Anthony Gammage – Matthew 24:1-35
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
“These are the last days in the sense that there is nothing that God must yet accomplish in history other than the return of Jesus himself. There is no trigger, nothing that must happen to set the clock for Jesus’ return. Jesus can return at any time.”
“Lots of unclarity, but these are the realities that are depicted here: Jesus will return and it will mark the end of history as we know it. The Kingdom has come, or inaugurated, but not consummated. Disciples are citizens of two countries – of this age, and the age to come. Hence the glory and shame of the Christian life and the life to come.”
“Matthew does nothing to encourage detailed millennial expectations or speculations about the rapture. He steadily fixes our eyes on the king, who is one day coming back to be crowned. And that is something to look forward to. That is something no vision of the future, in any religion or philosophy can match. It is good news.”
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.