 1Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.
2 But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, 2there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."

Signs of the Close of the Age

3 As he sat on 3the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him 4privately, saying, "Tell us, 5when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your 6coming and of 7the close of the age?"
4 And Jesus answered them, 8"See that no one leads you astray.
5 For 9many will come in my name, saying, 'I am 10the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you 11are not alarmed, for this 12must take place, but the end is not yet.
7 For 13nation will rise against nation, and 14kingdom against kingdom, and there will be 15famines and earthquakes in various places.
8 All these are but the beginning of 16the birth pains.
9 "Then 17they will deliver you up 18to tribulation and 19put you to death, and 20you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then many will fall away[a] and 21betray one another and hate one another.
11 And many 22false prophets will arise 23and lead many astray.
12 And because lawlessness will be increased, 24the love of many will grow cold.
13 25But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom 26will be proclaimed throughout the whole world 27as a testimony 28to all nations, and 29then the end will come.

The Abomination of Desolation

15 "So when you see the abomination of desolation 30spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in 31the holy place (32let the reader understand),
16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 33Let the one who is on 34the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,
18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.
19 And 35alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!
20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.
21 For then there will be 36great tribulation, 37such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for 38the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
23 39Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it.
24 For 40false christs and 41false prophets will arise and 42perform great signs and wonders, 43so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
25 See, 44I have told you beforehand.
26 So, if they say to you, 'Look, 45he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it.
27 46For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be 47the coming of the Son of Man.
28 48Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 "Immediately after 49the tribulation of those days 50the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and 51the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 Then 52will appear in heaven 53the sign of the Son of Man, and then 54all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and 55they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven 56with power and great glory.
31 And 57he will send out his angels with a loud 58trumpet call, and they will 59gather 60his elect from 61the four winds, 62from one end of heaven to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

32 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.
33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, 63at the very gates.
34 64Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
35 65Heaven and earth will pass away, but 66my words will not pass away.

No One Knows That Day and Hour

36 "But concerning that day and hour 67no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, 68nor the Son,[b]69but the Father only.
37 70For as were the days of Noah, 71so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38 72For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, 73marrying and giving in marriage, until 74the day when Noah entered the ark,
39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, 75so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.
41 76Two women will be grinding 77at the mill; one will be taken and one left.
42 Therefore, 78stay awake, for you do not know on what day 79your Lord is coming.
43 80But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night 81the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
44 Therefore you also must be 82ready, for 83the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 "Who then is 84the faithful and 85wise servant,[c] whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
46 86Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
47 Truly, I say to you, 87he will set him over all his possessions.
48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master 88is delayed,'
49 and begins to beat his fellow servants[d] and eats and drinks with 89drunkards,
50 the master of that servant will come 90on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know
51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place 91there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

Christ foretells the destruction of the temple. (1-3) The troubles before the destruction of Jerusalem. (4-28) Christ foretells other signs and miseries, to the end of the world. (29-41) Exhortations to watchfulness. (42-51)

Verses 1-3 Christ foretells the utter ruin and destruction coming upon the temple. A believing foresight of the defacing of all worldly glory, will help to keep us from admiring it, and overvaluing it. The most beautiful body soon will be food for worms, and the most magnificent building a ruinous heap. See ye not all these things? It will do us good so to see them as to see through them, and see to the end of them. Our Lord having gone with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, he set before them the order of the times concerning the Jews, till the destruction of Jerusalem; and as to men in general till the end of the world.

Verses 4-28 The disciples had asked concerning the times, When these things should be? Christ gave them no answer to that; but they had also asked, What shall be the sign? This question he answers fully. The prophecy first respects events near at hand, the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish church and state, the calling of the Gentiles, and the setting up of Christ's kingdom in the world; but it also looks to the general judgment; and toward the close, points more particularly to the latter. What Christ here said to his disciples, tended more to promote caution than to satisfy their curiosity; more to prepare them for the events that should happen, than to give a distinct idea of the events. This is that good understanding of the times which all should covet, thence to infer what Israel ought to do. Our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace, shall be made to hear the messengers of war. But where the heart is fixed, trusting in God, it is kept in peace, and is not afraid. It is against the mind of Christ, that his people should have troubled hearts, even in troublous times. When we looked forward to the eternity of misery that is before the obstinate refusers of Christ and his gospel, we may truly say, The greatest earthly judgments are but the beginning of sorrows. It is comforting that some shall endure even to the end. Our Lord foretells the preaching of the gospel in all the world. The end of the world shall not be till the gospel has done its work. Christ foretells the ruin coming upon the people of the Jews; and what he said here, would be of use to his disciples, for their conduct and for their comfort. If God opens a door of escape, we ought to make our escape, otherwise we do not trust God, but tempt him. It becomes Christ's disciples, in times of public trouble, to be much in prayer: that is never out of season, but in a special manner seasonable when we are distressed on every side. Though we must take what God sends, yet we may pray against sufferings; and it is very trying to a good man, to be taken by any work of necessity from the solemn service and worship of God on the sabbath day. But here is one word of comfort, that for the elect's sake these days shall be made shorter than their enemies designed, who would have cut all off, if God, who used these foes to serve his own purpose, had not set bounds to their wrath. Christ foretells the rapid spreading of the gospel in the world. It is plainly seen as the lightning. Christ preached his gospel openly. The Romans were like an eagle, and the ensign of their armies was an eagle. When a people, by their sin, make themselves as loathsome carcasses, nothing can be expected but that God should send enemies to destroy them. It is very applicable to the day of judgment, the coming of our Lord Jesus ( 2 Thessalonians. 2:1 ) calling and election sure; then may we know that no enemy or deceiver shall ever prevail against us.

Verses 29-41 Christ foretells his second coming. It is usual for prophets to speak of things as near and just at hand, to express the greatness and certainty of them. Concerning Christ's second coming, it is foretold that there shall be a great change, in order to the making all things new. Then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds. At his first coming, he was set for a sign that should be spoken against, but at his second coming, a sign that should be admired. Sooner or later, all sinners will be mourners; but repenting sinners look to Christ, and mourn after a godly sort; and those who sow in those tears shall shortly reap in joy. Impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, shall mourn and weep in endless horror and despair. The elect of God are scattered abroad; there are some in all places, and all nations; but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing. Distance of place shall keep none out of heaven. Our Lord declares that the Jews should never cease to be a distinct people, until all things he had been predicting were fulfilled. His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; therefore he here, ver. 34, foretells that Judah shall never cease to exist as a distinct people, so long as this world shall endure. Men of the world scheme and plan for generation upon generation here, but they plan not with reference to the overwhelming, approaching, and most certain event of Christ's second coming, which shall do away every human scheme, and set aside for ever all that God forbids. That will be as surprising a day, as the deluge to the old world. Apply this, first, to temporal judgments, particularly that which was then hastening upon the nation and people of the Jews. Secondly, to the eternal judgment. Christ here shows the state of the old world when the deluge came. They were secure and careless; they knew not, until the flood came; and they believed not. Did we know aright that all earthly things must shortly pass away, we should not set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do. The evil day is not the further off for men's putting it far from them. What words can more strongly describe the suddenness of our Saviour's coming! Men will be at their respective businesses, and suddenly the Lord of glory will appear. Women will be in their house employments, but in that moment every other work will be laid aside, and every heart will turn inward and say, It is the Lord! Am I prepared to meet him? Can I stand before him? And what, in fact, is the day of judgment to the whole world, but the day of death to every one?

Verses 42-51 To watch for Christ's coming, is to maintain that temper of mind which we would be willing that our Lord should find us in. We know we have but a little time to live, we cannot know that we have a long time to live; much less do we know the time fixed for the judgment. Our Lord's coming will be happy to those that shall be found ready, but very dreadful to those that are not. If a man, professing to be the servant of Christ, be an unbeliever, covetous, ambitious, or a lover of pleasure, he will be cut off. Those who choose the world for their portion in this life, will have hell for their portion in the other life. May our Lord, when he cometh, pronounce us blessed, and present us to the Father, washed in his blood, purified by his Spirit, and fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

