OPENING-There is a lot going on right now in our country. Events like these cause people to react and many times interpret things in a variety of ways:
some people become overly fixated on events (frenzied) and overreact to what is going on.
other people are completely unmoved and indifferent to what’s going on.
others become fearful
while others still become distraught and hopeless.
2. TRANSITION: This morning I want to look at a passage of scripture in Matthew 24 where some of Jesus disciples were asking similar questions and had similar concerns. We want to see how Jesus answered them and then see what we can learn from what he said and how we can apply it to our lives.
3. BACKGROUND of MATTHEW 24–
D.A. Carson, a New Testament scholar, begins his commentary on Matthew 24 with the following words: “Few chapters of the Bible have called forth more disagreement among interpreters than Matthew 24 and its parallels in Mark 13 and Luke 21. The history of the interpretation of this chapter is immensely complex.”
To understand the context of Matthew 24 we have to go back to Matthew 16:21 where Jesus tells his disciples, “from that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” THE REST OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 16-24 IS JESUS ON HIS WAY TO JERUSALEM TO THIS CULMINATING EVENT. THE DISCIPLES WERE THINKING THAT THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, THE REIGN OF THE MESSIAH WAS CLOSE AT HAND BECAUSE OF EVERYTHING GOING ON. In Matthew 19:28 Jesus tells them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Then in Matthew 21:1-11 Jesus has his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. THE DISCIPLES WERE WONDERING WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, HOW IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, AND WHEN IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. At the end of chapter 23 Jesus talks about the destruction of Jerusalem and about His return. When you come into Matthew 24 this is the context.
Hey Jesus, I thought you were coming to save and preserve our religious system (Judaism), our way, and our institutions? Look how beautiful this is! WE CANNOT BE SURPRISED WHEN JESUS IS WILLING TO ALLOW IDOLS TO BE DESTROYED.