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The Climax of Matthew’s story

With chapter 28 we come to the end of Matthew’s report of his Nazarene teacher Jeshua ben Josef, whom he at first had not yet recognised as the future king of this earth (the king of the Jews). First he had thought this Nazarene was going to liberate them from the Romans and be their king in their age.

Often they had wondered what their master meant when he talked about events to come. Many things he said also did not become clear until God had left His Pneuma come over them.

The apostles did know that the Hebrew Scriptures explained everything that they had to know, but they were pleased that their rabboni took all the time to explain the things which were not yet so clear for them or where there was much dispute between them and the Pharisees.

For many people it was and it still is

 “seeing is believing”

and they had seen incredible things, which they also did not always understand how these things could happen. Their master assured them he could not do those things without his heavenly Father, Who is much greater than him and all other gods.

“Therefore, Jesus answered them: “I tell you this truth: The Son is unable to do anything from himself unless he sees something the Father is doing. For whatever that One may do, it is possible the Son also may do likewise.” (Joh 5:19 mhm)

“You apostles heard that I said to you, ‘I am departing and I am returning to you apostles.’ If you loved me you would certainly rejoice, because I am going toward the Father, because the Father is greater than me.” (Joh 14:28 mhm)

Several times they had seen that Jesus had done miracle works, and each time Jesus had told the people to whom he had done it, not to thank him but to thank God. In modern times this should have those who think Jesus is God already wonder why Jesus said not to thank him but God. Also, Jesus his mentioning that God is greater than him should raise questions about the possibility that Jesus would be God.

The one in whom they had put so much hope now had died and by his death, all their expectations seemed to have crashed. (Again for those who think that Jesus is God, should wonder if He then faked His death and for what cause, because God cannot die but Jesus did.) Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene were witnesses of that horrible death of Christ. They were close to the stake on which Jesus was nailed like a criminal.

All the time they had seen Jesus humble and presenting himself as a servant of God, saying he was not here to be served, but also telling them he was been authorised by God.

“Just as the Son of Humankind came not to be served but to serve and to sacrifice his soul as a ransom in the place of many.”” (Mt 20:28 mhm)

God cannot be seen, but this Son of Humankind was seen by lots of people, to whom he told he was coming to declare his heavenly Father the Only One True God, the God of Israel Who is One. With his death, there came an end for all those people to see this great storyteller. All were assured it was finished now with this man. But that is without counting on God and without believing in the prophecies which tell a totally different story.

Naturally, the Romans were afraid that Jesus body would disappear and that the followers of that Nazarene would then tell he rose from the dead. Pilate had agreed that Jesus could be buried but listened also to the Pharisees who were afraid something could happen with that killed man. On the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said that they remembered that when that preacher was still alive ‘that deceiver’ had said that after three days he would rise again.  Therefore, they hoped that Pilate would give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal him away and say to the people that their master has risen from the dead. As such the last deception will be worse than the first. For that reason, Pilate ordered to have guards making sure nobody could or would temper with that son of man.
Pilate ordered the grave to make it as secure as those guards know how and set a seal on the stone which was very heavy and blocked the entrance to the tomb.

“62 On the next day–after Preparation–the religious hierarchy and Pharisees assembled together before Pilate, 63 saying, “Lord, we remember that plotter said when he was alive, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 64 So, command that the grave be secured until the third day so none of his disciples can come and steal his body and then claim to the people, ‘Jesus was raised up from the dead.’ Then the final plot will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them: “You have a custodial guard. Go and make the security as you know how.” 66 These went their way and secured the grave, sealing the stone with the custodial guards.” (Mt 27:62-66 mhm)

The women who came to the grave were very surprised and could not think what would have happened to their master. Their mentioning to have found an empty tomb spread very quickly. This also because some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and counselled together, the religious hierarchy gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, for them to tell the people that the Nazarene his disciples came by night and stole him away while they were asleep. From Matthew’s storyline, we hear that the Pharisees were also willing to protect the guards in case the governor would want to punish them for not being on guard. The guards did not mind the money and did as they had been instructed. This way this story was widely spread among the Jews, as it will be to the day Matthew wrote his book.

