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Matthew 24:42-51 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Stay Awake!

Matthew 24:42-51 – Stay Awake!

|| Mark 13:34-37; Luke 21:34-36

MT24:42 “So, continue to remain awake[1] because none of you has any idea[2] on what kind of day[3] your Master is arriving.[4] {LK21:34 But, pay attention to yourselves[5] that somehow your hearts become heavy[6] because of overeating, drunkenness, and anxieties[7] LK21:35 and suddenly that Day rise as a snare![8] For that Day will come upon everyone who lives on the surface of the whole earth.[9] LK21:36 Keep awake and all the time begging [God] so you might be strong enough to escape[10] everything about to occur and to stand before the Son of Humankind.[11]} MT24:43 But, know this that if the household had known[12] in what watch the thief arrived[13] he would have stayed awake and his house would not be ransacked. MT24:44 You also prove yourselves ready[14] because in an hour you are not expecting[15] the Son of Humankind is coming.[16] {MK13:34 It is like a man[17] leaving his own House and giving authority to his people, to each one his own duties,[18] commanding the doorkeeper to stay awake. MK13:35 So, you stay awake, for when the Master of the House is coming you do not know. Whether late, midnight, when the cock crows, or dawn.[19] MK13:36 Or, the Master of the House, having arrived suddenly,[20] might find you sleeping.[21] MK13:37 But, what I say to you, I say to all:[22] Stay awake!} MT24:45 Really, who is the faithful and discreet slave[23] whom his Master appointed over the Master’s own domestics[24] to give them food at an appointed time?[25] MT24:46 Happy is that slave, when his Master arrives,[26] finds him doing so. MT24:47 I tell you this truth: the Master will appoint him[27] over all his belongings. MT24:48 But, if ever that bad slave[28] says in his heart: ‘My Master is taking his time!’[29] MT24:49 and he should start beating his fellow slaves[30] and eat and drink[31] with the drunkards MT24:50 the Master will arrive[32] in that day he is not expecting and in an hour[33] he is not knowing MT24:51 and the Master will cut him asunder[34] and give him his part with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and grinding of teeth!”

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[1] Continue to remain awake: Or, watch therefore [KJV], keep awake [NEB], be watching [BAS], be on the alert [WEY].

[2] Has any idea: Or, ye know not [KJV], you do not know [NEB]. Compare Matthew 24:6 and Acts 1:7.

[3] What kind of day: Or, what hour [KJV], on what day [ASV], what sort of [KIT], on what day [BAS], in what hour [DAR]. It is possible the phrase means what time of the day as well. Compare Mark 13:35.

[4] Your Master is arriving: Or, doth come [KJV], your Lord will come [BAS], is coming [KIT]. The Greek is ERKHETAI [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2064], used both of persons arriving and of those returning, and may, according to context be rendered “returning.” The word is a virtual synonym for PAROUSIA used elsewhere in Matthew 24 but never in Mark 13 and Luke 21.

[5] Pay attention to yourselves: Now the Nazarene concludes with directions to remain awake and alert. In Mark and Luke the teachings end here but in Matthew chapter 25 a series of parables are given outlining two groups: the faithful and unfaithful or the righteous and unrighteous.

[6] Heavy: Or, weighed down. RSV, NIV KJV: overcharged with surfeiting; LB: living in careless ease; PME: clouded with dissipation; TEV: occupied with; JB: coarsened; NEB: minds be dulled.

[7] Anxieties: If we parallel this phrase with the attitude before the Flood, ‘eating and drinking and marrying and building and selling,’ then the Nazarene is warning about taking on that characteristic of those “who took no note.” These anxieties, or being overly concerned about life and livelihood, could involve marriage, commerce and construction (Luke 17:28). The Nazarene has not changed his attitude about being distracted by daily pursuits as he taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-34). What is the difference here with those who were working in the fields or mill and yet who were “taken along”? It is a matter of the heart’s focus and expectation. The man in the field and the woman at the mill have not lost their hope in the Parousia and judging from the parable of the sheep and goats, both are kind and good human beings who have never neglected even the humblest person (Matthew 25:31-46; James 1:27; 2:15-17; 1 John 3:16-18).

