|The Second Coming of Christ 8
Read Matthew 23.27-25.46
Jesus was to send His disciples unto the Jewish nation and the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:8), who would be
endowed with special gifts (Mark 16:17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:28-30) and would bear witness that they were from God (Hebrews 2:1-4) until the full
revelation of God was given in the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25; 1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Ephesians 4:10-14).
These disciples would be prophets, wise men, and scribes, some of whom would be scourged (2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 11:23), some of whom be persecuted
from city to city, and some of whom would be killed, even by crucifixion. This is what the Jews of Jesus time were to do and did to those whom He sent
forth, for the Jews were the same in character as Cain who slew Abel, and their fathers who had slain Zacharius.
Truly they did fill "the measure" of their fathers (Matthew 23:29-33). The Jews had constantly striven against the Holy Spirit by rejecting the messengers
sent of God, even the only begotten Son of God (Acts 7; Matthew 21:33-46). Therefore, they would pay in the present generation of Jesus' time the price
for shedding righteous blood, "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth." "Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."
Jerusalem, that great city of God, the place of the temple, the capitol of Israel and Judah; yet, the same people who rejected the messengers of God, the
prophets, killing them, stoning them. How often God had sent tot hem His Word to draw them back in the olden days! How often Jesus would have
turned them back to God and taken them under His loving protection! Yet, they rebelled! They refused! Because they have left God, not because God has
left them, their house is left desolate. They have forsaken He Who could fill their house with blessings, and therefore have nothing. The nation of Israel
would not see Jesus again until He came in His kingdom in fulfillment of Psalm 118:19-29. They would see Him through the eyes of faith as the corner
stone rejected, proclaiming with their heart and soul, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the LORD."
Jesus having departed from the temple, was approached by His disciples for the purpose of showing Him the buildings of the temple -- those edifices
which were the pride of Israel, because of the mammoth size of the construction and the precious materials used, leading the national pride of Israel to
believe that the buildings would last until the end of the world itself. (The disciples evidently took
part in this national pride.)
Jesus responded to the disciples that not one stone would be left upon another; it would all be destroyed.
When Jesus sat down upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples questioned Him further about His statement about the temple. The disciples really asked
two questions which were fused into one in their mind because of the national pride in the temple. (1) When shall these things (the destruction of the
temple buildings) be?; and, (2) What shall be the sign of Jesus' coming, and the end of the world? Although the questions fused as one in the minds of
the disciples, they are separated in answer and fact by Jesus and History.
Jesus answered the questions of the disciples in the same manner in which we would do if asked a series of questions, in the order they were asked. First,
Jesus speaks concerning the destruction of the temple buildings (Matthew 24:4-35; Mark 13:1-31; Luke 21:5-33); and then, speak of His second coming
and the end of the world (Matthew 24:36-25:46; Mark 13:32-37).
The disciples are warned to not be deceived by the many false Christs, or Messiahs, which would come into the world claiming to be the Promised One of
Israel deceiving many people. Josephus records a number of parties after the death of Christ claiming to establish a physical kingdom, making a
messianic claim (Ant. XX.5.1; 8.6,10; Wars II.13.4,5).
[to be continued]