Search:
Commentaries Illustrations Blog

The Olivet Discourse

Email this commentaryPrint this commentary

Dr. George Sweeting once estimated that “more than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy...Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1800 references appear in the O.T. Of the 260 chapters in the N.T., there are more th … More

Prophecy

This section forms Jesus’ most prophetic message of the coming of the end of the world (or the present age) which is often referred to as His Olivet Discourse. After Jesus left his discussion with the religious leaders he returned to Bethany by way of the Mount of Olives where He could look down on the temple courtyard. He sat down at the brow of the hill and the disciples had an opportunity to ask him some questions privately (vv. 1-4). (1) When will this happen, (2) what will be the sign of your coming and (3) when will the end of the world be? From this point on Jesus spends his time answering these questions (vv. 5-14).

Interpretation of this Discourse ranges widely from liberal (Allen, Moffat, etc.) to conservative (among whom there is variation from amillennial, Hendricksen; to post-tribulational, Morgan; to pretribulational, Kent and Walvoord). Personally I agree with Walvoord who views this as events of the Church Age leading up to the Tribulation Period. Actually I believe the key to interpreting this section rests in one’s view of the “gospel of the kingdom” (vv. 13-14). Since Matthew has already shown in his selection of parables that the present form of the kingdom of heaven is the church, it seems more proper to view the events in these verses as relating to the entire Church Age and culminating especially at the end of it. That time will be characterized by false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, rising of false prophets, wickedness shall increase, the love of many will grow cold and the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations (vv. 11-14).

Application

I need to be ready to meet Jesus today? Though the time of His coming may be uncertain, the fact of it is not.  He “will come.” I must continue to be ready.

Matthew 24:1-14 (English Standard Version)

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 close of the age?" And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

Do you have any questions or thoughts about this?
Post your comment or question below.
*Screen Name:
Question or
comment:
* denotes required field

subscribe to family-times.net

© Family Times | About Us  |  Donate  |  Contact Us

Search for sermons by: Commentaries | Scripture search | Topics