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Luke – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Introduction to the Third Gospel

Nazarene Commentary 2000©
21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures© [NCMM]

THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

INTRODUCTION TO LUKE

The Third Gospel is assigned by the common voice of the primitive Church to Luke, “the beloved physician” and companion of Paul. Of his earlier history nothing is recorded. There is no proof that he ever saw the Lord or that he became a believer until some time after his death. He was not a Jew, his name is Greek, his style and modes of thought point to Greek training, and it has been generally believed that he was one of “the Grecians who turned to the Lord” in the great commercial city of Antioch where the first Gentile church beyond Palestine was founded. From the incidental references to himself in the Acts we learn that he was the constant companion of the later ministry of the great apostle to the Gentiles, and this is confirmed by the allusions to him in the Epistles. From Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11, we learn that he was a Gentile, a physician, that he remained with Paul in his imprisonment at Cæsarea and attended him to Rome, where he was his companion during his long sufferings

Papyrus 45, a 3rd-century AD Greek papyrus of the Gospel of Luke

The Gospel of Luke differs from the other three in its sources of information. Matthew wrote as an eye witness; Mark probably recalled the recollections of Peter; John recalled his own personal memories of the life and words of the Lord, but Luke draws from the authentic sources of information then accessible, and he carefully presents the results in an orderly narrative. There are reasons for believing that during the period when Paul was a prisoner at Cæsarea, Luke, under his direction, set in order the facts of the Life of Christ in order to furnish an account fitted for the use of Gentile converts, and Gentiles who desired to learn of the Lord.

“As Paul was the apostle, so in a faint degree Gentile Luke was the evangelist, of the Gentiles. He traces the genealogy up, not merely to Abraham, but Adam, the son of God. He makes Christ’s first teachings at Nazareth commemorate the extension of God’s mercy beyond the limits of Israel. Luke 4:16-30. He shows how the sinner is forgiven upon condition of obedient faith. Luke 7:36-50. The publican is, in Paul’s favorite term, justified. Evidently their narrative of the Lord’s Supper is the same tradition. Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5.”

Luke’s two books, his Gospels and the Acts, are properly two successive parts of one Christian history; and as the latter terminates at the point where Paul has lived two years at Rome, in the year 64, so the Gospel must have been written before that period, namely during the 27 years after Christ’s death. For as Luke terminates his Acts abruptly with the close of Paul’s two years’ imprisonment, without adding a syllable of that apostle’s later history, it is very certain that the Acts was published at that time. Yet, we know from the preface to Acts that the Gospel had been already written. Thus, it is evident, that it was written 27 years after the crucifixion. [221] [B. W. Johnson The People’s New Testament (1891)]

Notes about this Version and Commentary

Luke 13:29–35; 14:1–10 on Papyrus 45 (folio 15; c. AD 250).

This text of the Gospel of Luke is a new version, the 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM], as an additional part of Nazarene Commentary 2000©. This rendering by Mark Heber Miller may be considered a literal version with limited paraphrase.

The words of Jesus are in red. Quotations and allusions from the Old Testament are in italicized blue with quotations within quote marks. In both the quotations and the allusions the source is given in brackets. When these quotations and allusions are part of the words of Jesus, they appear in purple.

Greek words of particular interest are in CAPS and accompanied by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible code numbers. Cross-references have been checked and added when of special note. Each chapter and paragraph has a topical subject heading and each chapter ends with review questions for congregational or personal studies. Key phrases are compared throughout to other literal and paraphrased versions. Underlined words are sources for research elsewhere in Nazarene Commentary 2000©. Any verse may be located by entering LK1:1, etc., in the Find window, and chapters by entering CHAPTER ONE: etc.

Since Luke often parallels Matthew, when Nazarene Commentary 2000© covers the same material the symbol || will indicate to go to the footnote commentary in Matthew. For more information see similar notes on Mark and John.

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Preceding

Mark 11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 11:27-33 – Questions of Authority

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Almost all of Mark’s content is found in Matthew, and most of Mark is also found in Luke. Matthew and Luke share a large amount of additional material that is not found in Mark, and each also has a proportion of unique material.

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Additional reading

  1. Luke’s Pauline Narrative – Reading the 3rd Gospel
  2. Luke Verse by Verse
  3. What governed the inclusion of some and the exclusion of other texts in the Bible?

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

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

In our previous post you could read how Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives and talked to his disciples who had asked him to tell them when this destruction of the temple, about he talked earlier, would take place, and what would be the sign of his coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?

Jesus answered their question, telling about days or moments and things as the prophets had foretold it, and to make sure that no one would mislead them, but at the same time warns us to be careful not to be deceived and not having us lead into error. (Matthew 24:4) We may not forget that many will so come in Jesus his name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to the sent one from God], saying,

‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. : after the distress of those days, (Matthew 24:5)

Jesus told his disciples that they would continually hear of wars and rumours of wars, and that is also what happened throughout the ages. Several students of the Bible were not at all frightened, because they knew and we know that those things must take place (Matthew 24:6)

Throughout the ages we have seen that nation rose against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Throughout the ages there have always been wars and lots of problems, like droughts, famines, heave destructing storms, earthquakes in various places. Jesus told his disciples generations would encounter such things, but them would all be merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]. (Matthew 24:7-8)

Jesus told us in advance about many signs which shall occur at certain times. It would be to his followers and readers of the Scriptures to come to know those signs and not to be left in the dark. What should bring us out of the dark is what Jesus further told:

“29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” (Mt 24:29-30 NIV)

Even when the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not provide its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken it should not be a time of distress for us, whilst it might be for many in this world.

For Students of the Bible it shall be that time to be recognised as the sign of the Son of Man [coming in his glory] for which many of us waited such a long time. For centuries fellow members looked forward for signs to appear in the sky, when they would come to see all the tribes of the earth and especially Israel to come to mourn [regretting their rebellion and rejection of the Messiah] (Matthew 24:30)

We still wait and look forward to that day when we will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [in brilliance and splendour] (Matthew 24:30). Waiting already such a long time we should not be weary, the return of the Christ is imminent.

When looking at what is going on in the world we may be sure that one day, not so far in the future, the sun will grow dark, and the moon will not give its light, people coming to see the stars falling from the sky [heaven] (Matthew 24:29).

When Jesus was talking about all this he had already told them that he was going to have to go to Jerusalem to have his final days there, because him being betrayed, falsely accused, tried, beaten, and eventually put to death. He had spoken about his reason for his (first) coming to earth. He told about his primary mission being to serve as the sacrificial offering for the sins of mankind. Having told them that he would be killed he also assured them that this would not be the end of him, because he would be restored to life and there would come a day when he would return to earth a second time.
But there was much that would have to take place before that return. And the date of his second appearance was and would be a mystery for many years. He told the disciples,

“No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mt 24:36 NIV)

Yes, even Jesus himself did not know the day. He as a son of man, not being like God, an all-knowing god, was in darkness about the moment God would allow him to come back to earth to fulfil his task.

The short time Jesus had his public life, he warned people to return to God and to prepare themselves to be worthy for entering the Kingdom of God, because everybody had to know there would come a day of death, or end of living, and a judgement day, when it would be all too late to change anything. All choices for the way of living have to be made whilst living, so before the moment of death arrives.
Jesus has warned those around him several times,

“ So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Mt 24:44 NIV)

The point Jesus seemed to be making had to do with preparedness. He wanted not only his disciples to live with a sense of eager expectation, anticipating that his return could happen at any moment. Jesus wanted to warn everybody and tried with his many parables to show what the Torah implicated and how there would come a time we would have to come before the Elohim to justify us.

People had to come out of the darkness of the world before another sort of darkness would frighten them even more than all the previous events. This led Jesus to tell a few parables to drive home his point. As such people could hear him tell a story about the wedding banquet or ten virgins who were anticipating the arrival of the bridegroom. In the story, all ten virgins share a common expectation of the bridegroom’s arrival. They are eagerly anticipating his coming, but five of them are prepared, while five are not. In the story, the bridegroom has not shown up as expected. But, as part of the welcoming party, they were to have been ready, because, as Jesus had said, the groom was

“coming at an hour you do not expect.”

With the parable of the fig tree Jesus is attempting to open the eyes of his disciples and wants to help them (and us) develop a long-term perspective regarding his Kingdom. From the books of the Messianic writings (1st and 2nd part of the New Testament) we can clearly see that the apostles were focused on the here-and-now, and having trouble understanding that the talk of their master teacher his coming death in Jerusalem was anything but bad news or something to be avoided at all costs.

This entire 24th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew contains the surprising and difficult-to-comprehend words of Jesus as he reveals the bigger picture regarding God’s plan of redemption. Jesus’ death on the wooden stake would be just the beginning of the much larger, comprehensive Plan of God. It would also include his resurrection, God calling him out of the hell where he was for three days, as well as his return to his Father’s side. Jesus to be taken up in heaven to sit at the right hand of God. But, even more importantly, it would require his eventual return to earth as the conquering King.

Jesus trusted his God, the God of Abraham, and knew very well his position and his task here on earth. But he also had confidence that what was written in the scrolls all would become a reality. Jesus knew that there would be a long delay before his return would take place, and therefore he wanted to assure his followers that they should not worry too much but should always prepare themselves, always being ready for when the moment would be there.
Jesus wanted his disciples and followers to live with a sense of eager anticipation. If they expected it to happen and kept their eyes open, looking for the signs of its approach, they would be able to endure the struggles that were coming their way.

Jesus used the visual lesson of a fig tree in order to help the disciples understand that there would be visible, recognizable signs associated with His coming. The budding of a fig tree is a natural indication that summer is near. It is unmistakable and irrefutable. In the same way, Jesus stated that the signs of his return will be undeniable. He even assures his disciples that

“ I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Mt 24:34 NIV)

From the Scriptures we do know that Jesus always wanted to do what God wanted. He even put his own will aside to do the will of God. From the Scripturues we also do know that Jesus was without fault, i.e. did not sin and as such always told the truth.

In this chapter he was not saying that the events associated with the end times would take place during the lifetimes of his disciples. But while they were alive, they would already begin to see the early signs of his return. The budding of a fig tree provides a premonition or portent of something to come. The buds do not mean summer has arrived, but that it is coming. In the same way, the disciples would live to see signs that would point to Jesus’ coming.

In a sence they would be alive when he returned, because after his death he appeared to them. But the signs he warned them about would not be then, but much later. Jesus gave those warnings so that those who would come after the disciples could see clear indications that it was going to happen.

Each generation of believers has been given signs that Jesus his coming is imminent and inevitable. These signs act as assurances of God’s faithfulness and are meant to encourage us to continue to wait eagerly and hopefully.

The earth would continue to go through all kinds of struggles, including earthquakes, famines, floods, disasters, and even wars. The apostle Paul reminded the believers in Corinth:

“ those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1Co 7:31 NIV)

The apostle John wrote,

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.” (1Jo 2:17 NIV)

This gives already something to have hope for. Because even when we die, there shall be the prospect for that time coming, when Jesus would call the living and the death to raise and to come before his judgement seat. When having lived according to God’s Law the lover of God should not have to worry, because all promises of God shall come true.

In this world of darkness, not many intereted in the Only One True God, Who is One, for many, the second coming of Jesus will be a surprise. Because the majority not being interested in God, His commands nor His Words, the second coming of Christ will catch the majority of people living on earth at the time completely off-guard and unprepared.
Jesus used the days of Noah as an apt point of comparison. In a way, Noah’s building of the ark was a clear sign that something was coming. And Peter seems to indicate that Noah warned his neighbours of God’s coming judgment and the availability of salvation made possible by the ark.

“ if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;” (2Pe 2:5 NIV)

From the Scriptures history telling we know that the people in Noah’s day ignored the signs and refused the message of Noah. Instead, they busied themselves, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark (Matthew 24:38). Like in the days of Noah, today we also see how people continue their way of life like they want to enjoy life. They go on with their lives, oblivious to the warning signs and ignorant of what is about to happen. Jesus made it clear to his disciples that the same thing as in Noah’s time was going to happen when he finally shall return. It would catch the world unprepared and completely off-guard.

Let us make sure we are prepared!

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son.

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

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

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Find also to read

  1. Today’s thought “They flattered … they lied” (February 14)
  2. Today’s thought “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (April 17)
  3. Will There Ever be Peace on Earth?
  4. Looking into the Future
  5. Looking forward for what is to come
  6. The resurrected Lord
  7. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  8. Jesus Christ will return to earth
  9. You know neither the day nor the hour
  10. To be prepared for the Day of Judgment
  11. The New Testament and Judgement
  12. Prophecies over coming days
  13. Memorizing wonderfully 24 the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father
  14. Memorizing wonderfully 35 When the son returns it shall be As it came to pass in the days of Noah
  15. Signs of the Last Days
  16. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  17. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #3 Coming events revealed in the prophetic writings
  18. Today’s thought “Sun, moon and stars” (January 22)
  19. Today’s thought “And they feared greatly” (February 6)
  20. Today’s Thought ” … the earth will be shaken” (May 23)
  21. To be prepared and very well oiled
  22. Preparing for his coming
  23. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  24. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  25. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  26. What I Hope For Is What You Hope For
  27. As you see the Day approaching
  28. The Rapture Wars
  29. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  30. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 3 Mythic theme 2 Hebrew story of the flood
  31. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 12 Corrupted earth
  32. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 13 Noah’s ark and the flood
  33. Today’s thought “A Damaged and Wicked World” (January 03)
  34. Today’s thought “God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark” (January 04)

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

Matthew 24:15-28 – Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

|| Mark 13:14-23; Luke 21:20-24

MT24:15 “Therefore, when you see The Disgusting Thing[1] of The Desolation[2] [Daniel 9:27] {LK21:20 (encamped armies encircling Jerusalem)[3] [Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:15-17, 44, 45]} (as spoken by Daniel the prophet) standing in a Holy Place[4] [Daniel 8:11-14; 9:26] (let the reader be mindful)[5] {LK21:20 know, then, her desolation has drawn near.[6] [Daniel 8:13; 9:26, 27; 11:31; 12:11]} MT24:16 Then, let those in Judea[7] flee into the mountains[8] {LK21:21 and those within her depart. And those in the regions let them not enter into her LK21:22 because these are days of vengeance to fulfill all the things written[9]} MT24:17 The one on the housetop,[10] let him not come down to enter his house. MT24:18 And the one in the field, let him not return to grab his outer garment. MT24:19 But, woe to the pregnant[11] in those days {LK21:23 for there will be great necessity upon earth and wrath to this People.[12] LK21:24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword and they will be led captive[13] into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations[14] [Daniel 8:10, 13; 12:7] until the fulfillment of the appointed times of the nations.[15] [Daniel 12:7]} MT24:20 But keep praying your flight be not in winter[16] nor on the Sabbath.[17] MT24:21 For then those days will be a great oppression[18] of a sort not to have occurred from the beginning of the world[19] {MK13:19 which God created} until now but will never occur again.[20] [Daniel 12:1] MT24:22 And if [YHWH][21] {MK13:20} did not shorten those days[22] it is unlikely any flesh[23] would be saved. But for the Elect[24] {MK13:20 He chose} those days will be shortened. MT24:23 {MK13:21} And then if anyone says to you: ‘Look! Christ is here!’[25] Or, ‘There!’ you should not believe it.[26] MT24:24 {MK13:22} For many pseudo-anointed[27] and false prophets[28] will rise. They will give great signs and wonders[29] so as to mislead, if possible, The Elect.[30] MT24:25 {MK13:23} Look! I have foretold everything![31] MT24:26 Therefore, if ever they say to you: ‘Look! He is in the desert!’[32] you should not follow them. Or, ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers!’[33] you should not believe them. MT24:27 For as the lightning[34] comes out of the east and shines to the west so will be the Arrival of the Son of Humankind.[35] [Daniel 7:14, 22] MT24:28 Where the carcass is there the eagles will gather.[36]

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[1] The Disgusting Thing: The translation from the Aramaic by Lamsa has this as disgusting “sign.” If this is the case, it makes it clear Jesus gave two “signs”: a) one with regard to Jerusalem; and, b) one with regard to the Arrival or Parousia. In a way it shows Jesus has reversed the order of the disciples’ question which had the PAROUSIA first and then SYNTELEIAS or consummation, fulfillment, conclusion. Jesus addresses “The End” of Jerusalem first and then goes on to the Parousia.