[8] Suddenly that Day rise as a snare: “That day” is no generational period as if one had a warning lasting more than 40, 80, or more years. The parousia comes suddenly and at a time not expected even by the Chosen Ones (Matthew 24:42, 44).

[9] On the surface of the whole earth: Does it not appear to be a global event?

[10] Escape: Compare the JPS Tanakh at Daniel 12:1 and the word “escape.” The Aramaic of Daniel 12:1 may be rendered “escape” or “rescued” (delivered). Compare the idea of “rescue” with the “snatching” or Rapture at 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and the call “Come out!” at Revelation 18:4.

[11] Stand before the Son of Humankind: Compare 1 John 2:28 and 4:17 with 2 Corinthians 5:10. Those professing “Jesus is Lord!” will rise in the parousia-Judgment and receive their award or payment for what they did in their Christian lives, good or vile (John 5:29; Daniel 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:10). They will then, before the Judgment of Christ, be “outspoken” or “ashamed.” (1 John 2:28; 4:17)

[12] If the household had known: The realm of the professing Christians (Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15).

[13] In what watch the thief arrived: Christ’s sudden appearance as the Master of the House is thief-like (Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; 16:15). If a Christian prophet were able to calculate some time chronology and thus the “day and hour” of the Lord’s Arrival or parousia and it would no longer be like a thief in its suddenness.

[14] Prove yourselves ready: How does a Christian do this? Expectation is a matter of the heart and thus a matter of faith. Real faith will manifest itself in some speech and action. It is not manifest in being preoccupied with the daily matters like those persons before the Flood. Since the return of Christ is unknown it follows that Christians of all periods must be ready by a) regular prayer; b) faith; c) charity to fellows; d) avoidance of over-eating, drunkenness, and anxieties over livelihood.

[15] In an hour you are not expecting: Thus no Christian can work out some prophetic time-chronology to calculate this “coming” or Arrival (Luke 21:8; Acts 1:7).

[16] The Son of Humankind is coming: This is a phrase which parallels or stands as a synonym for ‘presence of the Son of Man.’ The Greek is ERKHETAI and equals PAROUSIA.

[17] Like a man: The parable illustrates the departure of the “man” Christ who charges his disciples to remain at work.

[18] To each one his own duties: These vary with the ‘talent’ or responsibility of each one as other parables teach: 5, 3, or 1. Paul outlines these varied “gifts” in 1 Corinthians ch 12; Romans ch 12 (Note Ephesians 4:16).

[19] Whether late, midnight, when the cock crows, or dawn: If the parousia were a generational period then it would be absurd to pinpoint these moments in a day or night. The Return of Christ or Arrival of the Lord is within a moment occupied by the brief period of a day’s various watches.

[20] Having arrived suddenly: “Arrived” is a synonym for PAROUSIA or “presence” in the Gospels. “Come” can also be a synonym (Revelation 2:25; 3:3).

[21] Sleeping: Note 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 5:1, 2, 6-8.

[22] I say to all: The Nazarene not only speaks to the four disciples before him but “all” those who will become disciples in future generations (John 17:20).

[23] Who is the faithful and discreet slave: This is a rhetorical question the Nazarene raises for the second time in his ministry. It is best understood by comparing the earlier account in a more expanded version at Luke 12:40-42. Judging from the context of Luke ch 12 it may be limited to the Apostles but at the same time have some personal application to any individual Christian “slave.” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)

[24] Domestics: Or, household (KJV, LB, PME, RSV, JB); other servants (TEV, NIV); household staff (NEB). That is, the live in help. The Slave is charged with feeding the “domestics” or fellow Saints in the Household of God. In Luke 12:42 this is THERAPEIAS or “therapists.” The Apostles, as the Faithful Slave, were found literally caring for food distribution in Acts chapters 2 to 6. Matthew 24:46 says, ‘Happy that slave if his Lord finds him doing so when he arrives.’

[25] To give them food at an appointed time: This is often given a spiritual application without the context indicating this. The facts are, the Faithful Slave, the Apostles, are found caring for “food distribution” in Acts chs 2 to 6.

[26] Arrives: The Parousia of Christ or the Master’s “coming.”

