The Passion Translation
Jesus Prophesies the Destruction of the Temple
24 As Jesus was leaving the temple courts, his disciples came to him and pointed out the beautiful aspects of the architecture of the temple structures. 2 And Jesus turned to them and said, “Take a good look at all these things, for I’m telling you, there will not be one stone left upon another. It will all be leveled!”[a]
3 Later, when they arrived at the Mount of Olives, his disciples came privately to where he was sitting and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what supernatural sign should we expect to signal your coming[b] and the completion of this age?”[c]
4 Jesus answered, “At that time deception will run rampant. So beware that you are not fooled! 5 For many will appear on the scene claiming my authority or saying about themselves, ‘I am God’s Anointed,’ and they will lead many astray.
6 “You will hear of wars nearby and revolutions on every side, with more rumors of wars to come. Don’t panic or give in to your fears, for the breaking apart of the world’s systems is destined to happen. But it won’t yet be the end; it will still be unfolding.
7 “Nations[d] will go to war against each other and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be terrible earthquakes—seismic events of epic proportion, horrible epidemics[e] and famines in place after place. 8 This is how the first contractions and birth pains of the new age will begin!”[f]
Persecution of Believers
9 “You can expect to be persecuted, even killed; for you will be hated by all the nations because of your love for me.[g] 10 Then many will stop following me and fall away,[h] and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many lying prophets will arise, deceiving multitudes and leading them away from the path of truth. 12 There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold. 13 But keep your hope[i] to the end and you will experience life and deliverance.
14 “Yet through it all, this joyful assurance of the realm of heaven’s kingdom will be proclaimed all over the world, providing every nation with a demonstration of the reality of God. And after this the end of this age will arrive.”
The Detestable Idol That Brings Misery
15 “When you witness what Daniel prophesied, ‘the disgusting destroyer,’[j] taking its stand[k] in the Holy Place [let the reader learn],[l] 16 then those in the land of Judah must escape to the higher ground.[m] 17 On that day, if you happen to be outside,[n] don’t go back inside to gather belongings. 18 And if you’re working out in the field, don’t run back home to get a coat. 19 It will be especially hard for pregnant women and for those nursing their babies in those days. 20 So pray that your escape will not be during the winter months or on a Sabbath. 21 For this will be a time of great misery beyond the magnitude of anything the world has ever seen or ever will see. Unless God limited those days, no one would escape. 22 But because of his love for those chosen to be his, he will shorten that time of trouble.
23 “And you will hear reports from some, saying, ‘Look, he has returned,’ ‘The Messiah is over here,’ or ‘The Messiah is over there!’ Don’t believe it. 24 For there will be imposters falsely claiming to be God’s ‘Anointed One,’ and false prophets[o] will arise to perform miracle signs to lead astray, if possible, those God has chosen to be his. 25 Remember this, for I prophesy it will happen! 26 So if someone says to you, ‘Look, the Anointed One has returned! He’s in the desert,’ don’t go chasing after him. Or if they say to you, ‘Look, he’s here in our house,’[p] don’t believe it. 27 The appearing[q] of the Son of Man will burst forth with the brightness of a lightning strike that shines from one end of the sky to the other, illuminating the earth. 28 How do birds of prey know where the dead body is?[r] They just know instinctively, and so you will know when I appear.”
The Appearing of the Son of Man
29 “Then immediately this is what will take place: ‘The sun will be darkened and the moon give no light. The stars will fall from the sky and all the cosmic powers will be shaken.’[s] 30 Then the sign announcing the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn over him.[t] And they will see the Son of Man appearing in the clouds of heaven, revealed with mighty power,[u] great splendor, and glory. 31 And he will send his messengers with the loud blast of the trumpet,[v] and with a great voice[w] they will gather his beloved chosen ones by the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other!”
A Parable of the Fig Tree
32 “Now learn the lesson from the parable of the fig tree. When spring arrives and it sends out its tender branches and sprouts leaves, you know that ripe fruit[x] is soon to appear. 33 So it will be with you, for when you observe all these things taking place, you will know that he is near, even at the door! 34 I assure you, the end of this age will not come until all I have spoken comes to pass. 35 The earth and sky will wear out and fade away before one word I speak loses its power or fails to accomplish its purpose.”
Live Always Ready for His Appearing
36 “Concerning that day and exact hour, no one knows when it will arrive, not even the angels of heaven[y]—only the Father knows. 37 For it will be exactly like it was in the days of Noah when the Son of Man appears.[z] 38 Before the flood, people lived their lives eating, drinking, marrying, and having children.[aa] 39 They didn’t realize the end was near until Noah entered the ark, and then suddenly, the flood came and took them all away in judgment. It will happen the same way when the Son of Man appears. 40 At that time, two men will be working on the farm; one will be taken away in judgment, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding grain; one will be taken away in judgment, the other left.[ab] 42 This is why you must stay alert: because no one knows the day your Lord will come.
43 “But realize this: If a homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would come to rob his house, he would have been alert and ready, and not let his house be robbed. 44 So always be ready, alert, and prepared, because at an hour when you’re not expecting him, the Son of Man will come.”