[2] Disgusting thing of The Desolation: This phrase is from the Jewish Greek Bible the Septuagint (LXX) at Daniel 9:27 (See also Daniel 12:11). DNTT, Vol 1, page 74ff: “Matthew 24:15 is taken from the LXX of Daniel 12:11 and appears with slight variations in Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:31… E. Nestle demonstrated that the phrase originated as a typical Jewish term of contempt for a heathen deity.… To Jesus the term would probably connote idolatry of some sort. It is observed that Luke paraphrases his words by the expression ‘Jerusalem surrounded by armies’ (Luke 21:20). It is possible that this is closer to the intention of Jesus than is commonly recognized, for the Roman armies were notorious for the idolatrous images affixed to their ensigns.” The Nazarene makes one of his many paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible and here shows that Daniel had foretold the ultimate desolation of Jerusalem’s Temple. So it would seem Daniel 9:27 may be the closest, though all three occurrences of the key phrase may bear on the same thing: the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple.

[3] Encamped armies encircling Jerusalem: This phrase is from Luke and is added here as the explanation of what the Disgusting Thing was to prove to be: the Roman armies in their assault against Jerusalem beginning in the year 66. For details on this event read Josephus’ Wars of the Jews. The Romans minted special coins beginning with Year One and on into the Fifth Year culminating in the spring of 73. Luke 19:43, 44 recorded the Nazarene’s earlier prediction drawing on other words of Daniel: ‘For days will arrive upon you when your enemies will throw up a palisade encircling you. They will distress you on every side. They will dash your children to the ground; and they will not let a stone remain upon a stone.’ Many of these words and phrases are so similar to those in Daniel 8:9-12; Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 11:15-17, 44, 45; Daniel 12:7, 11 so as not to be ignored and it is for these reasons we believe Jesus cautioned the reader of Daniel.

[4] Holy Place: Read Josephus for details on the Jews’ war with Rome. The Romans actually minted coins for the years of the Jewish campaign and then built the Arch of Titus in Rome to commemorate their final overthrow of the Jewish revolt. This relief pictures the Jewish prisoners and the Great Menorah being carried off as booty. The Temple, called the “holy place” or “sanctuary,” also features in Daniel’s prophecy: Daniel 8:11, 13, 14; Daniel 9:26; Daniel 11:31. This is the very subject before Jesus and the disciples in Matthew ch 24, Mark ch 13, and Luke ch 21.

[5] Let the reader be mindful: Does the Nazarene assume his disciples will be reading the Book of Daniel for details? He asks them to be “mindful,” or to ‘take note of this.’ (PME)

[6] Her desolation has drawn near: Thus the SYNTELEIAS of the disciples’ question about “the end.” The word “desolation” features in Daniel 8:13; Daniel 9:26, 27; Daniel 11:31; 12:11. Jesus had chosen it carefully.

[7] Those in Judea: Not just those within the city of Jerusalem but also within the whole region. In Daniel this region or area of Palestine is called “the land of Decoration (or, Beauty).” (Daniel 8:9; Daniel 11:16, 41) Josephus records the exact campaign of the Romans beginning in the north.

[8] Flee into the mountains: There is some evidence certain Christians did flee to the mountains of Perea.

[9] To fulfill all the things written: Particularly in Daniel chapters 8, 9, 11, 12. In the Book of Daniel there is a unique phrase often bandied about, ‘the time of the end,’ or ‘end-times.’ (Daniel 8:17, 19; Daniel 11:13, 35, 40; Daniel 12:4) These seem to always apply to the “end” of Jerusalem. Neither Jesus, nor his disciples, ever used such a phrase as “time of the end.”

[10] The one on the housetop: Interestingly, the Nazarene has “one” on the housetop and another “one” at work, not at some Christian meeting or involved in missionary preaching. This would have been a good time to say so if that was his meaning. The flight is extremely urgent. Now, it would seem the Nazarene could have anticipated, not the “day and hour,” but the length of the “days of distress” for the prophetic evidence was right there in Daniel 8:13, 14, 17, 19; Daniel 12:7 that the whole period of war would cover 2,300 days, with a particular period of three and a half years. As it turns out it is exactly 2,300 days from the autumn of the year 66 to the spring of 73 and the fall of Masada. It is three and a half years from the fall of 66 to the spring of 70. Jesus avoids this, other than a subtle reference in Luke 21:24, perhaps because of human nature to put things off to the last moment. He encourages all to flee without hesitation at the first “sign” of encircling armies.

[11] Pregnant: This is not a period of time longer than nine months or covering many years as Jesus’ warning to women shows. It may include those years during which a mother nurses. He has lovingly not ignored them in their plight. The disaster which befell Jerusalem was a horror on women and their children as recorded by Josephus (Luke 19:44; 23:27-30).

[12] This People: The Jews. Remember the Christians, or Messianists, were generally viewed as a Jewish sect, the Nazarenes, by the Jews and the Romans. During the wave of persecution by Nero Jews and Christians suffered. Paul and Peter were executed within the period of 66 to 70 AD. Thus viewed, the “chosen ones” may include all Jews but with the emphasis on those Christian saints. The Great Oppression involves the Jews and spreads outside of Judea (Acts 18:2; 24:5).

