WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN MATTHEW 24 BSF LESSON 24
- With Jesus, there is hope
- Persevere in faith with Christ’s help
- Jesus will return for us
- Be prepared for Jesus’s return at any time
- Continually spread Jesus wherever you go
- God is in control
You know summer is near when the twigs and leaves of a fig tree get tender and come out. This generation won’t pass away until all of these things have happened. Jesus’s words won’t pass away.
Only God knows when the Second Coming will be. When the Son comes again, life will be normal as it was in the days of Noah before the flood. People ate, drank, and got married as normal. Some will be taken; others won’t.
Jesus says to keep watch because no one knows what day he will come, and he will come at an hour no one expects. It’s good for the faithful and wise servant to be taking care of the master’s household until he returns. If he is wicked, however, and beats his fellow servants and hang out with drunkards, he will be cut to pieces when the master returns and assigned a place amongst the hypocrites with weeping and gnashing of teeth.
10) This generation won’t pass away until all of these things have happened. Jesus’s words won’t pass away.
11a) When the Son comes again, life will be normal as it was in the days of Noah before the flood. People ate, drank, and got married as normal. In Noah’s day, people were so wicked God destroyed them.
b) Only God knows when the Second Coming will be.
12) The man did not watch his house as he should, so thieves snuck in. We need to be watchful so we are not lost when Jesus comes.
13) We must keep the faith and God’s commands, so that we are ready when Jesus comes because no one knows when that will be. We are to be faithful and serve.
14) Just be mindful that Jesus is always watching, that this earth is temporary and not my home, that I belong elsewhere, and remind myself periodically that Jesus is coming again soon.
I didn’t remember that only God knows when Jesus will return. This is encouraging since none of us know, so it’s best to treat every day as if Jesus will appear.
The fig tree grows abundantly in Isreal and is mentioned many times in the Old Testament as a symbol of abundance. We see in Jeremiah 24:1-10 and Hosea 9:10, figs or fig trees represent Israel. The Luke version of this story Luke 21:29-31: shows clearly that the fig tree is used a sign that the kingdom of God is near.
When these signs appear, so will Jesus:
The generation is the generation that sees these signs. Some Bible scholars believe that “generation” really means race and refers to the Jews, meaning they will survive to the end. No one knows which generation it will be.
Many are confused by how Jesus’s coming cannot be known since only God knows it, yest Daniel says it will be exactly 1,290 days after the abomination of desolation (Daniel 12:11).
The days of Noah were marked by evil, violence, and demons, which is why God destroyed humanity and decided to start over.(Genesis 6:1-5).
Again, how can people go on living with such evil all around them?
Bible scholar William Barclay on this passage: “It is in two sections and they seem to contradict each other. The first (verses 32-35) seem to indicate that, as a man can tell by the signs of nature when summer is on the way, so he can tell by the signs of the world when the Second Coming is on the way. The second section (verses 36-41) says quite definitely that no one knows the time of the Second Coming, not the angels, not even Jesus himself, but only God; and that it will come upon men with the suddenness of a rainstorm out of a blue sky.”
This dicotomy is explained by knowing that there are two second comings here: the rapture (where all believers will be caught up and meet the Lord in the air. The bodies of the dead will be resurrected, and all believers, living and dead, will be glorified) and then the Second Coming (where Jesus will set up his kingdom, judge his enemies, and reward the faithful).
While we wait for Jesus, we must wait for his coming, be faithful, and we’ll be rewarded when he comes. The evil servant is not ready, instead not attending to God’s business, mistreating others, and indulging in the pleasures of this world.
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Jesus warns the disciples to not believe these false Christs. The coming of the Son of Man will be visible. The sun will be darkened, the moon won’t shine, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will shake. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. The Son of Man will come on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. His angels will sound a trumpet, and he will gather the elect.
8a) The coming of the Son of Man will be visible. The sun will be darkened, the moon won’t shine, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will shake. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. The Son of Man will come on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. His angels will sound a trumpet, and he will gather the elect.
Zechariah 12:10: The House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will grieve for Jesus and mourn him.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: The Lord will come down from heaven with a loud command wtih the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, those who are sill alive will be caught up together with him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.
