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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 24

Introduction

  1. Introduction
    (Read) John 14:1-3
    1. Matthew 24:1-2 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew 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.
      1. In this passage—the Olivet Discourse— Jesus provides a summary of end time events: the future of the world. We look forward to the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus, but those found outside of Christ face unparalleled suffering and judgment. Let's contemplate the wrath of God that's in store for this world—and share the hope of the gospel with those who don't yet know Him.
      2. Land of Israel is at the center of the world; Jerusalem is at the center of Israel, and the Temple is at the center of Jerusalem.
      3. Setting
        1. Jesus with disciples on the Mount of Olives
        2. Overlooking Jerusalem
          1. From east side across the Kidron valley
          2. Jewish Temple stood
          3. No Dome of the Rock
          4. Jerusalem packed with millions there for Passover
          5. Realize Jerusalem is the center of God's prophetic program
      4. Jerusalem, Israel the center
        1. Geographic center of the earth biblically; "This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her." (Ezekiel 5:5)
        2. Salvation center spiritually
          1. "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:22)
          2. God purchased our salvation outside the Damascus Gate at Golgotha, Calvary
      5. Storm center prophetically
        1. ​​​​​​​"And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples;" (Zechariah 12:3)
        2. World's desire to get rid of Israel: roadblock to peace
        3. For thus says the Lord of hosts: "He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye." (Zecharaiah 2:8)
        4. What happens elsewhere is important; not as important as what happens in Jerusalem
      6. Glory center ultimately: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it." (Isaiah 2:2)
      7. Looking at end times through a Jewish lens
      8. Olivet Discourse
        1. ​​​​​​​ Jesus message to disciples on the Mount of Olives
        2. Discuss the future
          1. Jews
          2. Jerusalem
          3. World
          4. His future coming

Verses 1-14

  1. The Beginning of Sorrows
    1. The Temple
      Matthew 24:1-2 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew 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.
      1. Disciples in awe (see Mark 13:1)
      2. Evidence to them of God's blessing and presence
      3. Construction
        1. Began in 20 BC
        2. Completed in AD 64
        3. 18,000 men, 80 years
        4. Some believe it wasn't completed when it was destroyed
      4. Mountain with complex
        1. ​​​​​​​ Peak of mountain leveled
        2. 36 acre complex
        3. Retaining wall
        4. SE corner 158 foot up from Kidron valley (pinnacle)
        5. Where Satan tempted Jesus to jump: "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' " (Matthew 4:6)
      5. Temple proper
        1. ​​​​​​​ 90 feet up from foundation
        2. White marble with gold cornice
        3. Babylonian Talmud : "He who has not seen the Temple of Herod, has never seen a beautiful building."
        4. Individual stones weight up to 400 tons
        5. Destruction in AD 70
          1. ​​​​​​​Roman soldiers overturned every stone to get gold, fulfilling Jesus prophecy
          2. Gold melted into marble
          3. Roman guard threw a torch; burned vestments and veil
      6. The application: if Jesus can predict exactly this destruction, then He can predict the end times events.
    2. Many Shall Be Deceived
      Matthew 24:3-5 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 world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
      1. The disciples, in their minds, tied the destruction of the Temple with the end of the age.
      2. They asked Jesus two questions:
        1. When would the Temple be destroyed
        2. What shall be the sign of His coming, and of the end of the world (age)?
          1. world is literally in the Greek, "age", or messianic period.
          2. His coming was believed to be synonymous with the end of the age.
      3. Jesus’ Answer: “Take Heed that NO MAN Deceive you”
      4. …for MANY shall come saying, “I am Christ”!
      5. For the unsaved or the Jew, this is a BIG Deal! …for us, we need to take care to not be deceived by FALSE TEACHERS in these last days.
      6. False Teachers and FALSE GOSPELS…there is only one Gospel of Grace! (Calvinism is exclusive)
    3. “Natural” Disasters
      Matthew 24:6-8 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, 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 divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
      1. Wars - Just in the 20th century, and just the US, we fought in 2 world wars, the Spanish-American war, the Korean War, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Gulf Wars, & Afghanistan.
      2. We have the ability to annhilate the world with our Nuclear weapons arsenal.
        1. ​​​​​​​Only 8% of human history has been peace
        2. Since 3600 BC
        3. About 14,500 wars
        4. Over 3.6 billion killed
        5. Total property damage equal to a solid gold bar around earth, 100 feet wide, 33 ft tall
      3. Wars increase with Tribulation in view
        1. ​​​​​​​Daniel predicted a broken pact with Israel
        2. "And till the end of the war desolations are determined." (Daniel 9:26)
        3. Revelation 6 John predicts the four horseman
          1. ​​​​​​​ Second on a red horse
          2. "Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword." (Revelation 6:4)
          3. Wars increase up to Armageddon (mountain of Megiddo)
          4. Kings of the earth gather to fight against the Lord (See Revelation 16)
      4. famines - the U.S. alone has the ability to feed the entire world BUT, there are government subsidies to not grow too much food to keep the prices up.
      5. pestilences - diseases and plagues... look at AIDS, West Nile Virus, ebola, cancer, diabetes, etc.
      6. earthquakes - Frequency of Major Earthquakes since 1930 are as follows:
        1. 1930-1940 5
        2. 1940-1950 4
        3. 1950-1960 9
        4. 1960-1970 13
        5. 1970-1980 46
        6. 1980-1990 52
        7. 1990-1999 153 ( 6 > 8.0)
        8. 2000-2009 145 ( 13 > 8.0)
        9. All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.
          1. ​​​​​​​sorrows - birth pains. As all of these things increase in intensity collectively.
    4. Persecution and Affliction
      Matthew 24:9-12 Then shall they 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 iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
      1. Persecution - there have been more Christians martyred in the last 100 yrs. than in all the history of the church.
      2. Many shall be offended - "In God we trust", homosexuality, etc., this was a Christian nation but now Islam is more accepted than Jesus and HE IS THE CHRIST and Islam is a false religion!
      3. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[a] who now restrains will do so until He[b] is taken out of the way.
    5. He that Shall Endure to the End
      Matthew 24:13-14 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.
      1. God's love in the people’s hearts, will grow cold.
        1. ​​​​​​​We can become de-sensitized to the world & to SIN
        2. Rather, we should have compassion on the sinner, and hate the sin
          1. ​​​​​​​God does not hate the homosexual, but hates homosexuality
          2. God doesn’t hate the drug addict, He hates the addiction.
      2. We think it's bad now with the Abortion, lack of care for the elderly, child-abuse, divorce rate
      3. It's going to get worse!!
  2. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
    2. 1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
    3. Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
    4. Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Verses 15-28

