See Verse / Commentary

Matthew

As Jesus was leaving the Temple his disciples came to him, pointing out the Temple buildings. He said to them, “Do you see all these buildings? I am telling you the truth: there will not be one stone left on another. All will be torn down.” As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him in private and asked, “Please explain to us when these things will happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and end of the age?” “Be careful that no one misleads you,” Jesus replied. “Many will come claiming to speak on my authority, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many people. You will be hearing about wars and rumors of wars, but do not be afraid. These things have to happen, but that is not yet the end. Nations will rise up to fight against other nations, and kingdoms will fight against kingdoms; there will be famines and earthquakes in various places, but all these things are just the first of the coming birth pains. “Then they will arrest you, persecute you, and kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many believers will fall away, betray one another, and hate one another. Many false prophets will come and deceive many people. The increasing evil will make the love of many grow cold, but whoever holds out to the end will be saved. “This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached around the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. So when you see standing in the holy place the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ predicted by the prophet Daniel (whoever reads this should think about it carefully), then those living in Judea should run away to the mountains. Whoever is on the housetop should not go down and get what is in the house. Whoever is out in the fields should not go back to get their coat. How hard for those who are pregnant, and those who are nursing babies at that time! Pray that you do not have to run away in winter, or on the Sabbath day. For then there will be a great tribulation such as never was before, from the beginning of the world up till now, and will never be again. Unless those days are cut short, nobody would be saved, but for the sake of the chosen those days will be cut short. If anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look, the Messiah is here — or there,’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will come along, and they will perform amazing signs and miracles in order to deceive even the chosen, if possible. Look, I have told you this before it happens. So if they tell you, ‘Look, he is in the desert,’ do not go looking; or ‘Look, he is here inside,’ do not believe it. For the coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning flashing brightly from east to west. ‘Vultures gather where the carcass is.’ “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not shine, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and brilliant majesty. With a trumpet blast he will send out his angels, and they will gather together his chosen from every direction, from one end of the sky to the other. “Learn from the example of a fig tree: When its branches become tender and leaves sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things happening, know that his coming is near, right at the door. I am telling you the truth: this present evil society will not pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “Yet no one knows the day or hour when this will be, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son. Only the Father knows. The coming of the Son of Man will be just as in the time of Noah. Just as in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, right up until the day that Noah went into the Ark, and they did not realize until the flood came and swept them all away — so the coming of the Son of Man will be. Two men will be in the fields. One will be taken; the other left. Two women will be grinding grain at the mill. One will be taken; the other left. “So stay alert, because you do not know which day your lord is coming. But think about this: if a homeowner knew what time a thief was coming, he would keep watch, and would not allow his house to be broken into. You too need to be ready, because the Son of Man is coming when you do not expect him. “Who then is the faithful and thoughtful servant — the one his lord puts in charge of his household, to provide them with food at the right time? Blessed is that servant to be found doing just that when his lord returns. I am telling you the truth: he will put that servant in charge over everything he has. But if he was evil, that servant would say to himself, ‘My lord is taking a long time,’ and would start to beat his fellow servants, to feast and drink with the drunks. Then the lord of that servant will return when he is not expecting, and at a time he does not know. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”

Matthew