Matthew 24

1 And Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the age?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no one deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled, for it is necessary that all these things must take place; but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended and shall betray one another and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many.
12 And because lawlessness shall abound, the charity of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.
15 Therefore, when ye see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, which shall stand in the holy place (whosoever reads, let him understand),
16 then let those who are in Judaea flee into the mountains;
17 let him who is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house,
18 neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto those that are with child and to those that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter neither on the sabbath day,
21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Behold, here is the Christ, or there, believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders in such a manner that they shall deceive, if possible, the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Therefore if they say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; Behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not.
27 For as the lightning that comes out of the east and shines even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wherever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken,
30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh;
33 so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled.
35 The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of the heavens, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as they were in the days before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
39 and they knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken and the other left.
42 Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this that if the husband of the house knew in what watch the thief would come, he would watch and would not suffer his house to be broken into.
44 Therefore be ye also ready; the Son of man is to come in the hour that ye think not.
45 Who then is the faithful and prudent slave, whom his lord has made ruler over his household to give them food in due season?
46 Blessed is that slave whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil slave shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming,
49 and shall begin to smite his fellowslaves and even to eat and drink with the drunken,
50 the lord of that slave shall come in a day when he does not look for him and in an hour that he is not aware of
51 and shall cut him off and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall 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.

Matthew 24 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010