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 (people, tribes); and then shall the end come. . . . Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:11-14,35). False prophets oppose the authority of Christ. 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 that would take place about 40 years after His resurrection. He also spoke of His future return from heaven, saying: But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels (messengers) 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 the more distant end of the age. But these words from the King emphasized the importance of always being prepared by speaking a parable of two servants. One was an evil servant and the other was faithful and 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 (Divinely favored) is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. . . . But and 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 looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder (into pieces), and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites (pretenders): 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 = travel all over; 23:29 garnish = decorate, adorn.
For Matthew 23:39: See Psalm 118:26. Matthew 24:15: See Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Matthew 24:29: See Isaiah 13:10; 24:23; 34:4; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10,31; 3:15; Zephaniah 1:15. Matthew 24:30: See Daniel 7:13. Matthew 24:31: See Deuteronomy 30:4; Isaiah 27:13; Zechariah 2:6. Matthew 24:38: See Genesis 6:3-5; 7:7.
BP Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Pray for Nabil Ajamian, Voice of the Truth, editor for Arabic Bible Pathway translation · Government Official: Rep Joseph Pitts (PA) · Country: Turkey (66 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe · Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic · Official resistance to Christian witnessing · 99+% Muslim; .5% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Thank God in prayer for His faithfulness to His Word and His desire that all come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:10