Jesus has condemned and rebuked the religious leaders at the Temple, culminating in his statement that the Temple will soon be destroyed (Matthew 24:2).
But the disciples thought, “If the Temple is ending, the world must be ending too.” So they ask when all of this will happen (Matthew 24:3).
Jesus references a number of prophecies that talk about the temple’s destruction (Daniel 9:27).
Jesus is saying that the Temple is under God’s wrath and this generation will see it destroyed - which it was in A.D. 70 (Matthew 24:34).
But this did not mean the end of the world.
Nevertheless, after talking about the temple’s destruction, Jesus addresses the disciple’s questions about the end of the world (Matthew 24:36).
While the end of the temple may be predicated by signs and indicators, the coming of Jesus will be completely different.
Jesus instructs his disciples to keep watch because no one knows the day or time (Matthew 24:44). They should act like the master was going to return each and every day (Matthew 24:46).
Jesus then tells three parables to portray his coming.
The story of the virgins with their lamps, emphasizes keeping watch for the Master’s return (Matthew 25:1).
The story of the servants with their bags of gold, stresses how knowing the Master’s return is imminent should lead us to be about his business today (Matthew 25:14).
Finally is the story of the sheep and goats. Knowing that the compassionate Jesus is returning, should lead us to have compassion toward those in need (Matthew 25:32).
All three stories show dire consequences like weeping and gnashing of teeth for those who don’t keep watch (Matthew 25:30). But great rewards, like an eternal banquet with God, for those who do (Matthew 25:34).
Jesus doesn’t give the disciples a timeline about his return – he gives them a mindset. This is what’s coming, so live alert and expectant.
Why is this good news?
The temple stood under God’s wrath because it no longer filled its role. But Jesus perfectly filled the temple’s role on the cross (Hebrews 9:11). For every sacrifice that could ever take place in the temple was completed by him (Hebrews 10:12).
But that’s not it. God’s temple is no longer a building - it’s believers filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21).
This is good news! God no longer dwells in a house we can’t enter. Instead, God has made his house in the bodies of his people.
Jesus uses the image of a wedding feast to portray his coming. He is the bridegroom, and the good news is that the church is his bride.
Jesus died and rose to save us so that He can be united with us forever (Ephesians 5:25). And it is every Christian’s joy and journey to live in expectation of when Christ the Bridegroom will return to claim his Bride, the Church (Revelation 21:2).
We are not saved based on whether or not we do enough while the master is gone. We are saved based on our hope that master is coming back (Romans 8:24). And as we live in expectancy for his return, our lives will be changed to look like the master wishes.
See for Yourself
May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see the God who owns the world and judges accordingly. And Jesus as the King who will return in glory.