Revelation 1:7: Jesus will come with the clouds and everyone will see him, even those who pierced him and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.
9) It’s encourging to know that Jesus will come and that there is life not full of calamity like now. It gives me hope.
The events in Matthew 24 have not yet been fulfilled. It’s good to know the signs so we can be ready.
No one knows what this sign will be except that it will come before his return and it will be visible to the point no one will miss it.
Jesus returns for us. Beautiful thought!
Jesus continues describing the End Times to his disciples on the Mount of Olives. He describes what will happen and says that those in Judea should flee. Don’t take anything with you. If their flight takes place in winter or on the Sabbath, there will be great distress. However, those days will be cut short for the sake of the elect. False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive you.
6a) The destruction of the Jewish temple
c) Jesus will confirm a covenant with many. Forces will desecrate the temple and abolish daily sacrifices. There will be 1,290 days from the time the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up.
7a) “Unequaled from the beginning of the world till now — and never to be equaled again.” “No one would survive” “How dreadful it will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers.” “Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.”
b) You should take the warnings very seriously. They should respond with prayer.
I’m wondering how the disciples felt hearing from this. I would have been afraid.
An interesting read on the Olivet Discourse.
The abomination of desolation is when the Jewish temple will be destroyed and an idolatrous image will be set up in the holy place. This act brings desolation.
Daniel describes the complete desecration of the temple, and Paul discusses this event more in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
There will be 3.5 years after the sign is set up before the consummation of all things.
When the abomination appears, you (the Jewish people) must flee immediately.
Bible scholars believe that the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 AD and the subsequent fleeing of God’s people was a foreshadowing of the coming End Times.
God will remove His church before the Great Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
The Great Tribulation will be terrible, indeed.
All will know that Christ has arrived by his sign. Many will look for false prophets to save them.
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After pronouncing the Seven Woes on the Pharisees, Jesus exits the temple and tells his disciples that the temple will be destroyed. When Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked him when will the temple be destroyed, what will be the sign of his coming, and what will be the sign of the end of the age. Jesus warns them to watch out for those who come in his name but are not him. Wars will happen, and nations will be pitted against nations. There will be famines and earthquakes.
They will be handed over, persecuted, and put to death because of him. They will be hated. Many will turn away from Christ and many false prophets will appear. Those who stand firm in the face of wickedness will be saved. The Gospel will be preached to the whole world and then the end will come.
3a) “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
b) The disciples asked Jesus when will the temple be destroyed, what will be the sign of his coming, and what will be the sign of the end of the age.
4a) “Watch out that no one deceives you.” God sent Jesus, but the false prophets are from the devil. He is a liar.
b) Jesus warns them to watch out for those who come in his name but are not him. Wars will happen, and nations will be pitted against nations and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes. They (the disciples) will be handed over, persecuted, and put to death because of him. They will be hated. Many will turn away from Christ and many false prophets will appear.
c) All of them: wars, nations against each other, famines, earthquakes, death, false prophets, and those turning from Christ.
5) Christ is coming, and it could be any time, so we need to be ready by preparing our hearts.
I like how Jesus doesn’t hold anything back, nor does he sugarcoat what is about to happen to him and to them. Honesty is always the best policy.
Jesus never again returns to the temple, nor will he ever debate the Pharisees and leaders again. He is departing in finality.
The temple was the center of life for every Jew in Jerusalem. It was begun by Zerubbabel and Ezra (Ezra 6:15) and expanded by Herod. People swore by it (Matthew 23:16), and speaking against is was considered blasphemy. (Acts 6:13). Incredibly, the temple was expanded and finished in 63 AD — a mere 7 years before it would be destroyed forever.
The temple was burned in 70 AD, melting all of the precious gold. The Romans wanted the gold, so they dismantled the entire temple to retrieve it.
Jesus has made his way to the Mount of Olives now. The disciples want to know more about Jesus’s prediction. They most likely thought the End Times would be when the temple fell. They were wrong.
