Summary: Matthew 24 looks into the near future and the distant future.

Full manuscript follows outline...

1. Jesus is on the Mt of Olives Across The Valley From The Temple.

• Jesus will ascend from the Mt of Olives (Acts 1:10-12)

• Jesus will return on the Mt. of Olives. (Zech 14:4)

2. Jesus Gives A Prophesy of The Temple’s Demise: v. 2, 15-21

• AD 66, riots broke out leading to the great revolt

• Temple destroyed in AD 70.

• Historian Josephus says the suffering of 66-70 has no equal.

• Abomination? (Daniel 9:29) - AD 130 Emperor Hadrian decided the city should be plowed into the ground and a new city built in its place. A temple to Jupiter was built on the temple mount and a temple to Venus on Calvary.

• Could be for Daniel 9:26?

• Luke 21:24 “Jerusalem will be trampled on...”

3. Jesus Shows Himself to be Lord Of History: v. 2 and v. 8

• “all these are (only) the beginning of birth pains”

• “don’t be alarmed” v. 6

• See, I have told you ahead of time – v. 25

• “right side of history”???

***The destruction of the temple (AD70) and the end of the age are two separate events... blended here. (OT too)

4. Pretenders Will Arise And Try To Deceive; v. 5

...many will claim, “I am the messiah.”

Don’t be vulnerable – know the gospel.

5. There Will Be Intense Persecution for Believers; v. 9-10

“you will be hated by all nations” v. 9

6. Wickedness Will Increase & Many Will Become Cold To God; v. 12

Do we see this?

Perseverance will be necessary; v. 13

Renewal is needed!

7. The Mission Remains The Mission; v. 14

...preach the gospel to the whole world!

“then the end will come” - this is the mercy of God toward sinners.

Matthew 28:18-20 – The great commission.

8. Always Be Ready For Jesus Return; v. 30, 36-37, 42

Call To Action ? Be alert...“keep watch”... v. 42

“Keep Watch” Means...

• Be aware ... not afraid.

• Be ready ... not complacent.

• Be faithful... and persevere.

• Be busy ... on mission.

Title: “Future Perfect” (Series: Peace in the Pandemic)

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Matthew 24 - The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately.

“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen,


what will be the sign of your coming


of the end of the age?”

4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.

5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

All these are (merely) the beginning of birth pains.

9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

(does this refer to AD 70?)

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light;

the stars will fall from the sky,

and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.

And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d]31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father.

37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Everything necessary to prepare for this Parousia (Christ’s return) will occur within the lifetime of Jesus’ disciples (vv. 32–35).

Matthew 24: “Future perfect”

1. Setting:

a. Mt of Olives – acroos the valley from the temple mount...

b. Temple mount is 735 meters above sea level

c. Mt of Olives is 100 meters higher (835)

i. Similar to Gros Morne (806 meters)

d. Temple discourse

i. See 23:37-38 “your house is left to you desolate”


2. Jesus stirs up the disciples by prophesying about the temple’s demise.

• “not one stone will be undisturbed”

• Completely shocking event

• Unimaginable

Jesus predicts what may have seemed inconceivable at the time—the greatest architectural wonder in the Middle East will one day be entirely razed!!!

***Jesus says this while on the Mt of Olives!!! (Zech 14:4)

AD 66, Riots broke out...leading to the great revolt of D 66

According to Josephus, the violence of the year 66 initially began at Caesarea (capital - city of the governor)

...Riots were provoked by some Greeks sacrificing birds in front of a local synagogue.

• The Roman garrison did not intervene and thus the long-standing religious tensions intensified.

• Protests over taxation joined the list of grievances and random attacks on Roman citizens and perceived ‘traitors’ occurred in Jerusalem.

• Tension reached a breaking point when Roman governor Florus sent troops to remove gold from the Temple treasury, claiming unpaid taxes.

...the city of Jerusalem fell into unrest and some of the Jewish population began to openly mock Florus by passing a basket around to collect money as if Florus was poor.

Rioters even attacked a garrison, killing the soldiers.

Emperor Florus sent soldiers into Jerusalem to raid the city and arrest city leaders, who were whipped and crucified.

• Outraged Judean nationalist factions took up arms and the Roman military garrison of Jerusalem was quickly overrun by rebels.

• In September 66, the Romans in Jerusalem surrendered and were lynched.

• Meanwhile, the Greek inhabitants of the capital of Judaea, Caesarea, attacked their Jewish neighbors;

• the Jews replied in kind, expelling many Greeks from Judaea, Galilee and the Golan heights.

