Matthew 24

Signs of Christ's Return

1 1Jesus 2came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
2 And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, 3not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down."
3 As He was sitting on 4the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately *, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of 5Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, "6See to it that no one misleads you.
5 "For 7many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
6 "You will be hearing of 8wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
7 "For 9nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be 10famines and earthquakes.
8 "11But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 "12Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and 13you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
10 "At that time many will 14fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
11 "Many 15false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
12 "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
13 "16But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
14 "This 17gospel of the kingdom 18shall be preached in the whole 19world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Perilous Times

15 "Therefore when you see the 20ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in 21the holy place (22let the reader understand ),
16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
17 "Whoever is on 23the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.
18 "Whoever is in the field must not turn back * to get his cloak.
19 "But 24woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
20 "But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
21 "For then there will be a 25great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever * will.
22 "Unless those days had been cut short, no * life would have been saved; but for 26the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
23 "27Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him.
24 "For false Christs and 28false prophets will arise and will show great 29signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even 30the elect.
25 "Behold, I have told you in advance.
26 "So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them.
27 "31For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the 32coming of the 33Son of Man be.
28 "34Wherever * the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Glorious Return

29 "But immediately after the 35tribulation of those days 36THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND 37THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 "And then 38the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see 39the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
31 "And 40He will send forth His angels with 41A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His 42elect from 43the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Parable of the Fig Tree

32 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right 44at the door.
34 "Truly I say to you, 45this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
35 "46Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
36 "But 47of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
37 "For the 48coming of the Son of Man will be 49just like the days of Noah.
38 "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, 50marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that 51Noah entered the ark,
39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the 52coming of the Son of Man be.
40 "Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
41 "53Two women will be grinding at the 54mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Be Ready for His Coming

42 "Therefore 55be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
43 "But be sure of this, that 56if the head of the house had known 57at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
44 "For this reason 58you also must be ready; for 59the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
45 "60Who then is the 61faithful and 62sensible slave whom his master 63put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?
46 "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
47 "Truly I say to you that 64he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
48 "But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,'
49 and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards;
50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know,
51 and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be 65weeping 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 65

  • 1. Matthew 24:1-51: {Mark 13; Luke 21:5-36}
  • 2. Matthew 21:23
  • 3. Luke 19:44
  • 4. Matthew 21:1
  • 5. Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:27, 37, 39
  • 6. Jeremiah 29:8
  • 7. Matthew 24:11, 24; Acts 5:36; 1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:3
  • 8. Revelation 6:4
  • 9. 2 Chronicles 15:6; Isaiah 19:2; Revelation 6:8, 12
  • 10. Acts 11:28; Revelation 6:5, 6
  • 11. Matthew 24:8-20; Luke 21:12-24
  • 12. Matthew 10:17; John 16:2
  • 13. Matthew 10:22; John 15:18f
  • 14. Matthew 11:6
  • 15. Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:24
  • 16. Matthew 10:22
  • 17. Matthew 4:23
  • 18. Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:6, 23
  • 19. Luke 2:1; Luke 4:5; Acts 11:28; Acts 17:6, 31; Acts 19:27; Romans 10:18; Hebrews 1:6; Hebrews 2:5; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 16:14
  • 20. Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11
  • 21. Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20; John 11:48; Acts 6:13; Acts 21:28
  • 22. Mark 13:14; Revelation 1:3
  • 23. 1 Samuel 9:25; 2 Samuel 11:2; Matthew 10:27; Luke 5:19; Luke 12:3; Luke 17:31; Acts 10:9
  • 24. Luke 23:29
  • 25. Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matthew 24:29
  • 26. Matthew 22:14; Matthew 24:24, 31; Luke 18:7
  • 27. Luke 17:23
  • 28. Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11
  • 29. John 4:48; 2 Thessalonians 2:9
  • 30. Matthew 22:14; Matthew 24:22, 31; Luke 18:7
  • 31. Luke 17:24
  • 32. Matt 24:3, 37, 39
  • 33. Matthew 8:20
  • 34. Job 39:30; Ezekiel 39:17; Habakkuk 1:8; Luke 17:37
  • 35. Matthew 24:21
  • 36. Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 24:23; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10, 31; Joel 3:15; Amos 5:20; Amos 8:9; Zephaniah 1:15; Matthew 24:29-35; Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:12-17; Revelation 8:12
  • 37. Isaiah 34:4; Revelation 6:13
  • 38. Matthew 24:3; Revelation 1:7
  • 39. Daniel 7:13; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:3, 37, 39
  • 40. Matthew 13:41
  • 41. Exodus 19:16; Deuteronomy 30:4; Isaiah 27:13; Zechariah 9:14; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 12:19; Revelation 8:2; Revelation 11:15
  • 42. Matthew 24:22
  • 43. Daniel 7:2; Zechariah 2:6; Revelation 7:1
  • 44. James 5:9; Revelation 3:20
  • 45. Matthew 10:23; Matthew 16:28; Matthew 23:36
  • 46. Matthew 5:18; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33
  • 47. Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7
  • 48. Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:3, 30, 39
  • 49. Genesis 6:5; Genesis 7:6-23; Luke 17:26
  • 50. Matthew 22:30
  • 51. Genesis 7:7
  • 52. Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:3, 30, 37
  • 53. Luke 17:35
  • 54. Exodus 11:5; Deuteronomy 24:6; Isaiah 47:2
  • 55. Matthew 24:43, 44; Matthew 25:10, 13; Luke 12:39; Luke 21:36
  • 56. Matthew 24:42, 44; Matthew 25:10, 13; Luke 12:39; Luke 21:36
  • 57. Matthew 14:25; Mark 6:48; Mark 13:35; Luke 12:38
  • 58. Matthew 24:42, 43; Matthew 25:10, 13; Luke 12:39; Luke 21:36
  • 59. Matthew 24:27
  • 60. Matthew 24:45-51: {Luke 12:42-46}
  • 61. Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 16:10
  • 62. Matthew 7:24; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 25:2f
  • 63. Matthew 25:21, 23
  • 64. Matthew 25:21, 23
  • 65. Matthew 8:12

Footnotes 40

Matthew 24 Commentaries

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