Bible scholars debate why Jesus was not clear here and just told the disciples (and us) when the End Times would come. Some speculate it’s to confound the devil; others say it’s so we will always be ready for Jesus’s return. All we know is that he will return.
Biblical prophecy often contains a near-term event coupled with one that is further away.
Satan is the father of lies, and he will be very active at the End Times. False prophets will appear, too.
Jesus mentions things that will occur (wars, famines, earthquakes, etc), but they are not THE sign of the End Times, but they are a sign of the End Times coming.
Jesus now talks about the period after he ascends to heaven but before he comes again. Here:
Jesus’s disciples don’t even fully understand Jesus’s first coming, so they must be insanely confused here.
Fun Fact: The Olivet Discourse is Jesus’s last major teaching recorded before his death.
Learn more about the Olivet Discourse HERE
The cupbearer said in his dream he saw three branches on a vine. It budded, blossomed and ripened into grapes. Then he squeezed the three grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and gave it to him. Joseph told him that he would only be in jail for three days and then he will be restored to his position as chief cupbearer to Pharaoh and continue to put Pharaoh’s cup in Joseph’s hand. Joseph then asks the cupbearer to remember him with Pharaoh to help get him out of this prison since he is an innocent man.
The baker tells his dream to Joseph, saying he dreamed he had three baskets of bread on his head. The top basket has all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating the goods. Joseph tells that baker that in three days Pharaoh will behead the baker and hang him on a tree. The birds will eat his flesh.
Both dreams came to pass. The chief cupbearer was restored in three days, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, and the baker was hung. However, the cupbearer did not remember Joseph.
13) Joseph was honest in his assessment. He could have lied to the baker and said he would live, but he did not.
14) To remember him and mention him to Pharaoh so that he could go free since he has been wrongly imprisoned.
15) The cupbearer was restored his position. The baker was hung. Joseph was forgotten and stayed in jail.
16) Joseph still was in charge so he found comfort in his work. He knew God was with him. God has given him the correct interpretation of the dreams. He was still alive.
17) Taking it day-by-day. You get up and do all that you can do to keep going. You pray; you hope; you pray some more. That’s really all you can do.
So many time those who have helped others are forgotten when someone reaches success. Remember it’s not about glory here on earth; it’s about the glory in heaven you will receive for doing your good deeds. God remembers; that’s all that really matters.
God uses pictures that makes sense to the two men. Wine is made from grapes, which the chief cupbearer dealt in wine all the time.
Note that these are not far off dreams; both will happen in three days. This allows God to give Joseph immediate credibility.
Note how Joseph is working for his release. This shows us we have to take action, too, in what we want. God will help, but we must be active participants.
Joseph delivers the bad news along with the good news. How many of us want to know this as well and need to hear it? The message of judgment is just as important as the message of redemption.
We an assume that the baker was guilty of what he was accused of, while the cupbearer was not.
For Jesus, even a message of death can mean good news if you have accepted him as your Savior. Going to heaven is good news, indeed.
It was not Joseph’s time yet. He still must linger in prison. Preparation for greatness takes years to be molded. Having the patience is allow God to do His work is key.
Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker offended Pharaoh and were put in the same prison as Joseph. Both men had a dream that they could not interpret. Joseph saw that they were sad and asked them why. They said they could not interpret their dreams, so Joseph told them God could and to tell them the dreams.
11) Joseph noticed that they cupbearer and the baker were sad and asked them why. They said they could not interpret their dreams, so Joseph told them God could and to tell them the dreams. This shows that Joseph knew the men well enough to know when they were dejected and cared enough to ask and to offer help.
12) My family. Be more present with them, ask more questions, listen more.
I’m wondering about the repeated phrases here I never noticed before: the repetition of their positions and the fact they were in prison. No word in the Bible is wasted, so there has to be some reason here.
The cupbearer was responsible for tasting all of the drink and food before Pharaoh ate it to make sure it was not poisonous. The baker cooked Pharaoh’s food. Scholars believe there was a plot against Pharaoh, and these two were accused. However, the cupbearer and the baker were in prison for God’s reasons and plans.
