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Matthew 24:9-14: Good News about the Kingdom will be preached

Posted by adventbiblestudy on July 21, 2012


Matthew 24:9-14 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. (10) And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. (11) And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. (12) Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. (13) But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (14) And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

 

Up until this point Jesus had been giving His disciples answers designed to make them realize the Messiah was right in front of them, and God has never let His people down, no matter what the odds. Now that the minds of His disciples could see how God has always been watching over them, is always prepared to perform the unexpected, and has shown the foundation of His plans begin before they realize danger is near, Jesus tested their faith. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.”

 

Jesus had just told them there would be wars and threats of wars, but not to panic. Now their minds were quickly shifted to what seemed to them as a warning. Were they facing a life of persecution, trial and eventually death? Why would the world hate them for following Jesus?

 

Jesus was trying to prepare them for what they were about to witness in only a few days. He knew the impact it would have on their lives. The future on the world was soon to be left in the hands of the small group in front of Him. How could they see their Master suffer and go on if they were not warned. Just as God laid the plans to provide Abram with 318 men prepared for war, and Gideon 300 with the faith to face thousands, Jesus was preparing His disciples for the days and years ahead.

As expected the disciples remained silent. Each had to carefully consider the circumstances on an individual basis. It was a choice between this world and the vision of Heaven Jesus showed them over the years.

 

Once the disciples recovered from the initial shock, Jesus continued, “And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.” This told the disciples not all of them would continue to stand with Jesus. They looked around at one another wondering which would remain at Jesus’ side, and which would betray Him, and how. Looking back at the events of the day, the disciples began to question why the priests, scribes, and Pharisees joined forces against Jesus. They began to question why religious factions who hated one another in the past would suddenly find common ground against Jesus. They began to see how their plans to learn prophecy in order to reach the religious leaders was flawed. No matter what side they reached out to, the others would despise them.

 

Jesus hoped they would reach the right conclusion on their own. Once He gave them the chance to see the error in their plans, Jesus once again introduced the subject of prophets. “Many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.” The disciples instantly realized there was nothing new about false prophets. They remembered the stories about the prophets in Jerusalem promising peace when God had already determined their fate. As they thought about the prophecies fulfilled in the past, they had no idea they were about to live through the fulfillment of some of the most important prophecies contained within the scriptures.

 

His disciples were not ready to have the prophecies about Him revealed at that moment, so Jesus jumped to the future. He wanted them to remember, no matter how hopeless things appeared, there was a mission, and the promise of a better future. Jesus was able to give them a small glimpse of the future. “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”

 

The disciples were beginning to understand their mission. Things began to make sense. The religious leaders had been preaching the wrong message. The pieces were finally coming together. If they had been studying scripture instead of arguing about it, pulling one text here, another there to strengthen their view while discrediting others, they may have been able to see the messages. As the disciples thought about how the religious leaders misinterpreted the prophecies about the Messiah, they began to think about Jesus’ warnings earlier in the day. “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.”

 

Jesus noticed a number of heads beginning to hang low. His words were hitting the mark, His prayers answered. As they looked down at the ground, the disciples began to see traces of the personalities exhibited by the religious leaders in themselves. They began to wander where they went wrong. How did it begin? John asked himself, “how do I remove these traits from my life?” Looking up at Jesus, he remembered seeing Him pray as soon as they arrived at the garden. When they returned with the firewood, Jesus was still praying. Was this where Jesus gets His power and wisdom from, prayer? John closed His eyes and prayed. As he reached out to the Spirit, he began to see another habit in his life he did not feel comfortable facing. This did not stop him from asking forgiveness, and asking the Spirit to help him to become more patient, and tolerant of others.

 

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