[13] They will fall by the edge of the sword and they will be led captive: The words “sword” and “captive” are from Daniel 11:32 in the prophetic context of the Temple and The Abomination. Also, note these two words at that future time of oppression in Revelation 13:10. In 70 AD more than one million died in the destruction of Jerusalem alone. Almost 100,000 were led off captive which the Arch of Titus in Rome commemorates.

[14] Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations: It is possible Jesus is referring to the whole period of oppression beginning in 66 through 70 AD. If Jerusalem is destroyed along with her Temple then she cannot be trampled on. It is during the three and a half years of 66 to 70 that Jerusalem is trampled. Note this word “trample” in Daniel as it is associated with Jerusalem (Daniel 8:10, 13; Daniel 12:7). Also note that the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 might well fit that period from 66 to 73 and the conquest of Masada, a word possibly meaning “fortress.” (Daniel 11:31)

[15] The appointed times of the nations: What length of time would this be? By comparing Daniel 12:7 (likely the source of Jesus’ words) and Revelation 11:2 it would seem this period, “the appointed times of the nations,” is three and a half years long and covers that space from 66 to 70 AD.

[16] Winter: A space of three or four months.

[17] Sabbath: Does Jesus still have his Jewish disciples and the Jewish peoples in mind?

[18] Great oppression: In the Greek translation of Matthew this is THLIPSIS MEGALE and is borrowed from the LXX at Daniel 12:1 with hints from Daniel 7:25’s bela (Strong’s #1080) which is rendered “oppress” by some. The words THLIPSIS MEGALE is repeated in Revelation 7:14 for reasons we will see later.

[19] Of a sort not to have occurred from the beginning of the world: This tribulation is without parallel in human creation. Does Jesus not still have Jerusalem in mind? So this is to be the worst disaster in Jerusalem’s history. Note how the Jewish Tanakh (JPS) renders Daniel 12:1, ‘It will be a time of trouble, the like of which has never been since the nation came into being.’ This would refer directly to the nation of Israel.

[20] Will never occur again: Does Jesus the Jew mean Jerusalem will never again experience such a disaster as that by the Romans between 66-70 AD? We shall see later in our consideration of Apocalypse.

[21] YHWH: Or, [the] Lord. The Greek KYRIOS in Mark 13:20 is without the article suggesting God’s Name may have originally appeared here [Compare the Diaglott].

[22] Shorten those days: The period of oppression against Jerusalem.

[23] Flesh: Jewish flesh according to the context.

[24] The Elect: Or, “the chosen ones.” The Greek is EKLEKTOUS. This may well apply to the Jews as a People including the Christian saints. It is during this widespread oppression, with its center in Jerusalem, that Peter and Paul were executed. They did not survive “the great oppression.” They were not “saved” out of it. Note how the term “elect” or “chosen ones” can be applied to Israel (Psalm 105:6, 26, 43; 106:5, 23; Isaiah 65:9, 15, 22, 23; Luke 18:7) and to the Christian disciples (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9).

[25] Christ is here: With these events and the destruction of Jerusalem it would be the appropriate time for someone to claim to be the Messiah or for others to predict the Return of Christ. Throughout history there have been those who claimed Christ had actually returned. “Christ is here!” they cried, though their interpretations of this varied greatly.

[26] You should not believe it: The Nazarene makes it clear his Arrival or Parousia does not take place with the destruction of Jerusalem as the disciples might have anticipated.

[27] Pseudo-anointed: Or, “false christs (messiahs).” Jesus foretold his “field” would be sown with “weeds” (zizania) or counterfeit “sons of the Kingdom.” (Matthew 13:38) “Apostasy” was foretold by Paul (Acts 20:29; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-7; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2; 2 Timothy 3:5-9). Peter foretold “false prophets.” (2 Peter ch 2) Jude and John stated this process was already in deep ferment (Jude 4, 11-19; 1 John 2:19, 26; 4:3). Any who claimed to be “The Anointed” and yet made false prophecies claiming, “The Time is at Hand!” (Luke 21:8 Byington) were a danger to the true Elect.

[28] False prophets: Read Deuteronomy 18:20-22 on how to know when a prophecy is not from God. Certainly, one of the main themes of these prophets is to go counter to the Lord Jesus who they claim to represent: ‘The Time is at Hand!’ They mislead by complicated and obscure time chronologies which they have worked out. Most of these have used Daniel, particularly chapters 4 and 8.

[29] Great signs and wonders: The more “signs” a prophet points to, the more one ought to be cautious. Paul says something similar at 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 when he discusses “the Man of lawlessness.” Some in modern times hail their powers to heal, or cast out demons, or point to grand buildings, or international publishing, or great radio and television satellite communication networks. Paul stresses it is “the truth” one ought to hold dear (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

[30] To mislead, if possible, The Elect: Jesus may cover the centuries in this warning for throughout the ages the false prophets have misled millions who have failed to do exactly what Jesus directed: ‘Do not believe them.’

[31] I have foretold everything: At John 14:29 the Nazarene taught, ‘I have told you before it occurs so when it does occur you will believe.’

[32] He is in the desert: There are to be no isolated appearances of the Christ in deserted locations, or wilderness areas where some false prophets might try to gather their followers, where others in general cannot view him.

[33] He is in the inner chambers: There are to be no private appearances of Christ to individuals in their bedrooms or elsewhere. Any who claim to have had the Christ appear in their private rooms would be false prophets. This may include private and personal visions or dreams. Three of the four Christian religions actually founded in America during the 1,800’s make such claims.

[34] As the lightning: Lightning is something visible and discernible with the naked eye from horizon to horizon by all under its illumination. Lightning can be seen even with the eyes closed. Compare Luke 17:24 where the ‘revealing of the Son of Man’ is compared to lightning.

[35] Arrival of the Son of Humankind: For the first time the Nazarene uses the disciples’ word PAROUSIA as Matthew translates the Hebrew. Jesus is to use PAROUSIA three times (Matthew 24:27, 37, 39) according to the Greek translator of Matthew’s Hebrew. The word PAROUSIA only occurs here in the Gospels. It should be kept in mind that Jesus most likely spoke in Hebrew (Acts 26:14) and the disciple Matthew recorded his original Gospel in that language (Irenaeus, a Christian teacher of the Second Century wrote: “Matthew published a written gospel for the Hebrews in their own tongue.” The History of the Church by Eusebius, page 210). So, it was a later translator, possibly Matthew himself, who put the Greek word PAROUSIA in the mouths of Jesus and his disciples.

What Hebrew word might the Nazarene have used? Since PAROUSIA is always connected with the “Son of Man” it is likely Jesus borrowed a word from Daniel 7:13 or 22: athah (Strong’s #857, #858) which means “arrive,” the same meaning of PAROUSIA. See notes on Matthew 24:3 for more details. PAROUSIA means the arrival or visit of a king or important person. The English word “coming” has become a common noun referring to such a royal visit. Paul uses PAROUSIA in the context of the Second Coming only once outside of his Thessalonian letters (1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8).

Mark and Luke do not use PAROUSIA but choose other synonyms: ERKHETAI, ERKHOMENOS, ELTHON which mean “come” or “arrive.” Matthew does this himself (Matthew 24:30, 42, 44, 45, 25:19). ERKHOMENOS happens to be the word used in the Jewish Greek Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), at Daniel 7:13 with ELTHEN being used at Daniel 7:22. Is this enough to establish that PAROUSIA (presence) is roughly the same as ERKHOMENOS (coming) or ELTHON (arrive)?

[36] Where the carcass is there the eagles will gather: This sudden cryptic is not the first time the disciples heard it. See something similar at Luke 17:37 when the disciples respond to certain ones being “taken along.” The disciples ask, ‘Where, Lord?’ The Nazarene responds in words similar to Matthew 24:28. If the “eagles” are those “taken along” (a word similar to that in John 14:3 and Luke 17:34) and these are raptured or gathered, then the “body” is the returning Christ (Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:1 with Matthew 24:30). Luke uses SOMA (body) whereas Matthew uses TO PTOMA (fallen body, carcass, corpse) which happens to also occur at Revelation 11:8, 9, 12 in a context suggesting the Rapture following words paraphrased from Luke 21:24 (Revelation 11:2).

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Preceding

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

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

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

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Additional reading

  1. Prophecies over coming days
  2. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #1 The Son of man revealing
  3. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  4. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #3 Coming events revealed in the prophetic writings
  5. Thought on the first day of the new civil year 2020
  6. Today’s thought “My times are in your hand” (January 14)
  7. 1st thought for today “The world may be wicked” (January 16)
  8. Today’s thought “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (April 17)
  9. Today’s thought “When approaching the battle against your enemies today” (May 03)
  10. To be prepared for the Day of Judgment

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Soon after the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) had started his public life and had chosen some disciples, he found them following him and receiving more followers who wanted to hear him talking about many things which concerned them or which where about the general customs and religious life of the people.

Jesus went all over Galilee and used open as well as covered spaces, like synagogues but also planes and mountain slopes. Jesus knew his divine task, having placed in a special way on this earth to show people the Way to God. Jesus knew very well Who that One True God is all people should come to know.  He very well knew his own place, being lower than angels and being a son of God, the Most High without Jesus could do nothing.

He must have been special. Though the religious leaders despised him but the people wondered who this man could be and where curious for what they could hear from others about miracles he could perform.

Sites of Christianity in the Galillee - Ruins of the ancient Great Synagogue at Capernaum (or Kfar Nahum) on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, Northern Israel.jpg

Capernaum synagogue

Jesus went from one place to an other telling about his heavenly Father, the Only One True God of Israel. He taught people the truth of God and God’s kingdom was his theme. He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Those actions he did, got many curious about this personage and word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25)

Mount of Beatitudes, seen from Capernaum

When he was in the region of Capernaum again there were a lot of people who had come to see him and who where eager to hear what he had to tell.  Jesus saw all those crowds, coming from different places, following him and went up the mountain or hill (the Greek word can mean either) the Mount of Beatitudes.

Some commentators see here an intended contrast to Sinai, where the Law was given. However, there are no grounds, implicit or explicit, for identifying the mountain as a “New Sinai.” {Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 103). New York: United Bible Societies.}

From Matthew’s choice of verbs we can imagine that the situation was all about a moment of teaching, Jesus tutoring. It does not matter so much if Matthew and Luke wrote about the same or of a different occasion where Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven, its subjects and their life.

