Matthew 24:1 “…disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple”
Probably speculation on my part, but from the context it sounds like the disciples were trying to cheer Jesus up. He had just gone through something of a rant and ended with a lament over Jerusalem. Was easy to see He was more than angry. He was cut to the heart over the people and what would happen to them. Sounds like the disciples were trying to get His mind on other things.
2 “…not one stone shall be left here upon another…”
Prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans some forty years or so later, 70 AD.
3 “…disciples came to Him privately…”
Not sure how many of them. Mark says it was Peter, James, John, and Andrew, but I wonder if any of the others were close by to hear. Perhaps these thought what He told them might be like the Transfiguration, something He would want kept private until later. Obviously intrigued by what Jesus had said about the temple’s destruction.
3 “…what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age”
Interesting that they said Your coming. Had they come to accept that He was going away and would return. And that His return would be the end of the age. Would be nice to know what the disciples were thinking when things like this happened just to grasp the context.
NOTE: What follows in the chapter is prophecy. Parts appear to occur when Jesus returns at the Rapture and others at His physical return to earth. Problem is determining which are which and they seem to be mixed together.
5 “…many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many”
Many different religions which claim to have the path to Heaven, eternal life, or just a higher plane of existence. But some actually claim to be Jesus, whether reincarnated or having returned. We must know what He says in His word and always compare what we see to it. What doesn’t agree with it must go. Biggest issue with the Mormon sect. They claim an additional revelation which contradicts His word.
8 “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Idea of the beginning of birth pains. All the things He mentioned are common, but the point is they will start happening in greater numbers and closer together in time.
9 “…you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake”
Everything mentioned here happened repeatedly and will happen again. Hard to get a handle on it since Jesus was obviously looking at a particular point, or so it seems. Yet there is so much parallelism incorporated in it, it is difficult to know to which point He is referring or if He had all in mind.
14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
This one’s all over the place in the commentaries. Some see it at the actual end of time, others just the end of Jerusalem in 70 AD. I’ve heard it used to say Jesus couldn’t return until all people groups on the planet had heard the gospel. Can’t say with any great assurance. Guess the idea is that the good news will be spread to all, both Jew and Gentile, and then Jesus will return. Not sure how that point is measured. Obviously He knows when it will be. I do have some reservations about thinking He was only referring to the time between then and the destruction of Jerusalem. Yes, the gospel was spread by the disciples and Paul, but I don’t think there was enough time for all of the offense, betrayal, hatred, lawlessness, and false prophets He mentions. That seems to point to a future time or times.
15 “…when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…”
Personally I think He is referring to the Antichrist sitting in the temple declaring himself to be God. But it does have some parallels. Some commentaries try to find ways to accommodate it so it fits before Jerusalem is destroyed. I don’t have a problem with that unless you try to say that was the only place it could be fulfilled. Too many interpreters fail to recognize parallelism in prophecy. Gets their timelines all messed up. By my view, this puts what comes next in the last three and a half years of the Tribulation, called the Great Tribulation.
20 “…flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath”
Can see why winter would be a problem, but not the Sabbath. I know the law said not to travel beyond a certain distance and the Jews tried to adhere to that, but I figured they wouldn’t worry about that if the danger was so great. Commentaries suggest it was a couple of things. Their mindset may not let them go beyond the distance. They may not view the danger as being able to touch them at that distance, and they wouldn’t want to be thought of as law breakers by going farther. The other point was that there may be obstacles on the Sabbath, closed gates for instance.
21 “…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be”
This is another reason I think this section references the end. The Great Tribulation is at the end. To say a time of tribulation earlier would be so bad as to not be repeated would mean the final tribulation was less.
25 “See, I have told you beforehand.”
The mention of the elect or believers tends to put the time near the present. But as far as the end, I think it references those who come to Christ during the Tribulation, especially the Jews. I think much of what He shared was intended for Jewish believers who wouldn’t come to accept Him until the Great Tribulation when the nation would finally recognize Him as Messiah.
28 “…wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together”
Not sure how this fits in the context. Commentaries seem to have decent ideas, but none really connect it to what Jesus just said about His coming. All of the commentaries consider it proverbial, obviously. Perhaps He only meant to say you could tell where something is really happening by the crowds around it, like the vultures or eagles gather around a carcass. He had just said don’t believe every rumor of His return because His return would be like a lightning flash, you wouldn’t see it coming nor be able to predict its path. But you should be able to see where everyone gathers. Like today when you see a group of people, you wonder what is going on that caused them to gather. Could be wrong, but it’s the only way I see it following the context.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.