Cross References 91

  • 1. [Matthew 21:23]; For ver. 1-51, see Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36
  • 2. Luke 19:44
  • 3. See Matthew 21:1
  • 4. [Mark 4:34]
  • 5. [Acts 1:6, 7]
  • 6. ver. 27, 37, 39; See 1 Thessalonians 2:19
  • 7. See Matthew 13:39
  • 8. Jeremiah 29:8; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 John 3:7
  • 9. ver. 11, 24; Jeremiah 14:14; 1 John 2:18
  • 10. See Matthew 1:17
  • 11. 2 Thessalonians 2:2
  • 12. Revelation 1:1
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 15:6; [Revelation 6:4]
  • 14. Isaiah 19:2
  • 15. Acts 11:28; Revelation 6:8, 12
  • 16. John 16:21; Acts 2:24(Gk.); Romans 8:22
  • 17. Matthew 10:17, 21
  • 18. ver. 21, 29; Revelation 2:10
  • 19. Matthew 23:34; John 16:2
  • 20. See Matthew 10:22
  • 21. Matthew 10:21
  • 22. See Matthew 7:15
  • 23. ver. 5, 24
  • 24. [Revelation 2:4]
  • 25. See Matthew 10:22
  • 26. Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:6, 23; [Mark 14:9]
  • 27. Matthew 10:18
  • 28. Matthew 28:19
  • 29. [ver. 6]
  • 30. Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11
  • 31. [John 11:48; Acts 6:13; Acts 21:28]
  • 32. [Dan. 9:22, 23, 25; Revelation 1:3]
  • 33. Luke 17:31
  • 34. See Luke 5:19
  • 35. Luke 23:29
  • 36. ver. 29; Daniel 12:1; [Revelation 7:14]
  • 37. Revelation 16:18
  • 38. ver. 24, 31; Isaiah 65:8, 9; Luke 18:7; [Matthew 22:14]
  • 39. Luke 17:23; [ver. 5, 26]
  • 40. [1 John 2:18]
  • 41. ver. 11
  • 42. Deuteronomy 13:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Revelation 13:13, 14; Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:20; [Acts 8:9]
  • 43. ver. 11
  • 44. John 13:19; John 14:29; [2 Peter 3:17]
  • 45. Acts 21:38
  • 46. Luke 17:24
  • 47. ver. 3, 37, 39
  • 48. Luke 17:37; [Job 39:30]
  • 49. ver. 21
  • 50. Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 24:23; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10, 31; Joel 3:15; Acts 2:20; [Amos 5:20; Amos 8:9; Zephaniah 1:15; Revelation 6:12; Revelation 8:12]
  • 51. Revelation 6:13; [Isaiah 14:12; Isaiah 34:4]
  • 52. Daniel 7:13
  • 53. [ver. 3]
  • 54. Revelation 1:7; [Zechariah 12:12]
  • 55. See Matthew 16:27
  • 56. Matthew 26:64; Mark 9:1; [Matthew 25:31]
  • 57. Matthew 13:41
  • 58. 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  • 59. [Matthew 23:37; 2 Thessalonians 2:1]
  • 60. ver. 22, 24
  • 61. Daniel 7:2; Zechariah 2:6; Revelation 7:1
  • 62. Deuteronomy 4:32; Deuteronomy 30:4
  • 63. James 5:9; Revelation 3:20
  • 64. See Matthew 16:28
  • 65. Psalms 102:26; Isaiah 51:6; 2 Peter 3:10; [Matthew 5:18; Hebrews 12:27]
  • 66. Psalms 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23, 25
  • 67. Matthew 25:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2
  • 68. [Philippians 2:6, 7]
  • 69. [Zechariah 14:7; Acts 1:7]
  • 70. Luke 17:26, 27
  • 71. ver. 27
  • 72. [See ver. 37 above]
  • 73. Matthew 22:30
  • 74. Genesis 7:7-16
  • 75. [See ver. 37 above]
  • 76. Luke 17:35
  • 77. Exodus 11:5; Isaiah 47:2
  • 78. Mark 14:34-38; Luke 12:37; Luke 21:36; Acts 20:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:6
  • 79. John 13:13
  • 80. For ver. 43-51, [Luke 12:39-46]
  • 81. [1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3]
  • 82. Matthew 25:10
  • 83. ver. 27
  • 84. Matthew 25:21; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Hebrews 3:5
  • 85. Matthew 7:24; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 25:2
  • 86. John 13:17; Revelation 16:15
  • 87. Matthew 25:21, 23
  • 88. Matthew 25:5
  • 89. 1 Thessalonians 5:7
  • 90. 2 Peter 3:12; [Matthew 25:13]
  • 91. See Matthew 8:12

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or stumble
  • [b]. Some manuscripts omit nor the Son
  • [c]. Greek bondservant; also verses 46, 48, 50
  • [d]. Greek bondservants

Matthew 24 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.