PMW 2018-064 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The Olivet Discourse is a fascinating eschatological discourse given by the Lord to his disciples. It is the largest discourse of Christ recorded in Matthew (Matt. 24:4–25:46), the only one given over to issues beyond the temporal boundaries of Matthew’s storyline (which ends shortly after Christ’s resurrection, Matt. 28:1–7), and is his last (therefore, climactic) discourse in Matthew (Matt. 26:1). Hence, for Matthew it is clearly significant for his theological point (which I will be discussing in a new book I am working on, see note at the end of this article).
The key to understanding the first portion of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:4–35) is to recognize its local, first-century focus. We see this from several angles: (1) The Discourse is prompted by Jesus’s declaration of the approaching destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), which we know happened in AD 70. (2) It is clearly a local event, for the tribulation surrounding it can be escaped by fleeing from Judea (Matt. 24:16). And (3) it will happen to the first-century generation of Jesus and his disciples (Matt. 24:34), the same generation in which the Pharisees resisted Christ’s earthly ministry (Matt. 23:36; cf. vv. 29–35). I have dealt abundantly with the Olivet Discourse in other blog articles.
However, some Christians become confused because of Matthew 24:31. Continue reading