[27] The Master will appoint him: make him ruler. The final appointment as king, judge, and priest (1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4, 6).

[28] Bad slave: In the four parables concluding the Nazarene’s answer to his disciples’ question there are: 1) a faithful and bad slave; 2) five wise and five foolish virgins; 3) slaves with five, three, and one talent; and, 4) the sheep and goats. All deal with the “arrival” (presence) of a master, bridegroom, a nobleman (Luke 19:13-26), and, a judge.

[29] My Master is taking his time: Unfortunately the phrase “the delay of the parousia” has become a catch phrase among theological scholars when discussing what they perceive as Jesus’ failed prophecy regarding an imminent parousia.

[30] Beating his fellow slaves: Among the “oppressive wolves” who do not treat the flock with “tenderness.” (Acts 20:29-30)

[31] Eat and drink: Back to the parallel with Noah’s day.

[32] The Master will arrive: The parousia. The word group “arrive” in the context of the “coming” of Christ is used several times as a synonym for PAROUSIA (Matthew 10:23; 25:10, 31; Mark 8:38; 13:36; Luke 9:26; 12:38; 18:8; 22:18).

[33] In an hour: This is no generational period of time but the “hour” of the parousia within a certain “day.” The Nazarene uses the word “hour” over a half dozen times in the context of his parousia (Matthew 24:36, 44, 50; 25:13; Mark 13:32; Luke 12:39, 40, 46).

[34] The Master will cut him asunder: Or, to bisect; cut in two. A severe treatment similar to Luke 12:46 and Matthew 25:46.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

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

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

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Matthew 24:36-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: About That Day and Hour

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

Separation of local judgment regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and Final Judgment

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Additional reading

  1. You know neither the day nor the hour
  2. Only once and with consequences
  3. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #1 The Son of man revealing
  4. To be prepared and very well oiled

Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v14-20 Pentecostal Sermon

Acts 2:14-21 – Peter Begins his Pentecostal Sermon

AC2:14 Now Peter rose with the eleven[1] and raised his voice, declaring to them: “Men, Jews,[2] and all those dwelling in Jerusalem, all of you know this, listen to my words! AC2:15 For these men are not drunk[3] as you suppose, for it is only nine in the morning!

AC2:16 This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel[4] AC2:17 and what will occur in the Last Days:[5] ‘The God says, “I will pour out my Pneuma on all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy.[6] Also, your young men will see visions,[7] and your elders will dream dreams.[8]

AC2:18 And in those days I will pour my Pneuma upon my male slaves and female slaves, and they will prophesy. AC2:19 And I will give wonders in the heavens above, and on signs on the earth below[9] – blood and fire and columns of smoke.[10]
AC2:20 The sun will be transformed into darkness and the moon into blood[11] – before the arrival of the Day of the great and glorious Supreme Being.[12] AC2:21 Then everyone whoever calls upon the Name of YHWH will be saved.”’”[13] [Joel 2:28-32 LXX]

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Continuation of: Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v1-13 Working Spirit

Continued with: Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v23-26 The Choice of Matthias


[1] Now Peter rose with the eleven: Likely indicating only these twelve were present.

[2] Men, Jews: Here the Greek is ANDRES IOUDIOI [males, Jews] because the crowd has already been identified as “pious Jewish men” from all over the world. Peter is talking to Jewish men. Compare also Acts 2:22.

[3] These men are not drunk: The Greek is masculine suggesting Peter speaks of the eleven male apostles who have been accused of drunkenness.

[4] Spoken by the prophet Joel: Peter now quotes from Joel 2:28-32. Most think he draws upon the LXX, though it is also clear Peter is doing this from memory and so there are slight paraphrases here or there.

[5] What will occur in the Last Days: Most versions place the quotes before “last days” but this does not occur in Joel. The solution may be that “last days” are Peter’s own words. Only about a month and a half before Peter and three other apostles asked Jesus about “the end.” [Matthew 24:3] Jesus continues to outline what will happen at the “desolation of Jerusalem.” In the Christian Bible the term “last days” is always used of the end of the Jewish Temple period. The phrase only occurs at 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 1:1, James 5:3, and 2 Peter 3:3. Compare also Hebrews 9:26 and Jude 18. For more details on last days see Nazarene Commentary 2000© on Revelation.