The Wise and Faithful Servant
45 “Who is the one qualified to oversee the master’s house? He will be a reliable servant who is wise and faithful, one he can depend on. The master will want to give him the responsibility of overseeing others in his house, for his servant will lead them well and give them food at the right time. 46 What joy and blessing will come to that faithful servant when the master comes home to find him serving with excellence! 47 I can promise you, the master will raise him up and put him in charge of all that he owns.
48 “But the evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master delays his coming, and who knows when he will return?’ And because of the delay, the servant mistreats those in his master’s household. Instead of caring for the ones he was appointed to serve, 49 he abuses the other servants and gives himself over to eating and drinking with drunkards. 50 Let me tell you what will happen to him. His master will suddenly return at a time that surprises him, and he will remove the abusive, selfish servant from his position of trust. 51 And the master will cut him in two[ac] and assign him to the place of great sorrow and anguish[ad] along with all the other pretenders and unbelievers.”
- Matthew 24:2 This prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled by the Roman prince Titus, who, in the Roman war of AD 67–70, destroyed the temple. In about AD 135 the emperor Hadrian completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem and built a new city on its foundations and named it Aelia Capitolina.
- Matthew 24:3 Or “presence” (Gr. parousia).
- Matthew 24:3 Although it is possible to translate this “the end of the world,” the Hebraic mind-set of the end of days is a transition into a new age of the Messiah’s coming when all things will be restored.
- Matthew 24:7 Or “ethnic group.” See 2 Chron. 15:6; Isa. 19:2.
- Matthew 24:7 Although missing from a few Greek manuscripts, “horrible epidemics” is found in the Hebrew Matthew, the Aramaic, and the majority of Greek texts.
- Matthew 24:8 The translators are aware of distorted use of the words “new age”; however, true believers in Christ anticipate the coming of a new day (age) dawning, with Christ and his bride ruling the nations. See Joel 2; Rev. 3:21.
- Matthew 24:9 Or “because of my name.”
- Matthew 24:10 The Aramaic is “Many will stumble” (or take offense).
- Matthew 24:13 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “endure.”
- Matthew 24:15 Or “the abomination [sin] that brings desolation [desecration].” See Dan. 8:13; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Jesus is saying that Daniel’s prophecy was not yet fulfilled in Jesus’ time. Many see the fulfillment of this prophecy in AD 70, when Titus, the Roman prince, went into the temple and sacrificed animals to Jupiter.
- Matthew 24:15 The Aramaic is “the defiling sign of desolation piling up (setting up) in the Holy Place.”
- Matthew 24:15 These parenthetical words were added by Matthew to encourage us to seek the Lord for the understanding of this mystery. Jesus, speaking in the role of the True Prophet, gives us truth to ponder in veiled language.
- Matthew 24:16 See Jer. 16:16; Zech. 14:5; Luke 21:20-22.
- Matthew 24:17 Or “on the roof.”
- Matthew 24:24 The Aramaic is “prophets of lies.”
- Matthew 24:26 Or “in the inner rooms.”
- Matthew 24:27 Or “presence” (Gr. parousia).
- Matthew 24:28 Or “Wherever you find the corpse, there the eagles will gather.” This peculiar verse is best understood as a parallel of vultures knowing where the carcass is (for example) to how instinctively believers will know when Jesus has appeared.
- Matthew 24:29 See Isa. 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:10; Amos 8:9. This can also be viewed as a Hebraic metaphor of the lights of the natural realm being shut off and replaced with heaven’s glory—lights out on the old order. Sun, moon, and stars are also representative of the governmental structures failing with great calamity. A new order, a new glory, is coming to replace the fading glories of this world.
- Matthew 24:30 See Zech. 12:10-14; Rev. 1:7.
- Matthew 24:30 The Hebrew Matthew is “mighty warriors.”
- Matthew 24:31 There is always a deeper meaning to the literal understanding of the text of the Bible. This deeper meaning does not negate the literal, but gives a fuller comprehension. Clouds are metaphors of God’s presence among his people. The trumpet blast is symbolic of the universal announcement that will be heard by all.
- Matthew 24:31 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew, which can also be translated “with a great shout.” This is also found in the Latin Vulgate translated by Jerome, who is believed to have had access to the manuscript of the Hebrew Matthew.
- Matthew 24:32 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew. The Greek is “summer is near.”
- Matthew 24:36 A few Greek manuscripts add “nor the Son.” However, that phrase is missing in many Greek texts and is not found in the Hebrew Matthew, the Aramaic, or the Latin Vulgate.
- Matthew 24:37 Or “so it will be in the Lord’s presence” (Gr. parousia).
- Matthew 24:38 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew, which is literally “being fruitful and multiplying” (having children). The Greek is “marrying and giving in marriage.”
- Matthew 24:41 One of the three manuscripts of the Hebrew Matthew, known as Shem-Tob, includes additional text: “This is because the angels at the end of the age will first remove the stumbling blocks [the wicked] from the world and will separate the good from the evil.” This passage is not speaking of what is known as the “rapture,” for as it was in the days of Noah, the evil were “taken” and the righteous were “left.”
- Matthew 24:51 Most likely hyperbole. The Greek word dichotomeō could also mean that God “will separate him from himself” (soul and body).
- Matthew 24:51 Or “gnashing of teeth.”