The Olivet Discourse (Three)

It is written:

“”But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

In Matthew 24:4-34, Jesus discussed the signs that would precede the destruction of the city of Jerusalem (which occurred about forty years later, in 70 A.D.).

The text of Matthew 24 makes it clear that Jesus stopped from discussing the destruction of Jerusalem and began talking about the Second Coming in Matthew 24:36. An example of this evidence is seen from the Greek phrase “peri de” used in Matthew 24:36. As Gentry points out:

“Let us now look at the evidence that Jesus is shifting his attention from the destruction of the temple in AD 70 to his second coming at the end of history. I will present more than a dozen arguments for the transition in Matthew 24….In Matthew 24: 36 we come upon an subject-matter transition device: “But of that day and hour no one knows.” The introductory phrase here in the Greek is: peri de (“ but of, concerning, regarding”). This grammatical structure suggests a transition in the passage involving a change of subject. We may see this phrase frequently marking off new material, as in Matthew 22: 31; Acts 21: 25; 1 Thessalonians 4: 9; and 5: 1. Allow me to quickly focus on several very clear subject-transition uses of peri de in 1Corinthians. There we see that Paul is turning his attention to one question after another that the Corinthians asked him: “Now concerning the things about which you wrote” (1 Cor 7: 1). “Now concerning virgins” (7: 25). “Now concerning things sacrificed to idols” (8: 1). “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren” (12: 1). In each case he is clearly introducing new subjects that respond to different questions presented to him….Focusing once again on Matthew 24: 36 we read: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Here Christ states that in his state of humiliation (the period from the time of his earthly conception within Mary’s womb until his glorification at his resurrection) he himself has no knowledge as to when “that day and hour” will occur. But of what “day and hour” is he speaking? He must be speaking of his future second advent because in the preceding section of his Discourse he tells his disciples that numerous signs will be given, but that “the end [of the temple] is not yet” (Matt 24: 6). This indicates that he definitely knows when that event will occur. He also dogmatically teaches them that these earlier things will certainly happen in “this generation” (24: 34). Thus, as Nolland notes: “there is a deliberate contrast between the confident tone of the predictive materials thus far in the chapter, climaxing in v. 34, and the present insistence that only the Father knows.”…By the very nature of the case, the numerous events leading up to the Roman military destruction of the temple in AD 70 will require a number of days. Hence, in the portion of his Discourse prior to Matthew 24: 36 Jesus mentions “those days [plural]” (v 19, 29) and even comforts his disciples by noting that “those days” will be “cut short” (v 22). This mention of the days of the tribulation period are set in stark contrast to the singular day —indeed, the exact moment —of the second coming: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matt 24: 36). After this transition at 24: 36 he repeatedly mentions the singular “day” (24: 42, 50) or “the day” and “the hour” (25: 13). The second advent does not involve a series of historical actions, as is the case with the Roman military operations against the Jews, Jerusalem, and the temple. The second advent is a one-time, catastrophic event conducted by a singular individual, Christ himself…In the first section Christ urges desperate flight from the area, clearly implying there will be time and opportunity to flee: “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” (Matt 24: 16). In fact, one particular sign —the abomination of desolation —will be the cue to leave the area. Because of this opportunity of flight, many lives of God’s elect will be saved: “unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short” (24: 22). But upon entering the second section of the Discourse we hear of no commands to escape, no opportunities for flight.” (Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Olivet Discourse Made Easy: You. An Understand Jesus’ Great Prophetic Discourse, 2453-2589 (Kindle Edition); Draper, VA; Apologetics Group Media)

Jesus begins talking about the Second Coming in Matthew 24:36, while Matthew 24:4-35 dealt with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Are you ready for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:9)?

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: