As I read Matthew 24:1-34 tonight I was reminded of one of the tools of Bible study which is to look for repetition. If God repeats it multiple times; it must be something He wants us to understand.
Jesus is telling His disciples to pay attention because there will be many who will try to deceive them about His return. It seems very important to Jesus that His disciples know the truth so they will not be led astray in the future.
It also seems important to the disciples or they wouldn’t have raised the issue. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (v-3b)
So one of the things we are to take away from Matthew 24 is God cares very deeply that we know the truth and that we not allow anyone or anything to deceive or lead us astray. I think this applies to any area of life; not just knowing the truth about the signs of Jesus’ return.
Let’s look at the examples of Jesus exonerating His disciples regarding this theme of truth versus lie in Matthew 24.
“I tell you the truth…” (v-2)
“Watch out that no one deceives you.” (v-4)
“…and will deceive many.” (v-5)
“…and will deceive many people.” (v-11)
“…do not believe it.” (v-23)
“…do not believe it.” (v-26)
“I tell you the truth…” (v-34)
Doesn’t that seem pretty repetitious to you? God wants us to know the difference between the truth and a lie. And where do lies come from? “The father of lies…the devil.” (John 8:44) NIV
What does all this have to do with being a parent of a child with an eating disorder? Check back tomorrow and we’ll talk some more about it.
Here is Matthew 24:1-35:
1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, ‘ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand– 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 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. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.