Read Matthew 23 - 24
In Today's Reading:
Hypocrisy denounced; destruction of the Temple foretold; signs of Christ's return
Following the cleansing of the Temple and the denouncing of the religious leaders as hypocrites, the Lord sat with His disciples on the Mount of Olives and foretold: Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax (become) cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come. . . . Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:11-14,35). Like the Pharisees of old, the false prophets today substitute contemporary opinions and situation ethics for the authority of God's Word.
On the Mount of Olives, just three days before His crucifixion, our Lord foretold the destruction of the Temple. It was destroyed about 40 years after His resurrection. He also spoke of His future return from heaven, saying: Of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only (24:36). He also warned: Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come. . . . Therefore be . . . ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of Man comes (24:42,44).
Jesus made no attempt to give details concerning the soon destruction of Jerusalem nor of the more distant end of the age. But these words from the King emphasized the importance of always being prepared. In speaking a parable of two servants, Jesus said: Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. . . . But . . . if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; And shall begin to smite (beat) his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when . . . he is not aware of . . . and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:45-51).
23:5 phylacteries = small boxes containing Scripture texts worn by Jews as a reminder to keep the Law (see Deuteronomy 6:8); 23:15 compass = to encircle or surround; 23:29 garnish = to decorate, to adorn.
For Matthew 23:39: See Psa. 118:26. Matt. 24:15: See Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Matt. 24:29: See Isa. 13:10; 24:23; 34:4; Ezek. 32:7; Joel 2:10,31; 3:15; Zeph. 1:15. Matt. 24:30: See Dan. 7:13. Matt. 24:31: See Deut. 4:32; Isa. 27:13; Dan. 7:2; Zech. 2:6. Matt. 24:38: See Gen. 7:7.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored in memory of Iva Ann McElroy · Pray for Government Official: Rep. Joseph Pitts (PA) · Country: Thailand (60 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Thai and English · Limited freedom of Christian ministry; Buddhism is the state religion · 92% Buddhist; 4% Muslim; 2% Chinese folk-religionist; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede for others (Exodus 32:31-32).
Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 2:14