“11  While the women were on their way, look! some of the custodial guards entered the city of Jerusalem and reported back to the religious hierarchy everything that had happened. 12 Now in a conference with the Jewish elders they took counsel. They agreed to give plenty of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, “Say that his disciples came in the night and stole his body while you were sleeping. 14 And if this ever reaches the governor we will convince him and you need not fear.” 15 Those soldiers took the silver money and did as they were told. And just so the rumor spread around among the Jews down to this very day.” (Mt 28:11-15 mhm)

Matthew, in his gospel book, had looked at the family tree of their master and had given a review of all those happenings which should get us to think about the role of that man about whom was spoken already much in the ancient Hebrew writings. Matthew gave a picture from John’s preaching and baptism of Jesus. He also showed how Jesus was tested and how a higher position was offered to him, which he refused, because it is only given to God to give such positions. Often Jesus was surrounded by crowds, who could hear him tell lots of stories. He gave them sermons that should make them think about how to treat others as well as how to relate to God. For Matthew, it had become clear that the true treasures were to be sought in heaven. Therefore, he wrote down how Jesus advised seeking the Kingdom, but also how he warned to be careful and to be aware of the difficulties to go through the narrow gate.

All those things Matthew wrote down so that people could come to see that their master was the one spoken about in the Garden of Eden. (Later on, Jesus good friend John would go deeper into that in his gospel.) Matthew by those few years had come to see and understand that Jesus was that promised man coming from the root of King David.

In his gospel he not only shows how the 12 apostles were called but also how they got ministerial instructions. Following those instructions not to fear but to go out in the light and to preach from the housetops, the writing of his gospel was part of that preaching work, making sure people could come to know the full story.

“26 So, you should not fear them. For there is nothing concealed which will not be revealed, and nothing hidden which will not become known.27 What I tell you in the dark, tell in the light; and, what your ear hears, preach on the housetops.28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul. Rather, continue to fear the One capable of destroying both soul and body in Gehenna. (Mt 10:26-28 mhm)

“16  Now the eleven disciples traveled to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. 17 When they saw Jesus they bowed to the ground before him but some doubted. 18 Upon approaching Jesus he said to them, “All authority in heaven and upon earth was given to me.19 Therefore, go your ways and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing persons in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy Pneuma.20 Teach them to observe everything I commanded you. And, look! I am with you apostles until the consummation of the Age.” (Mt 28:16-20 mhm)

There was now enough to teach about and for. Now all stories Jesus had told them seemed to fit and all the references to the scrolls made sense.

With the last chapter of his gospel Matthew comes to present the “bomb”, the full reason why it is so important to believe in his master. With everything Jesus had said, people should be able to come to see the things to God and to understand how Jesus Christ fits in the Plan of God. Woe to the scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites who can be found in every period of time.

“27 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees because you are like whitewashed graves which outside seem to appear beautiful but within are full of the bones of the dead every uncleanness!28 Just so you also give the appearance to others of righteousness but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness!29 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees because you build the graves of the prophets and decorate the memoriums of the righteous.30 You also claim, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers we would never have been guilty of the blood-letting of the prophets.’31 So you provide evidence against yourself that your are sons of those who murdered the prophets.32 Now, live up to the example your forefathers!33 “Serpents, born of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna? 34  Because of this, look! I am sending to you prophets, wise persons, and scribes. You will kill some of them, others you will impale, and still others you will scourge in your synagogues. You will persecute from city to city.35 As a result there will come upon you all the righteous blood poured out on earth–from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah (son of Barachiah) whom your murdered between the Divine Habitat and the altar.36 I tell you this truth: all this will come upon this generation! (Mt 23:27-36 mhm)

The prophet Jesus was impaled, but now the good news could come to mankind. Jesus had an open heart for all and gave himself as a ransom, so that all people could come under the grace of salvation. The price Jesus paid made it able to become free.

Through Christ’s death people now could bcome adopted as a child of God

What the ladies came to see was something the whole world had to hear. All over should the cries be heard:

Jesus is risen

At that time, just after the burial of their master they did not yet understand the impact of this all.

“10 Now these included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and also the others with them. They told the apostles everything, 11 but all their words seemed like a lot of foolishness to them and so they did not believe them. 12 [[However Peter rose and ran to the memorial tomb. He bent forward and saw only the linen wrappings. Then he left wondering what had happened.]]” (Lu 24:10-12 mhm)

Event after the event made the good news spread and they come to believe that the impossible had become possible.

