My exegesis on Matthew 24

An example of prophetic foreshortening.
Main Entry: fore·short·en Pronunciation: for-'shor-t&n Function: transitive verb 1 : to shorten by proportionately contracting in the direction of depth so that an illusion of projection or extension in space is obtained 2 : to make more compact

Ok, so let's have a look what happens and it said just before that remark about the 'generation' to qualify it... Yes the temple was destroyed within the lifetimes of that generation, 70AD was far ahead, but not too far. Chapter 24 starts with Jesus talking about the temple destruction and that people will come in His name claiming to be Jesus too. The He talks about wars and earthquakes and how these are like birthpains of things to come, yet it still isn't the End just yet. Then Jesus goes on to talk about 'the destroying terror' and the people of Israel fleeing, which someone (I think in this thread or another similar I was reading) said has happened and the place was left desolate, but the prophecy of Daniel looks to be in two parts. It sounds like now Jesus is saying the same as before, but now in more detail (much like Genesis 1 and 2 is written). The destroying terror can't have come yet because if you look what is said by Jesus: "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again." (v.21). Hm, so if this has already passed and we are waiting for the "Great and terrible day of the Lord" when His wrath is set upon the earth, does that mean it isn't going to much of a show because someone has already bettered God's wrath when they destroyed the temple? The Day of the Lord before the new Heaven and Earth are made sounds like it's going to be pretty bad, doesn't it? Will the end of the world not equal or better the destruction of the temple then?

Then look what happens next in verse 27 onwards:
"When the Son of Man comes, he will be seen by everyone, like lightning flashing from the east to the west. 28 Wherever the dead body is, there the vultures will gather. 29 "Soon after the trouble of those days, 'the sun will grow dark, and the moon will not give its light. The stars will fall from the sky. And the powers of the heavens will be shaken.' 30a "At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the peoples of the world will cry. They will see the Son of Man coming on clouds in the sky with great power and glory. ..."

Looks to me here that Jesus' words have moved on quite substantially into the far distant future compared to where His big monologue began! Now after this Jesus goes back to the beginning and uses the fig tree as an example of watching the times for the “birth pains” to say that is when these things begin, and then finishes by saying that His words will never be destroyed, because He is the Word! He goes back to how chapter 24 first started and is talking about the birth pains (i.e. the wars, earthquakes etc) and that watching out for them is like watching the fig tree to see when the next season is coming. That is what the generation of His time will live to see - the beginning of the end as it were.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.