  1. Introduction
    (Read) 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Last Week: “The Beginning of Sorrows”

    Context: Jesus is speaking to the Jews – the nation of Israel, not to the church.
    1. The Temple prophesied to be destroyed (in 70AD)
    2. In the last days “Many Shall Be Deceived”
    3. “Natural” Disasters (wars, rumors of wars, floods, famines, earthquakes, etc.)
    4. Persecution and Affliction
    5. “BUT”…He that Shall Endure to the End shall be saved! (Those that are saved are those who endure).
    6. Will we as Christians have to endure the great tribulation – I don’t believe so! >> Why? <<
      1. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
      2. Revelation 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
      3. Nahum 1:2 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
      4. Also, we are His bride, His children, and we have the picture of Enoch and Noah.
      5. Also, we see that the church is not mentioned in Revelation after chp 4:1 until after Armageddon (chapter 19).
      6. By the Bible’s own definition…chapters 6-19 ARE HIS WRATH!
  2. The Great Tribulation
    1. The Abomination of Desolation
      1. ​​​​​​​Daniel
        Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
        1. Explain ...Daniel 9:27 -- 69 weeks until Christ enters into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Mat 21)
        2. 70th week is the Dispensation of Wrath…when God pours out His wrath on a Christ rejecting world.
        3. Revelation tells us that until this time the two witnesses (possibly Elijah and Enoch) have been preaching in Jerusalem.
      2. Flee the wrath to Come
        Matthew 24:16-20 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
        1. Run !! Don't pass "GO", don't collect $200. “Woe” on the Sabbath b/c no “work” (taxis, etc.)
        2. Flee to Petra
      3. God’s Mercy
        Matthew 24:21-22 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 except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
        1. After the abomination of desolation comes the ?"Great Tribulation" as opposed to the "Less great" tribulation?
        2. This is the midway point in the 70th week prophesied by Daniel 9.
        3. Elect - the church but Israel, too! (and the church is GONE!)
        4. Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
        5. Isaiah 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
        6. Romans 11:25-28 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.
        7. It's going to get even worse! …but God in His mercy will shorten the days!
    2. False Christs
      1. ​​​​​​​Deception
        ​​​​​​​Matthew 24:23-26 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, [he is] in the secret chambers; believe [it] not.
        1. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus secretly came back and is hiding in a closet somewhere and has set up His millenial reign.
        2. Don't believe anyone who says here is the Christ because here's how we'll know...
      2. The Truth
        Matthew 24:27-31 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
        1. You can see lightning for miles … His glory will be seen throughout all the earth!

Verses 29-35

  1. Christ’s Appearing
    1. His Appearance
      Matthew 24:29-31 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 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 power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
      1. Jesus’ Return
        1. Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
        2. Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
      2. The Gathering of Israel
        Context: 7th Trumphet Judgment (not the trumph of God)
        ​​​​​​​Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
        1. V31 is a compilation of 3 OT Prophecies where God has promised to regather Israel…
          1. ​​​​​​​Deuteronomy 30:3-4 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
          2. Isaiah 27:12-13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
          3. Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
    2. The Fig Tree
      Matthew 24:32-33 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth 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.
      1. The Fig tree represents Israel.
      2. We’ve been given the signs … just like the fig tree, the signs point to the 2nd coming of Christ.
    3. His Words
      Matthew 24:34-35 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
      1. The generation that sees these signs will not pass away before they are fulfilled.
      2. 1 Peter 1:24-25 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Verses 36-51

  1. Be Ready
    1. The Days of Noah
      Matthew 24:36-39 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
      1. People will be going on with business as usual with a total ignorance of the coming judgement -- they were surprised when the flood came ... they'll be surprised when the Lord comes back.
      2. Example:
        1. Matthew 24:40-42 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.
        2. Matt 24:40-41 two arguments: the one taken is either to judgment or rapture
        3. Bottom Line: Be Watchful & Ready!
    2. The Goodman of the House
      Matthew 24:43-44 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
    3. The Faithful Servant
      ​​​​​​​Matthew 24:45-51 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh 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 servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Matthew 24". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/matthew-24.html. 2017.