There have been and are today scholars who regard the sermons recorded in Mt and Lk as collections of sayings spoken on different occasions, and maintain that they do not represent any connected discourse ever delivered by Jesus. In their view the Sermon is either a free compilation by the evangelists or a product of apostolic teaching and oral tradition.
The prevailing opinion among NT scholars is, however, that the gospel accounts represent a genuine historical discourse. The Sermon as recorded in Mt bears such marks of inner unity of theme and exposition as to give the appearance of genuineness. That Jesus should deliver a discourse of this kind accords with all the circumstances and with the purpose of His ministry. Besides, we know that in His teaching He was accustomed to speak to the multitudes at length, and we should expect Him to give early in His ministry some formal exposition of the kingdom, the burden of His first preaching. That such a summary of one of His most important discourses should have been preserved is altogether probable. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

In any case even when it is a summary it is a teaching every Christian should seriously take at heart. Jesus was not afraid to talk at length, but this discourse could easily be delivered in a few minutes.

There is evidence that the account in Mt 5–7 contains some sayings not included in the original discourse. This view is confirmed by the fact that a number of the sayings are given in Luke’s Gospel in settings that appear more original. It is easy to believe that related sayings spoken on other occasions may have become associated with the Sermon in apostolic teaching and thus handed down with it, but if the discourse were well known in a specific form, such as that recorded in Mt, it is hardly conceivable that Luke or anyone else would break it up and distribute the fragments or associate them with other incidents, as some of the sayings recorded in both Gospels are found associated in Lk. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Because there is written that the disciples came to sit by Jesus many think Jesus was mainly addressing them. Even when this is the apparent meaning of the account of both evangelists, the separation from the multitudes and the direction of Jesus his words to the disciples seem clear, and the distinction appears intentional on the part of the writer. However, it must be observed that in the closing comments on the Sermon the presence of the multitudes is implied. In Luke’s account the distinction is less marked; being the night of prayer in the mountain, the choice of the twelve apostles, the descent with them into the presence of the multitude of his disciples and a great number of people from Judaea, Jerus and the coast country, the healing of great numbers, and, finally, the address. While the continued presence of the multitudes is implied, the plain meaning of the words,

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,”

is that his address was intended especially for the latter.

This view is borne out by the address itself as recorded in both accounts. Observe the use of the second person in the reference to suffering, poverty and persecution for the sake of the Son of Man. Further the sayings concerning the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” could hardly have been addressed to any but His disciples. The term disciple, however, was doubtless employed in the broader sense by both evangelists. This is clearly the case in Matthew’s account, according to which the Twelve had not yet been appointed. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Today we should look at those texts also as a lesson to all those who want to call themselves “Christian” which means “to be a follower of Christ“. Christians too should be disciples of Christ Jesus and should follow the words of the Nazarene master teacher. Not especially being a digest of Christ his teaching the account in Matthew 5 delivers a short of the attitudes a Christian should take.

Today because so many people calling themselves Christian, but more following human doctrines instead of keeping to the Biblical doctrines, may find Jesus’ words very hard to understand and even harder to follow in our modern culture which preaches that happiness or luck comes from material wealth, absence of sorrow, and which teaches revenge or retaliation and exorbitant punishments far in excess of the wrong suffered. Lots of people do find it right to punish wrongdoers and even would not mind if their life was taken away, though on other occasions they are totally against women taking contraceptives considering this murder or killing an unborn life.

The writer who records the most challenging command Jesus ever gave his followers:

“Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

looks at the teaching of Jesus on our behaviour and living and presents an ethic code for his disciples and a measure for the behaviour of all believers.

Each time Jesus opens with the word, which is recorded in Greek as “makarioi”, “blessed” or “happy”, which occurs nine times in verses 3–12. Many also call it “beatitudes”. Each beatitude having three parts: an ascription of blessing (happiness), a specific virtue to be cultivated (the practice of each produces a positive result), and a promise relating to the kingdom (reward or special comfort as a reason for the promised happiness).

In the sermon we find that the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, those who receive insults, are falsely accused and are persecuted on account of the Messiah may count on it that they are all blessed.

Certainly in Christendom we can find many true believers in Christ, those who accept Jesus for whom he really is, a man of flesh and blood who put his will aside to do the Will of the One God Who sent him to this world. Very often those real Christians are spit at and very often it are the trinitarian Christians who take on a very un-christian attitude to those believers. Those name Christians who prefer to keep to human doctrines and want to keep to the pagan rites and festivals, are often the worst in their attitude to the real or non-trinitarian Christians. Look around you and hear how your surroundings react to such Christians as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians or others who spread the Good News by giving pamphlets and by talking to people on the streets or by going from door to door. Often those who laugh at such Christians are not the gentle, and often they have more interest in the looks of people and the material wealth of themselves and others, instead of looking for the spiritual wealth.

In the world we can see many who sincerely love God and want to prefer to worship Him alone, who are therefore being harassed or molested. Be them Jews, Christians or Muslims, those who not like to take part in the pagan rituals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, are often looked at with a bad eye, or even spit on. They are laughed at, being considered compliant meek, soft ones and not by the time. To be meek does not mean to be weak. Jesus with his words concerning the meek ones looks at “meekness” meaning gentle restraint. it  Holds in a person can be showing gentlenessmildness, forbearance, submissiveness, humility or humbleness, modesty, submission and trying to bring peacefulness, sometimes even with acquiescence. We should remember that there it is about those who dare to take on an attitude which does not insist on one’s own rights but is giving itself for others, always ready to waive its privileges in the interests of others. “The meek” person is willing to wait for God’s timing being sure that God’s promises will become a reality and that God shall provide better times for all those who live according to God His commandments. That is our sacred hope we may find in Christ his offering, opening the gates to the Kingdom of God.

