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Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

|| Mark 13:5-8; Luke 21:8-11

MT24:4 And, Jesus answered them:[1] “Look out no one misleads you. MT24:5 For many will come using my name,[2] saying: ‘I AM THE ANOINTED!’[3] {MK13:6 Or, ‘I AM HE!’[4] LK21:8 Or, ‘THE APPOINTED TIME HAS COME!’[5] Do not follow them![6]} They will mislead many![7] MT24:6 But, you will hear of wars and reports of wars and catastrophes.[8] Do not be terrified[9] for these early occurrences are a necessity. But, the End[10] does not occur immediately. MT24:7 For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and here and there {LK21:11 pestilence and} famines and earthquakes.[11] MT24:8 But, all these things are a beginning of birth-pangs.[12]

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[1] Jesus answered them: Note the very thing Jesus mentions is a warning which would indicate his insight into their misunderstanding and the human tendency to want signs (1 Corinthians 1:22; Matthew 12:39) or to know the future (Acts 1:6). Evidently, the disciples wanted to know a precise “day and hour” for Jesus later explains he does not know this (Matthew 24:36). Perhaps the main verse on the whole subject is, ‘Look out no one misleads you,’ but sadly Jesus predicts ‘many will be mislead.’ (Matthew 24:11)

[2] Using my name: Or, using my authority; claiming I sent them. A characteristic of these deceivers is their claim that only they represent Christ. They are identified by several other features: the claim, ‘Christ is here!’ and ‘The Time is at hand!’ and ‘I (we are) am The Anointed!’ Some claim Christ’s authority because of apostolic succession, a personal appearance, or singular understanding by the Spirit’s direction. The claim ‘I am the Christ (or, Anointed)’ could be by a body or organization asserting particular channels to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:13; 12:12). In other words, they are the only group or sect that is truly Christian.

[3] THE ANOINTED: Or, the Christ; the Messiah. See the above footnote.

[4] I AM HE: A claim to actually be the Messiah or even God Himself.

[5] THE APPOINTED TIME HAS COME: Or, ‘the time is at hand.’ Anyone who claims to know more than Christ (Matthew 24:36) and predicts the exact date for the Presence (parousia) or Return of Christ is arrogant in the extreme. Jesus does not know this “appointed time” (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32) nor can his disciples (Mark 13:33). At Acts 1:7 Jesus cautioned his disciples, ‘It is not for you to know times or appointed times.’ Anyone who claimed to have worked out some time chronology or prophetic “appointed times” would presume to know more than Christ and his Apostles. The hundreds of men and groups or organizations who have claimed such throughout the centuries are sadly well known. Not only might some claim Christ’s authority but they will also claim to know “the appointed time.” Others translate this: “The Time Is At Hand!” (By); “the time is near” (NIV); “the Day is upon us” (NEB) This ought to be a serious warning to any Christian teacher or group not to go around predicting such things; and, for any lay-person to refrain from taken such seriously, or fearing them as if they had authority (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

[6] Do not follow them: Could anything be clearer? The Jerusalem Bible renders this: “Do not join them.” What to “join” and what not to “join” the Nazarene makes certain: none claiming, ‘THE TIME IS AT HAND!’

[7] They will mislead many: Jesus knows the result because he knows human nature. Millions have followed various sects or charismatic preachers whose teachings are associated with the claim that ‘THE TIME IS AT HAND’ or ‘THE APPOINTED TIME IS NEAR!’ It is in the fallen egocentric nature of man to assume Christ must return while they are alive!

[8] You will hear of wars and reports of wars and catastrophes: It follows upon Jesus’ warning that the disciples are not to interpret or read into various local or world happenings as proof “the appointed time is near.” What has actually been interpreted as “signs of the last days” is in fact part of the warning not to be misled by world events. So, the very thing Jesus warned about, religious men have turned into certain “signs” and these men have multiplied throughout the centuries taking advantage of every new report of war, revolutions, catastrophes, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, or comets. Today is no different.

[9] Do not be terrified: It should be kept in mind the Nazarene is speaking to “you” (plural in Greek) which means the four disciples before him (Mark 13:3). The Apostles are not to fear any news reports, whether local or distant, as proof “the end” is near.

[10] The End: Here the translator of the Hebrew words of the Nazarene into Greek puts TO TELOS (the end) into Jesus’ mouth. SYNTELEIAS, the word used to translate possibly kalah from the disciples, is a more heightened and sophisticated word which means roughly the same thing as “the end.” SYNTELEIAS = SYN + TELOS = with + end, like saying conclusion, consummation or fulfillment. What “end” would the disciples have in mind? The desolation of the Temple and the “end” of Jerusalem. Note, Jesus never uses SYNTELEIAS in his answer, but always TELOS; and this only in the first half of the answer. When the Nazarene says “the End” here would he be referring to the “end” of the Temple? Between Jesus’ answer and the final destruction of the Temple the disciples could expect to hear of wars, disorders, famines, plagues, and earthquakes.

[11] Famines and earthquakes: War, pestilence, famines, and earthquakes are reoccurring events which always serve the purpose of the current prophet with his false prophecies pointing to his claim, ‘THE TIME IS AT HAND!’ If Jesus warns about such false prophecies how could he go on to list such things as evidence of a “sign” for any generation could be misled by such?

[12] A beginning of birth-pangs: All of these events can be understood to be part of the warning not to be misled by local or world news. It is all so general as to be meaningless if applied to a specific “sign” to precede the Return of Christ. Generations throughout the centuries have seen all of these and experienced those “prophets” who took financial advantage of the innocent among The Elect.

