Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“The Coming Judgment Part 1 (Matthew 24:1-44)” pp. 301-315.
Matthew 24 and 25 make up the last discourse in the Gospel. It is primarily concerned with the end times (Mitch 2010, 301). Mitch observes that Jesus has stated that the Lord would abandon the temple (23:38) and that at this point he has left the temple and will never return (Mitch 2010, 302). In 24:3 the disciples ask, “When will this happen, and what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the age” (Mitch 2010, 302). Mitch asks if the question is about one future time or several. He concludes that it is partly concerned with relatively immediate events and partly with events of the end of time (Mitch 2010, 303).
Jesus predicts signs of the end, beginning with spiritual evil, then moral, then natural disaster (Mitch 2010, 305). These events should not bring alarm. “The course of world events is in the hands of God” (Mitch 2010, 306). In verses 16-28 the picture becomes bleaker, as the land will be full of destructive forces (Mitch 2010, 307). When dangers are clearly approaching, disciples should flee rather than await calamity (Mitch 2010, 308). Those false Messiahs who do miracles to mislead others are not to be trusted. The true arrival of the Messiah will be entirely obvious (Mitch 2010, 309). Jesus continues by predicting signs in the sky which will show chaos and herald an overthrow of normal order (Mitch 2010, 310). In verse 34 Jesus seems to indicate he will come in the first generation of Christians (Mitch 2010, 312. However, Mitch observes that these events will happen before his coming, which does not indicate a strong time parameter. The end will come, but we cannot predict its time. Our role is to carry on with life, knowing that Jesus will come (Mitch 2010, 314). Mitch reminds the reader, in response to some popular views, that in the Bible those “taken” are captured and killed while those “left behind” are protected by God (Mitch 2010, 314).