1Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.2And Jesus said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?4And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one leads you astray.5For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will lead many astray.6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.8All these are the beginning of travail.9Then they will deliver you up to affliction and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.10And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.11And many false prophets will rise up and lead many astray.12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.13But he who endures to the end shall be kept safe.14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.15Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand),16then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains.17Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.18And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.19But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!20And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.21For then there will be great affliction, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be kept safe alive; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.23Then if anyone says to you, Look, here is the Christ; or, There; do not believe it.24For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.25Behold, I have told you beforehand.26Therefore if they say to you, Behold, He is in the desert, do not go out; or, Behold, He is in the inner rooms, do not believe it.27For as the lightning comes out of the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.28For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.29And immediately after the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.30And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and then all the tribes of the earth will wail, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.32Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.33So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the doors.34Truly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will by no means pass away.36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, but My Father only.37But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.38For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,39and did not realize until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.40Then two will be in the field: one is taken and the other is left.41Two will be grinding at the mill: one is taken and the other is left.42Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord comes.43But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief comes, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be dug through.44Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man comes at an hour you do not expect.45Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made administrator over his household, to give them food in due season?46Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47Truly, I say to you that he will appoint him as administrator over all his possessions. 48But if that wicked servant says in his heart, My master delays his coming,49and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,50the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not expecting him and in an hour he does not know,51and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew Henry - Concise Commentary 1
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. 4
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 Christ in that day, 2Thes 2:1
. Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure; then may we know that no enemy or deceiver shall ever prevail against us. 29
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, Matt 24:34
, 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? 42
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.