Matthew 23:37-24:1-3 The Future According To Jesus Part 1

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

Setting the stage…
Realize the disciples’ mindset as they asked these questions.
What was their world like, and what were their expectations?
Understand what their line of thinking was, and how they asked erroneously re. the future.
They misunderstood the near and far aspects of fulfilling prophecy.
Wrong assumptions lead to wrong questions and wrong conclusions.

I. The Disciple’s Mindset

A. They Had Observed Jesus Rebuking The Pharisees 23:13-36

1. They had heard Jesus correct the erroneous teaching of the Pharisees.
2. They knew that the religious system was corrupt.

B. They Had Heard Jesus’ Statements Re. Jerusalem & The Temple

1. Matthew 21:12, 13 Den of thieves.
2. Matthew 21:43 Kingdom to be taken away from Israel and given to another.
3. The disciples understood the failure of the nation and the religious system.
4. They probably expected God’s judgment upon that system & the nation.
5. Jesus wanted them, but they didn’t want Him. 23:37
6. Your house (Temple) is left to you desolate 23:38
7. You won’t see me again until you bless my return. 23:39

C. They Asked Jesus To Notice The Temple 24:1

1. History of the Temple

a. First Temple was built by Solomon, but later destroyed.
b. Rebuilt by Zerubbabel and Ezra.
c. Greatly expanded and improved by King Herod.
d. The center of Jewish life for almost a thousand years.
e. Herod’s remodeling work and additions started in 19 B.C. and completed in 63 A.D., taking more than eighty years.
f. Temple was finished only seven years before it was destroyed. (70 A.D.)

2. Glory of the Temple

a. Nearly 500 yards long and 400 yards wide, as rebuilt by Herod.
b. The Jewish historian Josephus says that the temple was covered on the outside with gold plates that were so brilliant that when the sun shone on them, it was blinding to look at. Where there was no gold, there were blocks of marble of such a pure white that strangers, from a distance, thought there was snow on the temple.

3. Significance of the Temple

a. It was customary to swear by the temple (Matthew 23:16), and speaking against the temple could be considered blasphemy (Acts 6:13).
b. The Temple was where the Jews worshipped God, brought their sacrifices, and where God’s glory was manifested.

D. They Heard Jesus’ Prediction Re. The Temple

1. 23:38 “See! Your house is left to you desolate…”
2. 24:2 “…not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

E. Their Mindset Re. Israel’s Messiah & Israel’s Future

1. The O.T. scriptures spoke of a coming Messiah, as Savior for God’s people
2. They expected the Messiah to be a ruling political king.
3. Matthew 20:17-23 Disciples hoped for places of power in the coming kingdom.
4. Acts 1:6 “…Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

F. Their Questions 24:3

1. When will the Temple be destroyed?
2. What is the sign of your coming (parousia…pä-rü-sē’-ä)?

a. Parousia– more than just an arrival, but an arrival and a continuing presence that brings change. They expected Jesus to “arrive” as King.

3. When is the end of the age?

a. Aion-an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity, period of time.
b. Not world as in the KJV. Ko’-smos- the physical earth.

i. 1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
ii. 1 John 2:15-17 15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

4. The disciples believed that all three of these events would coincide.
5. Preterism teaches that all (or most) of these events were fulfilled in 70 A.D.
6. Dispensationalism teaches that there are different dispensations in God’s dealings with Israel, and with the church. (What I believe)

II. Particulars Re. Understanding Prophecy

A. Frame Of Reference

1. People ask questions about the future from their own frame of reference.
2. The disciples asked from the frame of reference of a coming political kingdom.
3. They believed the destruction of the temple, Jesus’ parousia, and the end of the age would happen simultaneously.
4. Jesus answered their questions, but not according to the intentions with which they asked.
5. Prophecy can be like looking at a mt. range: the peaks looks side by side, and from a distance you can’t see the vast valleys between them until you are closer.

B. Scriptures To Consider

1. Luke 4:16-19 quotes Isaiah 61:2 but leaves out the last phrase, which says…
“…And the day of vengeance of our God…” (example of near & far fulfillment)