Sunday, March 25, 2007

Matthew 24:30-31, 36-44 - The Second Coming

Contextual Notes:
Chapter 24 and its parallels in Mark 13 and Luke 21:5-36 give us a panorama of the period from the destruction of the Temple (70 AD) to Jesus’ return. Matthew gives this scene in prophetic style, showing multiple events through one lens simultaneously. Jesus tells the disciples that this time is generally hostile to them and their message, and they should prepare for persecution. Interpreting this passage is admittedly difficult, but this is God’s Word, and we must seek the Holy Spirit’s insight and see as much through a glass darkly as we can.

Much of Matthew 24 is drawn from Daniel: the temple’s destruction (24:1-3; Daniel 9:26), rumors of wars (24:6; Daniel 11:44, the abomination causing desolation (24:15; Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11), and the Son of Man (24:30; Daniel 7:13).[1]

Matthew 24 and 25 is the longest answer Jesus gave in Scripture to one question. In it, Jesus clearly separates the destruction of Jerusalem from His Second Coming. First he showed them Israel’s future (24:5-35), then the Church’s future (24:36-25:30), and third the future of the Gentile nations (25:31-46).[2]

Exposition:

When He returns, you won’t miss it (24:30):
In the sky, He will be seen (Acts 1:1-12)
the nations will mourn (Zechariah 12:10-14)
“They will see the Son of Man”

When He returns, believers have an alert and escort (24:31)
Trumpet call and angelic gathering

When He returns, the moment will be a surprise (24:36, 42)
No one knows except the Father

When He returns, He will intervene in daily life (24:37-39)
Normal workaday life; normal life processes
Many won’t be expecting Him.

When He returns, it will happen quickly (24:40-41)
No time for last minute confessions or professions.

When He returns, be ready (24:42-44)
Plan as if he will not come soon. Live as if He will.

Application:

Be encouraged. His Coming will be great joy.
If you are a Christian. If not, you will remain for the judgment of the world.

Don’t get seduced by this world.
Keep your eye on the one that is coming.
Don’t get fooled by charlatans. There are a lot of counterfeits out there. Stick with the Holy One of Israel.

Prepare for His return
Receive Christ.
Get your relationship straight with Christ.
Commit to grow in Christ.
Submit yourself afresh to Christ.

Invitation:

Sources:
[1] Joe Kapalyo, “Matthew,” Africa Bible Commentary, 1161.
[2] G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According to Matthew, 283-4.