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Preceding

Signs of the last days when difficult times will come

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

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Additional reading

  1. Prophecies over coming days
  2. Looking into the Future
  3. As you see the Day approaching
  4. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  5. Signs of the Last Days
  6. The Conclusion of the System of Things

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Further, related

  1. Are you faithful—or looking for a “sign”?
  2. Looking for a Sign
  3. Looking for a sign (Jn 2:18-2:18)
  4. The Counterfeit – April 10, 2019
  5. Best Christian Video “The True Cannot Be False” | How to Discern the True Christ and False Christs (Skit)
  6. Even the elect could be deceived: learn how not to fall for satan’s final deception
  7. The Impurity Of Thought In Our Modern Society

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

Matthew 12:38-42 – Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

|| Luke 11:29-32

MT12:38 Some of the scribes and Pharisees[1] responded to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign[2] from you.” MT12:39 Jesus answered them, saying, “A wicked and adulterous generation[3] keeps seeking for a sign; and, no sign will be given it other than the sign of Jonah.[4] MT12:40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish[5] three days and three nights, just so will the Son of Humankind be in the heart of the earth[6] three days and three nights.[7] MT12:41 Male[8] Ninevites will stand up [again][9] in the judgment[10] with this generation and will condemn it[11] – because they repented at the preaching of Jonah,[12] and, look! something more of Jonah is present![13] MT12:42 The queen of the south[14] will be raised up in the judgment with this generation[15] and will condemn it – because she came from earth’s limits[16] to hear the wisdom of[17] Solomon; and, look! something more of Solomon is present.[18]

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[1] The scribes and Pharisees: Have some of them repented and changed their tune? Has the warning of the Nazarene made them think? They now address as “Teacher” the one they insinuated was in league with Beelzebul.

[2] We wish to see a sign: Paul writes, “Jews ask for signs.” (1 Corinthians 1:22; Luke 11:29) It is said of a certain Rabbi that when he was asked when Messiah would come, he responded, “I am afraid you will ask me for a sign.”

[3] Wicked and adulterous generation: Jesus does not compromise or water down his response. Surely the words are directed at the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is to use the whole condemnatory phrase again at Matthew 16:4. Or, GDSP: wicked and faithless. On the derogatory adulterous compare Jeremiah 3:6-11.

Jonah mosaic in Aquileia cathedral

Jonah mosaic in Aquileia cathedral – Mosaic of the biblical story of Jonah; in the cathedral in Aquileia, Italy. – SCALA/Art Resource, New York

[4] The sign of Jonah: This cryptic must have grabbed at the Pharisees who loved riddles. They knew the Book of Jonah well. How could this prophet be involved here?

[5] Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish: Jesus believes in the account of Jonah and the great fish which is nowhere described as a whale.

[6] Heart of the earth: Meaning Hades or the grave.

[7] Three days and three nights: A Hebraism meaning any part of three days or less. It is clear Jesus was to be raised the third day for he so states (Matthew 16:21; 17:23; Luke 24:46). Compare 1 Kings 12:12ff (Hosea 6:2; 1 Corinthians 15:4).

[8] Male: There are a number of Greek words that may be translated “man (men).” Here the Greek is ANDRES (ANDROS).

[9] Stand up [again]: The Greek is ANASTESONTAI and essentially means the same as the English “resurrected.” Related words occur in the third century BC Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX): Job 14:12 (ANASTE), Job 42:17 (ANASTESESTHAI, ANISTESIN), Isaiah 26:19 (ANASTESONTAI), Daniel 12:13 (ANASTESE). Jesus uses forms of the word over a dozen times. Compare John 5:28, 29 where the Nazarene alludes to Isaiah 26:19 LXX.

[10] In the judgment: Or, Judgment Day. Or, NEB: when this generation is on trial; WEY: awake at the judgment. See the key words Judgment Day and resurrection. See Revelation 20:5, 12-14.

[11] Will condemn it: Or, LAM: find it guilty; KNX: will leave it without excuse.

[12] They repented at the preaching of Jonah: Read Jonah chapter 3. Tens of thousands of people responded to Jonah’s warning and as a result the city was spare, much to the disappointment of Jonah who was then taught another divine lesson.

[13] Something more of Jonah is present: Or, KJV: behold, a greater than Jonas is here; TCNT: here is more than a Jonah; WEY: and, mark! there is One greater than Jonah here. He means himself.

[14] Queen of the south: Jesus means the Queen of Sheba who journeyed to hear Solomon for herself (1 Kings 10:1-10). It was not Solomon per se but his God which motivated her, for the account reads, “the report regarding Solomon with regard to the name of Yehowah.”

[15] Raised up in the judgment with this generation: From the Nazarene here we know the Ninevites, the queen of Sheba, and that generation will be resurrected (Acts 24:15).

[16] She came from earth’s limits: She traveled 1,200 miles from northern Africa. This was one serious effort on her part and her entourage. The great trade routes to and from Jerusalem were classically great.

[17] To hear the wisdom of: The contrast between the effort of this godly lady and the Nazarene’s generation is stark. What do they have before them and instead of listening to wisdom they accuse him of demonism and ask for an evidence.

[18] Something more of Solomon is present: Solomon is said to have written 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). He wrote Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. And, yet, this crowd as much more before them in Jesus. How Solomon will fair in the resurrection is left to the judgment of God.

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

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Related

  1. Matthew 12丨C. H. Spurgeon
  2. The Sign of Jonah: Swallowed in Death, Raised in Life (Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:38–41)
  3. Matthew 12, Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath,blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the sign of Jonah, Jesus’ brothers and sisters.
  4. 4-30-2018 Bible Study – Life of Messiah Study 46
  5. Did Jesus Really Spend Three Days in the Heart of the Earth?
  6. Bible study: what difference does the resurrection of Jesus make?
  7. Looking for a Sign
  8. Favorite 21 Signs of the Prophets
  9. This Wicked and Perverse Generation

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