Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 23:35-25:46

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Matthew 23:35

blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah. There were many people named Zechariah in the Bible and we do not know which one Jesus is referring to here. It is possible that this Zechariah was the prophet who was killed in the courtyard of the temple (2 Chr. 24:20-22). Thus, the reference to Abel and Zechariah refers to righteous people being killed across the whole span of human history from the beginning of the Bible (Genesis) to the end of the OT (Chronicles).

Jesus' Teaching on the Future Judgment – Matthew 24:1–25:46

As the second part of the Judgment Discourse, Jesus focused on God's judgment that is coming upon faithless Israel and its leaders. The main point for Christians is the call to live faithfully to God as they await the kingdom.

Matthew 24:1

The Temple. The Temple in Jerusalem was the most important part of Jewish worship, culture, and identity. It was first built by King Solomon but had been destroyed and then rebuilt in the 5th century BC. It was finally destroyed by the Romans in AD70.

Matthew 24:3

Your coming and the end of the age. Based on various OT teachings, the Jewish people expected God to return to bring about the age of his final reign upon the earth, also known as the kingdom of God. With Jesus' teaching his disciples now understood that these events are centered on Jesus himself as the true King and the one who will bring the kingdom of God upon the earth. They do not yet fully understand, however, when these things will happen.

Tribulation for Christians – Matthew 24:5-14

Jesus described the trials and difficulties of the present age for his followers until his final return. This time will include both great persecution and the spread of the gospel throughout the whole world.

Matthew 24:15

Abomination of desolation. This odd expression comes from the Book of Daniel (Dan. 9:26-27; 11:31) and refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the defilement of God's Temple by Gentile unbelievers. Here Jesus picks up on this language to explain the events that will happen in AD70 as well as before his final return to the earth.

Matthew 24:16

Flee to the mountains. During the Jewish war in the decades following Jesus' life, many Christians fled Jerusalem "in obedience to a prophecy," as the church historian Eusebius records (Ecclesiastical History 3.5).

Matthew 24:17-18

Housetopfield. These images are used to express the urgency and suddenness of the tribulation that is coming upon the world.

Matthew 24:22

The elect. Jesus has already taught that God must reveal the Son to people or else they will not be able to understand and believe (Matt. 11:25-27). These are the "elect" he is referring to.

Matthew 24:27

Son of Man. Jesus frequently (Matt. 8:20; 9:6; 16:13; 20:28; 24:30; 26:64) referred to himself with this designation from Daniel 7:13-14. This expression highlights Jesus' authority and unique role in God's work in the world.

Matthew 24:29

The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light. These are poetic, symbolic images that are used to refer to the coming of the new and final age of the world that God will bring through Jesus. They symbolize a reversal of creation to indicate a change in the cosmos.

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