“33 That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven apostles assembled together with other disciples. 34 They told them, “The Master has truly risen and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 And so they began to explain everything that happened while on the road and how Jesus had revealed himself to them by the breaking of the bread.” (Lu 24:33-35 mhm)

Having seen that Jesus came back from the dead, was now evidence that everything he had told was a word of truth, given by instruction and inspiration of God. For Matthew and the other disciples of Christ it had become clear that they had to do with the Prophetic truth, Jesus being in line with king David, being the sent one from and anointed one of God, or the Christ.

We too should come to see who Jesus really was and is; and why we should honour him for what he has done. We also should come to see and understand how this rising of Christ is an example of what can happen to us. Jesus is the first one of the new world or the first for the newborn generation. With him, we can find hope in a renewed world and a restored paradise. With Matthew’s account, we should have a full picture of the 2° Adam. The 28th chapter being the culmination or the climax to which all the previous chapters and also several Old Testament books point at.

Now we come to learn that it is possible that a man can step out of death. In case Jesus would be God, then naturally we still would not have any proof of such thing. But here it is given to us, even while the Romans did everything to have people believe that what believers said happened to be false. But in such case they would not be willing to risk their life. They were sure that something magical happened and were prepared to die for telling the truth. The Nazarene had told he was the resurrection and the life and that those who would believe in him were going to live, even though when they died.

“25 Jesus said to Martha: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. The person who continues to believe in me, though dying, will live.26 Also, everyone living who continues to believe in me, will never die throughout all future periods of time. Do you believe this?” (Joh 11:25-26 mhm)

The fact that it were first women who discovered the empty grave is in a way also interesting, because for Jews women had low status and legally didn’t qualify to be witnesses. But here Matthew notates them to have been the first witnesses. If the disciples were manufacturing or embellishing this story, undoubtedly they would not given those women the honour and would have claimed that men had discovered the empty tomb, because their testimony would have been considered much more credible. Recording the then-embarrassing fact that women first saw the tomb empty is just one more indication that the biblical writers were committed to accurately recording what had actually happened.

Historically it was clear for everybody that somehow the guarded grave had become empty. The Romans and the higher hierarchy with the Pharisees wanted Jesus death but not heaving him disappeared. The Jewish leaders wouldn’t have taken the body because this would give their Jewish brethren who followed Jesus reason to say he was risen out of the dead. A lot of people wanted the Nazarene Jew Jeshua (Jesus) to stay dead. For them, instead of stealing or doing a way with the body it would have been even nicer to parade through the streets with Jesus’ corps. Parading with Jesus’ lifeless body down the main streets of Jerusalem would have instantly killed the growing Jewish movement of Nazoreers (or Jewish sect The Way).

For the apostles, that body of their master having disappeared would be a disaster. It would give them nothing in their hands to prove that Jesus was who he said and that could happen all the things he had said would happen.
We may be sure, in case they had taken away the body, they would have told so under torture, because keeping such a lie and to die for such a charade would be asked too much.

A deliberate cover-up, a plot to perpetrate a lie about the raising of Christ, could not have survived the violent persecution of the apostles and their followers. In later years we also could find hundreds of people who were cast to the lions and got to fight for their life, whilst they could be free when they denied the story of the resurrection of their lord.

Throughout the years following this event told in the last chapter of Matthew, thousands of people refused to renounce the lordship of Christ.

Peter and John also had come to the grave and had checked it out for themselves. They too saw it was empty. But they, with others, came to see their master again. Over a period of forty days this man who had been impaled appeared alive a dozen different times to more than 500 individuals  —  to men and women, to believers and doubters, to tough-minded people and tenderhearted souls, to groups, to individuals, sometimes indoors and sometimes outdoors in broad daylight.

Doctor Luke would later write down what happened further with their master and with them who now came to believe even stronger than they did before. But until today the gospel of Matthew is the opening book of a new era, the Messianic Time, by which he showed that Jesus is really that promised son of God, who did all the time the Will of God, to be His humble servant and faithful slave.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #9 Matthew 27:45-50 – Jesus Expires During a Darkness

Death of Christ and Silent or Black Saturday #1 Abandonment and burial

Death of Christ and Silent or Black Saturday #3 A sincere man or an imposter

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #1 Matthew 28:1 – Two Marys Visit the Grave

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #2 Matthew 28:2-4 – An Angel Rolled Away the Stone

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #3 Matthew 28:5-7 – “Jesus Was Raised Up!”

