“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Matthew 24:1 “Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
In order to fully understand the mood and temperament of Jesus in Matthew chapter 24, you should first read Matthew chapter 23, wherein Jesus issues eight woes against the scribes and the Pharisees and completes his remarks with the prophetic proclamation, “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
All four of the gospels record a similar version of Jesus words to his disciples regarding the temple. What seems to be an innocent question about the temple buildings and their beauty is met with a prophetic rebuke from Jesus, perhaps provoked because of Jesus recent encounter with the scribes and Pharisees.
We see, in Matthew 24:3, Jesus departs for the Mount of Olives which a place Jesus goes to pray, meditate and teach. Jesus’s disciples then come to him privately, apparently having understood His earlier remarks, asking for clarification.
THE QUESTION: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
THE ANSWER TO “WHEN” – part 1:
It is important, when trying to understand Jesus’ explanation, to first realize that He is speaking directly to His disciples, at that very moment, about current circumstances. The year is around A.D. 25.
Jesus is saying “I SAY TO YOU, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, “see that no one leads you men astray.”
This is instruction for them in that day and is meant for us in our day, as well.
IMPORTANT: Jesus is saying that the beginning of the End of the Age had begun. It is also important to know that prophecy often times takes time, decades or centuries to reach fulfillment.
NEXT: THE ANSWER TO “WHEN” – PART 2: WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS.
PREVIOUS: THE END OF THE AGE.