• Fearing the worst, the pro-Roman king Agrippa II and his sister Berenice fled Jerusalem to Galilee.

Judean militias later moved upon Roman citizens of Judaea and pro-Roman officials, cleansing the country of any Roman symbols. did happen before in 586 BC – and that was a crisis.

All of this Says What May Look Permanent, Isn’t; V. 1-2

Jerusalem did indeed fall in AD 70 – some 35 years later...

• Such a catastrophic event will cast doubt on everything (incl. God)

• Jesus is preparing them for this shock - and preparing us too so we are “not alarmed”

Temple Siege: AD 70

• Romans destroyed the temple with fire on august 5th, AD 70 and began slaughtering the Jews... some were taken as slaves.

• Set up their own banners to celebrate Roman Emperor – desecrating!

• Historian Josephus says the suffering of 66-70 has no equal.


... it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it [Jerusalem] had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.[21]

And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste. Nor had anyone who had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again. But though he [a foreigner] were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it.[22]

Josephus claims that 1.1 million people were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish.

***AD 130

Emperor Hadrian decided the city should be plowed into the ground and a new city built in its place. A temple to Jupiter was built on the temple mount and a temple to Venus on Golgotha/Calvary...

In all it's history Jerusalem has been conquered 22 times!!!

3. The Disciples Are Curious About The Future! V. 3

• Jesus is on the Mt. of Olives

• 300 feet higher than Zion

• Place where Jesus will ascend to heaven (Acts 1:12)

• Place where he will return! (Zechariah 14:3-4)

• question likely triggered by 23:39...””your house is left to you desolate”

4. By This Prophecy Jesus Shows Himself to be Lord Of History: v. 8

• “all these are (only) the beginning of birth pains”

• Past/Present/Future;

• “see all this...Not one stone will be left”... v. 2 (beginning)

• See, I have told you ahead of time – v. 25 (Conclusion)

The church in Jerusalem was scattered twice, in 70 and 135, -- and Jesus knew this of course...

• Where Jesus died and rose again...

• Jerusalem – where Pentecost occurred – birthplace of the church

• Where the early Christians began forming communities...

• Acts 15 – church leaders meet in Jerusalem – the Jerusalem council decides how to admit gentiles...

***Jesus will also make clear that the destruction of the temple and the end of the age are two separate events.

Why the prophecy?

Why 1st century and end of the age – and the interim period?

Answer: highlights a spiritual conflict – of which Jerusalem is the center – hence the new Jerusalem of revelation is the climax and victory!

5. There is a Fight For Your Allegiance; 9-10

What King Will You Choose? V. 9-10

Many will turn away from the faith...betray/hate each other.

Persecution will increase... “hated”

10:17-25 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

• Things will get crazy – but don’t be alarmed! V. 6

• Believers don’t need to be alarmed!

• Unbelievers yes!

6. Pretenders Will Arise - And Try To Deceive; V. 5

• “many will come in my name” ( claiming to be a gospel preacher)

• Many!

Simeon BAR-KOCHBA (Bär-Kok' b?) Means “son of the star” and was the title given by Jewish rebels to Simeon bar Kosevah, the leader of their revolt in A.D. 132–135. The title designated him as the Messiah (Num. 24:17). The revolt erupted because the Roman Emperor Hadrian had begun to rebuild Jerusalem as a pagan city with plans to replace the ruined Jewish temple with one dedicated to Jupiter

7. Wickedness Will Increase: v. 12

And Many Will Grow Cold To God; V. 12

Perseverance will be necessary; v. 13

Jesus calls us to informed faithfulness – and an eternal perspective;13

Apostasy, betrayal, and hatred will run rampant in the church. (Blomberg)

8. The mission must remain the mission

...preach the gospel to the whole world!

“then the end will come”

... evangelism before Jesus comes!


The mercy of God toward sinners.

***All nine of these preliminary events in fact occurred before A.D. 70, though most if not all have recurred many times since then as well.

9 Signs Of Matthew 24...

(1) People other than Jesus will claim to be the Messiah. These false messiahs are not limited to professing Christians.

(2) “Wars and rumors of wars” will abound. “Rumors” are, more literally, unconfirmed reports, which may or may not be true.

(3) International hostility and enmity, including but apparently not limited to actual warfare, will also be common (v. 7a).

(4) Famines and earthquakes typify natural disasters that will often make people wonder if the end is near, but nothing may be deduced from them (v. 7b).