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #4 Matthew 28:8-10 – The Two Marys Met by the Risen Christ

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #5 Matthew 28:11-15 – The False Report the Body Was Stolen

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #6 Matthew 28:16-19 – The King’s Commission

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Further reading

  1. When you believe Jesus is God, do you think he died?
  2. Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?
  3. The saviour Jesus his human side
  4. The son of man given authority by God
  5. Servant of his Father
  6. The night before Jesus his execution
  7. Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake
  8. Looking for a primary cause and a goal that can not offer philosophers existing beliefs
  9. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
  10. A Messiah to die
  11. Celebrations pointing to events of ultimate meaning
  12. A perfect life, obedient death, and glorious resurrection
  13. Why Did Christ Die on the stake
  14. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  15. Death and Resurrection of Christ
  16. Why think that (3) … Jesus rose from the dead
  17. Jesus is risen
  18. Today’s Thought “God’s servant will succeed! He will be raised up, exalted, highly honoured!” (Weekend of 2020 June 27-28)
  19. The resurrected Lord
  20. Proof of the resurrection of Christ
  21. Do you purpose that your mouth will not transgress
  22. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  23. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  24. A Living Faith #8 Change

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Additional relevant articles

  1. Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus
  2. The Empty Tomb of Jesus by Lee Strobel
  3. Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by William Lane Craig
  4. What are the arguments for the historicity of the empty tomb?
  5. The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars – Gary Habermas at UCSB – YouTube
  6. The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth That Even Non-Christian Scholars Believe
  7. Risen
  8. A Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Pint 1)
  9. A Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Pint 2)
  10. A Case for the Resurrection (Pint 3): Scourging
  11. The Doctrine of the Literal Physical Resurrection by Martyn Lloyd Jones
  12. Did Jesus Christ Rise from the Dead by Ravi Zacharias?
  13. Was Jesus’ resurrection a hoax and His death a sham by Lee Strobel?
  14. What are the Circumstantial Evidence FOR the Resurrection by Lee Strobel?
  15. Evidence FOR the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Lee Strobel
  16. The Evidence for the Resurrection by Sir Norman Anderson
  17. Thoughts on the Resurrection
  18. No Resurrection No Christianity by John Young with David Wilkinson
  19. Did Jesus appear bodily after His death?
  20. Words for the Way VI: Pastoral notes for locked down times -The Road the Emmaus Recognising Christ

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

In the reading of Matthew chapter 24 we may find that the writer separates the local judgment-coming prophecies regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and the Final Judgment which is much further in the future.

Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse is significantly different from Mark’s 13 chapter. It does not differ, however, through contradiction, but by supplementation. In Mark’s chapter Jesus also warns to take care that no one deceives us (v 5). There also we hear Jesus telling how many will come claiming to be him, saying, “I am the One,” and they fooling lots of people. But we might not forget also the false teachers who claimed or shall come to say, the time had/has come or would be at this or such moment in time or calendar date.

In Matthew’s and Mark’s chapters we hear about people hearing of wars, or that war would be coming, which should not surprise us, because many wars would take place before the end of times. These things will have to happen, although it won’t mean the end yet. (Mark 13:5-8; Matthew 24:4-8)

Matthew shifts the attention away from the known time of his local (metaphorical) judgment-coming against the Temple (Matthew 24:2) in Judea (Matthew 24:16), which was to be in “this generation” where he made part of (Matthew 3).

In Matthew 24:15 we read about a time when people would see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand).

The disciples can’t help but notice that something is in the air during this week between Jesus his entry into Jerusalem and his preparation for the Pesach. By repeatedly calling himself the ‘Son of Man‘, Jesus has told people about God His kingdom, but also about his position here on earth and about his kingdom, which will be divinely instituted like the one described in Daniel 7. They are also thinking of promises about the coming Anointed One.

The time coming closer that he would not be there any more with his pupils Jesus warns them about what would happen in 70 when those who would be in Judea had to flee to the mountains. He predicts the temple’s fall — an event that will occur about 40 years later — and speaks of his second coming, which would also be as something that everyone just surprises.

Some people, and perhaps also some of the disciples, were talking about the Temple and how it was decorated [adorned] with beautiful stones and gifts offered to God, but now hear Jesus telling how all that shall be destroyed (Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6). This makes them wonder when that would happen (Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:3; Luke 21:7).

Jesus said,

“As for these things you are looking at, the time [days] will come when not one stone will be left on another. Every stone will be thrown [torn] down.”

