Matthew 24, Part Two

BY PGF
10 months, 3 weeks ago

Part One

Continuing a review of the increasingly vehement charges against that generation by our Lord will show us that the only way to misunderstand Matthew 24 is by willful suspension of disbelief. Just as we can’t understand Revelation without starting in Genesis with a thorough study of God’s judgment language and modalities of carrying out His judgments, in Matthew 24 verse 1, we enter into the middle of a three-year-long ongoing narrative about coming judgment.

Context is king.

“09 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 8:9-12

In this important section of Scripture, a gentile Roman soldier who is the leader of a band of soldiers asks a miracle from Jesus. You can read the whole passage for yourself. We’re interested in the statements made by Jesus in verses 11 and 12.

In verse 11, Jesus says that many others, not only the centurion, shall come from the east and the west to sit at the table with the saints of the Old Testament in the Kingdom of Heaven. The “east and west” references the whole world and is a prophecy of the arriving church through faith.

In verse 12, Jesus says that the blood decedents of Abraham that don’t repent and believe will be cast into outer darkness, separated from the light of heaven and Holy God. This is due to a lack of repentance from breaking the Law of Moses and instituting traditions of men in its place (Matthew15:1-4). And most importantly, lack of faith in accepting Jesus. “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” – John 12:46

The Old Covenant must end before the New Covenant can be fully instituted. As the disciples understood it, the whole world was about to end. A major upheaval at the hand of God in judgment was arriving, for not only rejecting Messiah but for hundreds of years of abuse of the Sabbath Jubilee. Every seven years, the slaves were to be set free, and every 49, the original land was to return to the sons of the tribe to whom God had given it.

“And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:17-21

In the prophecy of Isaiah that Jesus is fulfilling, the “acceptable year of the Lord,” is a reference to Israel being freed from Babylonian captivity? Isaiah likens that event to the Jubilee. But Israel had already been released from Babylonian captivity by the first century. What is Jesus talking about? Jesus is speaking of Israel failing to hold a jubilee for centuries. The acceptable year of the Lord is the Jubilee that our Lord is referring to. It’s a threat; God will punish them if the leadership won’t set the captives free and restore the lands. Jesus says, “This day.” He doesn’t mean someday 2000 later. Judgment looms on that generation for neglecting the conditional covenant of the Law given to Moses including the sabbath Law of Jubileee.

The covenant of the Law to Moses had been broken for the last time. Judgment must come. The thousands of years-long practice of animal sacrifice and with it the temple worship system was ending. Jesus would be the final sacrifice, once for all. The New Covenant of worship in spirit and in truth by faith was brought to all men, and a church numbered as the stars of heaven was birthed. There is no more important historic event in world history than the span, starting with the arrival of John the Baptist preaching the Kingdom of Heaven to the destruction of the temple in 70AD.

And, though Nehemiah had rebuilt the temple after the Babylonian captivity, we find that it would not last (Daniel 9:24-27). Desolations by a flood of judgment would come (Daniel 9:26). Just before the prophecy of Matthew 24, referring to the temple, in Matthew 23:38 Jesus says: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” The prophecy of 70 weeks in Daniel nine is unsealed; the time has arrived, judgment is at hand.

The coming of Christ was the most significant event in human history. Everything was changing; the Father was giving Christ a people to be His inheritance under a new and better covenant (John 1:12, John 6:37-40, Hebrews 8:6). By His arrival, death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), now given all power and authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18-20), He was and is changing the whole of mankind from the east to the west.

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:16

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” – Hebrews 10:12-13


Comments

  1. On March 14, 2022 at 9:40 am, blake said:

    I always marveled at the passage about the Centurion. He wasn’t worthy, in his eyes, for Christ to come to his house, yet, believed just a word would heal his servant.

    And that a Centurion was worried about his servant, what does that say about the man himself?

  2. On March 14, 2022 at 2:17 pm, PGF said:

    Yep, Jesus had but to speak the word. Reminds me of creation.

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