Note how Potiphar, who is the captain of the guard, assigned these men to Joseph. Potiphar probably believes Joseph is innocent as indicated by this action. (Genesis 39:1).
Here’s we see Joseph’s heart is like Jesus’s. He helps others and pays attention to their feelings. Most people would not have cared about the sadness of these two men. After all, they were all leading desperate lives as prisoners, so why care about others?
Joseph had a sincere desire to help these men feel better about their dreams. He knew God used dreams to foretell the future like the dreams God had given him. (Genesis 37:5-11), Note how it’s God who knows. Joseph takes no credit for these dreams.
Fun Fact: The Bible records God speaking to almost twice as many nonbelievers as believers. God uses all people in His plans the world.
We know God speaks to us in the Bible for sure. He can speak to us individually as well in other ways.
Joseph was sent to the prison where the king’s prisoners were held after Potiphar’s wife claimed he tried to seduce her. God does not abandon Joseph here either. God granted Joseph favor with the prison warden. Joseph was put in charge of all those held in prison and all the happenings there, allowing the warden the ability to not do anything either, like Potiphar.
7) God granted Joseph favor with the prison warden. Joseph was put in charge of all those held in prison and all the happenings there, allowing the warden the ability to not do anything either, like Potiphar.
8 ) God was with Joseph, and God gave Joseph success in everything he did and on those around Joseph. God uses us to bless others and uses our situation to do so, no matter how dreadful it is.
9a) See Genesis 50:20: “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Psalm 119:50: My comfort in my suffering is that your promise preserves my life.
John 16:33: Jesus has overcome the world. You can have peace in this world.
Romans 8:28-29: God works in all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
2 Corinthians 4:17: “Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
1 Peter 6-7: Your suffering, grief, and trials are so that your faith may be proved genuine, and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus is revealed.
and Revelation 21:4: The old order will pass away and so will grief, death, mourning, crying, or pain.
b) Our suffering grows our faith. We suffer because Jesus suffered. Suffering is only on this side of heaven. This is encouraging.
10) Wisdom, patience, waiting on God, depending on God, plus he had years of practice managing households and the jail so he was prepared to manage the country.
I love how God never leaves Joseph. However, I am also wondering because Joseph saw how he was blessed at Potiphar’s if he knew God would bless him wherever he went? Or, he expected it? Or, if you have that mindset that God will do great things always, life and trials would be infinitely easier.
Spurgeon noted that Joseph’s silence was eloquent, saying nothing when your reputation and character are at stake. This is a prime example of letting your actions speak for themselves.
Bible scholars believe Potiphar was angry at his wife because he probably knew this was a false accusation, but Potiphar was forced to punish Joseph because he was a slave and for his wife’s reputation. Now, Potiphar will have a lot more work to do himself without Joseph running his affairs.
We know this was God’s plan as always so Joseph could get in front of Pharaoh. Yet, it was an odd plan. Joseph could have gotten to be 2nd in command of Egypt without going to prison just from his reputation at Potiphar’s house. God’s plans and ways are not ours. Perhaps Joseph needed one more lesson along the way of rising and falling and being faithful throughout.
The Lord was with Joseph and blessed him all throughout his life (Genesis 39:2; 3; 5; 21:23)
Joseph was purchased by Potiphar who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, his captain of the guard. God was with Joseph, and he prospered. Potiphar noticed that God was with him and blessed him in everything he did, so he put Joseph in charge of his household. Potiphar was blessed as well because of Joseph and did not have to do anything except feed himself.
Potiphar’s wife wanted to have an affair with Joseph because he was handsome, but Joseph refused to sin against God in that way. She kept asking, and Joseph kept refusing. One day, she grabbed his cloak and asked him to sleep with her. He refused and fled, but she kept his cloak. Potiphar’s wife then claimed that Joseph tried to sleep with her, using his cloak as proof.
3a) God blessed Joseph in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar noticed so he had Joseph be his attendant. He put Joseph in charge of his entire home, and God blessed Potiphar because of it, both in the house and the field. Potiphar did not have to worry about anything.
b) I see God’s work in my life every day, and as I seek, He reveals. I keep on, keeping-on, but I know He is working through me to accomplish His plans. As God has blessed Joseph, so he does all of us.