[6] Your sons and daughters will prophesy: That is, Jewish children. The words “prophet” and “prophesy” have a wide range of meaning but generally refer to speaking before others. For details see notes on 1 Corinthians 12:28. Both men and women may “prophesy” but see Paul’s restrictions in 1 Corinthians 11, 14, and 1 Timothy 2. See notes on Acts 21:9. On Christian prophets in Acts see Acts 11:27; 13:1; 15:32; 21:10.

[7] Young men will see visions: While both men and women “prophesy”, it is young men who are foretold to see “visions.” The application of Joel’s words to this crowd of Jewish men must have moved their hearts toward their sons and daughters who they could see so blest. Indeed, just that is what happened when thousands of them returned home – now disciples of Jesus Christ. See “vision” in Acts 9:10, 12; 10:3, 17, 19; 11:5; 12:9; 16:9, 10; 18:9. A vision is generally understood to be a daytime trance experience, while dreams occur during sleep.

[8] Your elders will dream dreams: Or, older men. There is no case of such a “dream” mentioned in the Christian Bible. The word “dream(s)” occurs 126 times in the Bible, first at Genesis 20:3 and most often in the two books Genesis and Daniel. Of particular interest are Job 7:14 and Job 33:15, 16. In the Christian Bible dreams occur at Matthew 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22; 27:19.

[9] Wonders in the heavens above, and on signs on the earth below: Peter, in quoting Joel to these Jewish men, has mentioned the good news. Now he proceeds to the bad news – the coming doom on Jerusalem. These heavenly wonders and earthly signs will be described in the following phrases. Compare the Nazarene’s own warning in notes on Matthew 24:15 and Luke 21:24. Josephus records similar phenomena upon Jerusalem in 70 AD.

[10] Blood and fire and columns of smoke: Whether the “blood” refers to Jewish blood shed at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, or to the color of the moon when veiled in smoke is a matter for interpretation. In the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in 70 AD one million people died, so indeed, blood ran in the streets, and great columns of smoke blocked out moon and sun.

[11] The sun will be transformed into darkness and the moon into blood: Compare similar language from the Nazarene at Matthew 24:29 where similar images apply to both the desolation of Jerusalem and to signs appearing before the Return of Christ. [Mark 13:24]

[12] Day of the great and glorious Supreme Being: The phrase “Day of the Master,” or, “Day of Jehovah” is used for a number of periods, including the “Day of Wrath” in Revelation. [Revelation 6:17] The Hebrew Text of Joel – and likely original LXX translations – has YHWH, but the Greek here does not precisely call for it. On the designation “Day of Yehowah” see Isaiah 13:6-10 and Amos 5:18, 20. Joel the prophet mentions it several times. [Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11; 3:14] As does Zephaniah 1:7, 8, 14, 18; 2:2, 3. The Jews were very familiar with Malachi 4:5.