(5) Persecution and martyrdom of disciples will proliferate (v. 9).

(6) Apostasy, betrayal, and hatred will run rampant in the church (v. 10).

(7) False prophets will arise (v. 11; cf. 7:15–22). These are not quite as brazen as those who falsely claim to be Christ himself (v. 5), but their ministries prove equally misguided and damning, as they falsely claim to speak for Christ and his gospel.

(8) Spiritual life will deteriorate, perhaps even among true believers, as they tire of fighting the battle against apostasy and persecution (v. 12; cf. Rev 2:4).

(9) the extensive preaching of the gospel (v. 14). Here is the fulfillment of the Great Commission Jesus will give in 28:18–20. Probably it is separated from the other eight items because it is a more positive development.

All nine of these preliminary events in fact occurred before A.D. 70, though most if not all have recurred many times since then as well.

It is crucial to observe the fulfillment of all these preliminary events prior to A.D. 70. This fulfillment will explain how 24:34 can be true. It demonstrates that everything necessary for Christ’s return was accomplished within the first generation of Christianity, so that every subsequent generation has been able to believe that Jesus could come

Various messianic pretenders arose, most notably Theudas (Acts 5:36; Josephus, Ant. 20.97–99, 160–72, 188, who describes other false claimants as well). The war of Israel against Rome began in A.D. 66–67 and was preceded by the growing hostility incited by the Zealots. Famine ravaged Judea, as predicted in Acts 11:27–30, datable to ca. A.D. 45–47 by Josephus, Ant. 20.51–53. Earthquakes shook Laodicea in A.D. 60–61 and Pompeii in A.D. 62 (cf. also Acts 16:26). Persecution dogged believers’ footsteps throughout Acts; internal dissension so tore apart the church at Corinth (1 Cor 1–4) that God even caused some to die (1 Cor 11:30). Numerous New Testament epistles were written primarily to warn against false teachers and perversions of Christianity, most notably Galatians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Peter, and Jude. Arguably, the concept of “love running cold” most aptly characterized the days of the Neronian persecution of Christians in the midsixties. Paul, finally, with whatever rationale, could claim that by at least the late fifties, the gospel had gone out to all the oikoumene—known world or empire (Rom 10:18).

*** The period of time prior to Christ’s return will be characterized by a growing polarization between good and evil. God’s people will increase in power, witness, and impact in the world, even as persecution and hostility intensify and global conditions deteriorate. (Blomberg)

So... when you see... (Back to the immediate future...)

9. Near future - Great distress is coming (Great Trib?);v. 15

It is probably best, therefore, to understand this period of great distress, or “the great tribulation,” as it is more commonly known, as the entire period beginning with the devastation of A.D. 70 and continuing on until Christ’s return (cf. “immediately” in v. 29). (Blomberg)

a. In the holy place (Daniel)... “abomination” ? Romans in Temple

b. Daniel’s prophecy is referring to 168 BC

c. Jesus is referring to AD 70...

i. See also Luke 21:20 “when you see Jerusalem surrounded...”

ii. Siege of Jerusalem started in AD 66 – in AD 68 Christians fled the city.

iii. See Josephus; War V – page 424

iv. “never to be equalled again.” ? Hitler and Stalin were tyrants but never has a city been so devastated ...”never so high a percentage of a great city’s population so thoroughly and painfully exterminated as during the fall of Jerusalem.” P. 501 Expositors comm on Matthew.

d. If this passage refers to AD 70 – it cannot also refer to the Gt Trib at the end of the age.

10. The Son Of Man Will Come With Power And Great Glory: v. 30-31

a. “coming on the clouds

b. Send his angels

c. Trumpet call

d. Gather his elect from North/south/east/west

e. Learn from the fig tree... tender twigs ? summer is near!

f. Near

g. Right at the door.

h. Jesus gives his personal guarantee!

i. ( words will never pass away)

i. No one knows when.... so be ready!!! V. 36-37

In the twentieth century the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ belief in a secret, invisible return of Christ in 1914 affords a classic example of what Christ commands us here to avoid. Instead, his actual return will be unmistakable in its nature, universal in its visibility, and cosmic in its scope and effect (v. 27).

Call to action ? “keep watch”... v. 42

Keeping watch means...

• Be aware – not afraid

• Be ready – not complacent

• Be busy (on mission)


Don’t be deceived!

Don’t be alarmed!

Stand firm to the end!

Preach the gospel!

Keep watch/be ready!