Matthew 24:1-14 Jesus’ Return

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “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.”

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?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 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.

Jesus’ Return

Jesus, I don’t care when you come back.  I have sat through many talks on Daniel and Revelation and the more I hear, the less I care.  You seem to tell us not to worry about it.  The temple would be destroyed, which it was in 70 A.D. and you left us to preach, which we do.  You will come back, but false Messiahs come and go.  They set up self-interested kingdoms in ways that you did not.  They are charlatans.  In the end you win.

It is like Paul in Philippians, when he says “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  He doesn’t know whether it is better to stay on earth or die, as far as the plan for his life goes.  Of course, Jesus, it is better for the plan if you come back.  However, the people who reject you perish at that time.  It will seem just, but frankly, I would rather there was more time for us to find those who can be saved.  I would rather the whole world was better prepared before you come back.  I guess that is the point though, the world will not be prepared.  Your own disciples must be prepared, but in every age the impatient and the rebellious fall away.

Questions

  1. What gives rise to the disciples’ questions?
  2. What is the perousia?  How does it relate?
  3. Why does Jesus answer the way he does?
  4. Why does Jesus pass this message about the end times on to us?
  5. What are your questions about the end of time?  Why do you have them?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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