In the second part of the chapter of Matthew Jesus speaks about the coming of the ‘Son of Man‘ which shall come for many also as a surprise or unexpected event. Jesus and his disciples were well aware that only God knows everything, but somehow the disciples had hoped Jesus would know when the end of times would take place, as they believed him to be the son and sent one of God.

In this 24th chapter of Matthew we learn that about that day or hour no one knows, even not Christ Jesus, or not even the angels in heaven, but only the Father (v.36). Therefore, Matthew wants that people would be warned to prepare themselves. People have to keep watch because they do not know on what day their Lord will come. (v.42) Matthew moves from the known time to the unknown time; from the near-future to who-knows-when. We have to learn this lesson about preparedness, from the parable of the fig tree, and have to make sure to be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when we do not expect him (Matthew 24:32-41; 42-44).

For nobody knows exactly which day [whether near or far] Jesus is coming back to earth, we just have to be on the alert (v.43). But we might have hope when we come to see certain foretold signs. In Mark’s chapter he has Jesus telling about that time when the good news of the coming kingdom of God must be delivered first in every land and every language (Mark 13:10).

As Isaiah said in the days after that great suffering, that the sun will refuse to shine, and the moon will hold back its light, having the stars in heaven falling, and the powers in the heavens been shaken (Isaiah 13:10; 34:4) than we should be seeing clear. Then you will see (as Daniel predicted in Daniel 7:13)

“the Son of Man coming in the clouds,”

clothed in power and majesty. (Mark 13:26) it shall be the time that Jehovah God will send out His heavenly messengers and gather together to Himself those He has chosen from the four corners of the world, from every direction and every land (Mark 13:27).

“5  Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no-one deceives you.
6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
7 When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth-pains.
9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.” (Mr 13:5-10 NIV)

“26 “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” (Mr 13:26-27 NIV)

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Preceding

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

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

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

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.

+

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

++

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

+++

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 21:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

Matthew 21:18-22 – A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

|| Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

MT21:18 Early in the morning when they were returning to Jerusalem Jesus felt hungry.[1] MT21:19 When he saw a fig tree he went to pick some figs but he found only leaves.[2] Jesus spoke to the fig tree, saying, “No longer will you bear any fruitage[3] to the eon.”[4] And the fig tree withered instantly. MT21:20 Now when the disciples saw this they wondered, asking, “How did the fig tree whither instantly?” MT21:21 But Jesus answered them: “I tell you this truth: If you [disciples][5] have faith and never doubt,[6] you not only can do the same to a fig tree, but also you could tell this mountain, ‘Rise and plunge into the sea!’ – and it will occur. MT21:22 Indeed, everything, anything you request[7] in a prayer of faith – you [disciples] will receive it.”

*

[1] Jesus felt hungry: Something God cannot feel for then He would lack and depend on something else. Though this is the motive given for what follows we suspect something deeper: an object lesson for his disciples. We wonder the reason Matthew includes this and omits the resurrection of Lazarus.

[2] He found only leaves: Mark 11:13 adds, “… for it was not the season of figs.” It is early spring (Passover). We might wonder if Jesus were God he would not have to approach the tree to see if there were figs. A larger lesson is going on.

[3] No longer will you bear any fruitage: Or, RIEU: may you be barren; NEB: you will never bear fruit any more.

[4] To the eon: The Greek is EIS TON AIONA and though some translate this “forever” it would seem Jesus meant for the rest of the life of the tree. See NEB.

[5] If you [disciples]: The Greek is plural and so this is directed to the apostles.

[6] Have faith and never doubt: See the notes on Matthew 17:20. The lesson is faith. We note Jesus does not perform a miracle to produce figs so ease his hunger.

[7] Everything, anything you request: We do not suspect the apostles thought this was a frivolous request but something like a “mountain” related to their commission from their Lord. From a historical retrospective the idea that an unknown carpenter from Nazareth could create such an affect upon mankind would be much larger than any mountain. Throughout his ministry one of the Nazarene’s goals must have been the building of faith among his disciples. They would need a world-changing faith to accomplish the work before them and endure centuries of Holocaust.

 

+

Preceding

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

Matthew 21:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Out of the Mouth of Babes

 

+++

Further related

  1. Mustard Seed Meditation
  2. Will America join the graveyard of nations?
  3. Matthew 21:22
  4. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer
  5. Faith
  6. Immediate AnswerToday’s Word With Joel & Victoria Osteen – Positioned To ReceivePowerful Generator
  7. Prayer for Restoring Health

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