  • Pentecost, What’s That? (thelifechurchofdesplaines.wordpress.com)
    Pentecost in the Old Testament was not a religion. It was a feast, a celebration. Israelites were told to remember their bondage in Egypt and their freedom from slavery.
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    It was a shadow of what was going to happen, is happening today! Pentecost didn’t end in Acts 2. It is happening today! People prophecy and are filled with God’s Spirit today.
  • Unstoppable Faith (thursdaythoughts4ct.wordpress.com)
    In the beginning of the book of Acts, Jesus goes back up into Heaven and the apostles are filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This is their incredible experience that truly sets them on fire. They go out and start preaching and spreading the word and performing these incredible miracles in Jesus’s name.However, as is almost always the case, the apostles were almost immediately met with opposition from people who wanted to stop them.
  • “It’s only nine in the morning!” (rootstothestream.net)
    Peter is certainly one of the Bible’s most colorful characters. He is rash and passionate, human and sometimes almost divine (see walking on water). However, through it all Peter is given a double edged sword with his words. Here after pentecost some who were watching thought the apostles might be drunk. Another man might have quoted scripture about the perils of too much wine, but not Peter. His simple response is that it’s just too early in the day. What a great line! However, Peter is not just about wit; he is about to deliver one of the most effective sermons since one that occurred on a mound.
  • For many it seems not easy to understand that it was God who brought insight in Jesus his pupils. In the article The Holy Spirit-Empowered Apostles (on yourgodmoments.wordpress.com) the writer rightly remembers the promise of the Nazarene Jesus (Jeshua) to his followers. But he misunderstands that Jesus, who is the son of God and the Messiah, would become the mediator between men and God and that it was he (Jeshua or Jesus Christ) who had demanded his Father (Jehovah, the Only One God) to send a “Comforter”. The writer of the article says “It is here that Jesus completes His gospels through the Holy Spirit by filling His disciples hearts with the remainder of the knowledge that He wants all of God’s children to know in order to pursue a path of righteousness and a life filled with God moments…” But it is not Christ Jesus who fills the hearts and minds of the apostles. That is the work of the Holy Spirit: the Power of God. it was God and not Christ who enlightened the apostles and gave them the power to go out in the world to preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.
  • Acts of the Apostles (fellowshipofthebelievers.com)
    Special attention is given to the Promise of the Father regarding the apostles being baptized by the Holy Spirit, who would empower them as witnesses for Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and even to the end of the earth (1-8).
  • Links to OT prophecies in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    At Post Tenebras Lux Andrew G discussed Acts 2:17, where the apostle Peter, while addressing the Jews at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, quoted from a prophecy of Joel, beginning his quotation using the words of Isaiah rather than those of Joel.
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    Luke probably included this subtle link to Isaiah 2:2 in his account of Peter’s message on Pentecost to suggest that Isaiah 2:1-3 was fulfilled, when Jesus ascended to heaven, where he was exalted and “made Christ” by God. [Acts 2:36] Being “made Christ” implied that Jesus was given a perpetual throne, in Jerusalem, reigning over all Israel, like David, and that Jerusalem and mount Zion were raised up, and “established in the top of the mountains, above the hills,” (in heaven, and in a spiritual sense) according to Isaiah’s prophecy. After Pentecost, the Jerusalem to which OT prophecy applies is the heavenly city. This is confirmed in other New Testament scriptures. [Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 12:22] Paul taught that believers are “raised up together” and “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” [Ephesians 2:6]
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    Isaiah 2, Joel 2, Acts 2, and the Eschatological Temple of the Church
    Concerning this substitution of the phrase “in the last days” and to prophecy to which it alludes, G.K. Beale writes, “Thus, Peter appears to interpret the Spirit’s coming at Pentecost upon the Christian community in fulfillment of Joel also to be the beginning fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of the end-time temple, under the influence of which the nations would come.”[3] The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost therefore is seen to be the official inauguration of the end-times temple-building project.
  • The Books of the New Testament (chbt.wordpress.com)
    The Acts was written by Luke the Evangelist; it is a narration of the Apostles’ work, which he wrote to tell how the Church spread rapidly throughout the world.
  • Acts of the Apostles…chapter Nine…part Three (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    The accounts in the epistles add some details to Acts and omit others. The accounts are complementary and not contradictory. Luke’s work is historically accurate an independent account, not simply copied from Galatians or 2 Corinthians. The different purposes of Luke and Paul affect the selection and shaping of the facts of the Damascus-Arabia episode. In Galatians, Paul’s primary concern is to establish the fact of his apostolic authority as coming directly from Christ…Galatians 1:11-12…The details of his Damascus and Arabian missionary activities are irrelevant, though he mentions them in passing…
  • Acts of the Apostles…chapter Nine…part Four (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    Later, when Barnabas needs assistance in building the church in the Antioch area, he goes to Tarsus to find Paul, and brings him to Antioch..Acts 11:25-26.. From then on, Paul becomes the central focus of Acts…
  • Intro to the Book of Acts and the choosing of Judas’ replacement (sundayschoolbiblestudy.wordpress.com)
    The disciples are in obedience, they are in fellowship, and they are in prayer.”
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    Peter feels called to stand up and make the case that they now should allow God to choose a successor to Judas Iscariot. Notice that this is the first time in the Bible that we see Peter quote Scripture. He is now relying on the Word of God to steer him through ministry just like Jesus had demonstrated through His earthly ministry and had taught them to do.

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