Welcome back to The Teaching Lady. We have been taking a deep dive into the book of Matthew, chapter 24. So far, we have looked at verses 1 through 3. Jesus informs the disciples the temple will be destroyed. The disciples ask him three questions. Now, it’s time for Jesus to answer their questions.
Let’s review the disciples’ questions before we start.
- When will these things be?
- What will be the sign of your coming?
- And of the end of the age?
Let’s look at verses 4 through 14.
Matthew 24:4-14, “4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away[a] and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Many people, including me, at one point, thought these passages were for Gentile believers. Who wouldn’t think verse 6 is speaking of current events today in 2021? After all, aren’t we hearing about wars and rumors of wars these days?
What about earthquakes and famines?
California had a huge earthquake not too long ago. There have been several earthquakes. They increase in number and severity each year.
Famines are breaking out in several countries. They may not formally be called famines, but hunger and starvation are happening in several countries today.
Is Jesus talking about today? Was he referring to what we are witnessing now in the 21st Century, 2021?
Many biblical scholars say no.
Was he referring to America? No.
Scholars say that Jesus is speaking of a specific time period in the future known as the tribulation. They also believe these passages are specifically for the Jewish people. The Jews will go through the tribulation period.
Verses 4 through 14 summarize the entirety of the tribulation period, including its end.
One has to remember who the audience is. Who is Jesus talking to? He was talking to his disciples, who were Jews. He was in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives at the time he was speaking.
Jesus answered their questions by giving them several signs, not just one. In verses 4 through 8, he gives them the signs:
- Many will come in Jesus’ name
- False Messiahs will lead many astray
- They will hear of wars and rumors of wars
- Nation will rise up against nation
- Kingdom will rise up against kingdom
It all sounds so pleasant. No.
Then in verses 9 through 14…
- They will be delivered to tribulation.
- Put to death
- Be hated by all nations
- Many will fall away
- Betray each other
- Hate each other
- False prophets will arise and lead many astray
- Lawlessness will increase
- The love of many will grow cold.
Jesus answered their questions. He doesn’t sugarcoat what’s coming. He doesn’t soften his answer because he knows it will be hard to hear. Jesus answered their questions. But we are not done yet. Jesus has a lot more to say. He’s just getting started.
Until next time, continue to pray and seek the Lord.
The Teaching Lady
The Gospel: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”
Repent or Perish – The Lord is Waiting