4a) Potiphar’s wife flat out asked/told Joseph to come to bed with him. When he refused, she kept pestering him, hoping to wear him down. She grabbed his cloak one day when no one else was around and asked again, but Joseph fled. She was so angry to be rejected that she made up a lie about him.
b) I like how Joseph fled from temptation and avoided her probably at all costs and avoided being alone with her. Joseph was also honest with her and did not lie. It’s best to avoid situations altogether where you could face temptation.
5) I’m currently not facing any major situations, but daily situations to do the right thing can be a challenge as well, especially when you think no one is looking or noticing. That is what I plan to pray about and work on. This might cost money, reputation, or embarrassment.
6) God always provides a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) and does not give us more than we can bear. Praying, staying close to God, and knowing He is good helps immensely.
Kudos to Joseph here for standing by his boss and by God, especially when it seems he was being battered by Potiphar’s wife to sleep with him. A lot of men give in to this, especially one in Joseph’s position who was a mere slave and this could have been seen as an order.
Potiphar’s name means devoted to the sun. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun god, Ra who was believed to have created the entire world. He was one of their central gods.
Bible scholars debate is Potiphar was a eunuch since many officials in ancient times were castrated so that they would forever be loyal to the king. There is no confirmation of this idea, however, in Potiphar’s case. If you are the captain of the guard of Pharaoh, you are a very important person. After all, you’re in charge of the Pharaoh’s security.
Note how God was with Potiphar from the beginning. Joseph could have been bought by anyone, including someone who would mistreat him. He was not. Joseph showed everyone that God existed through his actions. Even in our darkest hours (pretty sure going from the favored son of a rich man to a slave qualifies), God blesses and uses it for His good.
Odds are, Joseph’s brothers who put him here were probably not doing all that well.
Interestingly, God can bless our work and those we work with in the same way. This can include your home where you work as well.
Although this passage reads as such, Joseph did not become a success overnight. Working backwards with the timeframe, Joseph was sold into slavery at age 17 (Genesis 37:2). We are told he was 30 when Pharaoh promoted him (Genesis 41:46), and we know Joseph was imprisoned for two years before this (Genesis 41:1). Thus, it took Joseph 11 years to work his way up to be Potiphar’s right-hand man. Oftentimes, we are not patient enough to let God work in our lives. This is still quite young, even in our day, to rise to such fame.
We can also assume that Joseph worked hard to earn this position, and he was obviously good at it.
Fun Fact: The writers of the Bible only record two other men as being handsome:
If Potiphar was indeed a eunuch, Potiphar’s wife may have been seeking sexual intimacy then with other men. Remember, ancient cultures often saw marriage as more of an open relationship, and affairs were very common and sometimes even acceptable. Perhaps Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph’s looks or to the challenge of bagging him. No one knows her motivations. We are only told her actions here.
Since we all know that Joseph was in Potiphar’s house for 11 years, this could have been going on that entire time. If you think of it in that way, then you can understand that one day Joseph’s refusal would anger Potiphar’s wife enough that she would take her revenge. Yet, Joseph stand firm, knowing he would sin against God and his master if he slept with her.
Note that Potiphar’s wife blamed her husband for bringing Joseph into the house. Note how this sin began in the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed God for the first sin because God made Eve (even though he wanted a companion). (Genesis 3:12-13) This sin of blaming others has been around since the beginning of time.
Many people in the Bible could not resist temptation (Abrah, Moses, David, Joh, Peter, Solomon, and, of course, Adam and Eve). Joseph and Daniel did.
Bible scholars believe Potiphar’s wife planned to get Joseph alone, hoping to finally seduce him with no one looking. Instead, Joseph flees sin once again, as we are commanded to do 2 Timothy 2:22.
She lies, knowing Joseph would be put to death. Yet, for someone who wants to sleep with him, she doesn’t seem to care. We are not told if Joseph defended himself. However, it would not matter. Joseph was a slave. His life didn’t matter. Still, Joseph trusted all things would work together for his good.(Romans 8:28).