As Christian we should be taking every effort to follow Christ, to become in unity with him and his teaching, doing our utmost best to obey our heavenly Father. Living according to God’s commandments we can live with the promise to be able to live in the kingdom here on earth (“inherit the earth”). Though we should be well aware that this is not promised to the pushy, proud, ambitious, and domineering and to scourge those who do not believe in God or those who prefer to live differently than us.

Those who are humble and willing to undergo all the suffering in name of Christ or those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, may look forward for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They or we may rejoice, and be glad, for our reward in heaven shall be great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before us. (Matthew 5:3-12)

Jesus Christ in Capernaum

Jesus Christ in Capernaum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus knew or knows we are not perfect, but that does not mean we should be happy with who we are at a certain moment. Every day we should work at ourselves and strive to become better. It is quite ready to love those who love us, but what about loving those who hate us? Concerning doing good, many unbelievers are doing good, so what would be the difference between a non-believer and a Christian? How many name Christian today we do hear speaking low about other coloured people or about people of an other religion? How many so called Christians do not despise other Christians and other believers or atheists and want them away from their community or surroundings. Lots of name Christians do not welcome others.

So many people consider them higher than others or more special. Often they consider themselves perfect or faultless and are not interested in changing their own world view, their mindset, their inclination or habit, their ethos and their assumptions. Lots of them even do not want to challenge themselves in any way and do not want to see that nobody is foolproof. Today we do find lots of so called Christians who are against the refugees and who wrong or oppress strangers, though they should know that is against the Will of God (Exodus 22:20-21). They are not interested in the war victims, the orphans and widow, though a lover of God should stand up for them and defend them (Isaiah 1:16-17). Several people who call themselves Christian should better ask themselves what this really should mean and should check if they can come under that denominator.

Christianity is all a matter of “love“.

Jesus asks his followers to consider the aspects of real love and of the will to work at the inner self, the way how to react to others and daring to put your own will aside to be there for others. Looking at the habits that have entered our life, Jesus requires to examine ourself and to become aware of our attitude we should take on in life.

God requires of us to worship Him as the Only One True God of gods and to keep His commandments, doing justice and to offer loving kindness or mercy to others, walk humbly with God. Jesus requires of us also to honour his heavenly Father and to worship Him alone. He also requires us to become like him and to hunger and thirst for righteousness, work for peace, and stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted; to be merciful and comfort mourners; to be humble in spirit, meek, and pure in heart.

So let us listen very carefully to the Bible text in “Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries” and work at ourselves to become more like Christ fulfilling the Wish of God.

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

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Additional reading

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  2. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  3. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  4. A season of gifts
  5. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  6. Are you being swept along by the world
  7. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  8. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  9. the Bible – God’s guide for life #8 Looking to Jesus #1 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
  10. The meek one riding on an ass
  11. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith

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Further reading

  1. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
  2. Sermon from Matthew 5
  3. What Love Says and Does
  4. Loved Are We
  5. Beatitudes
  6. Beatitudes / Blessed are: (Matthew 5:3-12)
  7. Blessed Are… – Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12
  8. What Does God Require? A Christian Manifesto (Matt 5:1-12, Micah 6:1-8)
  9. What does the Lord require…?
  10. Blessed are the merciful: 4 Epiphany A
  11. Children’s Sermon: Matthew 5:4 (Beatitudes)
  12. Sermon for January 29, 2017
  13. Sermon for 29 January 2017 on Matthew 5:1-12
  14. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/15/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Being Salt and Light”
  15. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/22/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Jesus and The Law”
  16. NBFMC Sermon Review (2/05/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Lust and Relationships”
  17. 4th Sunday, Year A | Being peacemakers in a divided society
  18. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 29th, 2017)
  19. 4th Sunday After Epiphany, January 29, 2017
  20. 5th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A 2017
  21. Sermon on the Mount: Part 1
  22. Sermon on the Mount Part 1: Beatitudes
  23. Sermon on the Mount: Part 2
  24. 2017.01.15 Sermon On The Mount Part 1
  25. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 1
  26. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 2
  27. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 3
  28. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Light
  29. True Worship: Justice, Kindness, Walk Humbly
  30. Sunday Devotional: Who are our ‘neighbors’ and our ‘enemies’? How are we to ‘love’ them?
  31. Blocking your own witness
  32. How to deal with others
  33. What Jesus Says When You’ve Been Burned
  34. “I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder.” ~~Jesus
  35. Reconciling Jesus
  36. Be Perfect
  37. Radical Love in the Face of Injustice
  38. “Make something happen!”: The restless spirit
  39. Giving and Getting It All
  40. Day 33 -This Little Light of Mine
  41. Be Nice to Me
  42. A Godly Response To Ungodliness
  43. Our Relationship to the World
  44. The Love Question
  45. Love?
  46. A Life Well-Lived
  47. “No & Yes”
  48. Truth, love, and justice
  49. Salt and Light: Matthew 5
  50. We’re Salt & Light: But are we?
  51. Anger and murder
  52. “An ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” ~~Jesus
  53. Blessed are the Refugees
  54. What Does the Lord Require? :: Prayers of the People
  55. The Joy of Mercy
  56. “You are God’s field, God’s building”
  57. Evangelize: Downtown Boise With Love
  58. …I’m gonna let it shine
  59. A toddler’s tale
  60. The Beatitudes are Like Yogurt
  61. Why does Jesus say “the poor in spirit” are blessed?
  62. An Accurate Measurement for Your Life
  63. Authentic Christianity

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