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Matthew 24 Commentary


Please choose a passage to read our commentary:

Matthew 24:1-3

Matthew begins his record of Jesus’s Olivet Discourse. As Jesus and His disciples leave the temple He tells them that it will be destroyed. This causes the disciples to ask three questions concerning future events. Jesus will answer the questions in the verses that follow.

Matthew 24:4-5

Jesus prefaces His response to the disciples’ three questions with a warning. He warned them to not be deceived by the many false Messiahs who would appear and lead many people astray.

Matthew 24:6-14

Jesus answers the disciples’ third question first. Their question was “What will be the sign of the end of the age?” He answered that it will come after greatly increased lawlessness, and after the gospel of the kingdom is preached in the entire world as a testimony to all the nations.

Matthew 24:15-20

Jesus begins His answer to the disciples’ second question about the sign of His coming. He refers them to the prophecy from the Book of Daniel called “the Abomination of Desolation.” This is not the sign of His return, but it is a precursor to it. He warns His disciples to flee Jerusalem as soon as they see the sign in order to escape the bloody danger that will instantly follow.

Matthew 24:21-28

Jesus continues to answer the disciples’ second question regarding the sign of His coming and identifies the second precursor as the great tribulation. It will be a time of unprecedented peril. He makes it clear that no guessing will be needed. If there is any doubt, then it isn’t Him. When He comes, everyone will know it. 

Matthew 24:29-31

Jesus finishes the answer to the second question about the sign of His coming. Jesus will gather His elect, shake the powers of the heavens, and come to earth on the clouds of glory. He will be seen by those on the earth, and the tribes of the earth will mourn.

Matthew 24:32-35

Jesus begins His answer to the disciples’ first question, “When will these things happen?” He shares the parable of the fig tree as a way to say: pay attention to the signs and seasons so that you will be ready when the day is near. Jesus promises that this generation that sees the signs will not pass away until these things occur. Heaven and Earth will literally pass away, but Jesus’s words will endure forever.

Matthew 24:36-41

Jesus gives His answer to the disciples’ first question about “When will these things happen?” He tells them even though the signs He gave will indicate His approach is very near, that “No one knows the day or hour of His return, but the Father alone.” He parallels His return to the Days of Noah. The judgment will suddenly come upon those who are not ready just like it did at the flood.

Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus ends His answer of the three questions with an admonition to the disciples to be ready at all times. 

Matthew 24:45-51

Jesus tells the first of four parables to illustrate the things He told the disciples about His coming and the end of the age. The first parable is called “the parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants.”