Signs

3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’[a] and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines[b] and earthquakes in various places: 8 all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

Jesus begins to paint a picture of “The End of the Age.”

I wonder what he and his disciples have in mind when using this phrase.

Perhaps this phrase shows up in Torah and other Jewish writings.

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John Haught’s Philosophy

In the latest Homebrewed Christianity podcast, I was introduced to the following philosophical framework:

  • Past Focus = Materialist Reductivism
  • Present Focus = Platonist Idealism
  • Future Focus = Narrative Becoming

According to Dr. Haught, he claims that Jesus and the Bible are philosophically most similar to a Future Focus.

This chapter is a strong example of Future Focused narrative.

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Jesus Sets The Stage

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (vv. 1-2, NIV)

Jesus has finished debating the religious leaders in front of the crowds.

This is an opportunity to share more intimate lessons with his disciples.

I wonder why Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple. Maybe it has to do with his intense arguments with the Temple leaders in the previous chapters.

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Matthew 24

Key verse:

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3, NIV)

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Verses 13-36

by Sarah, 2019 Greece CSD Art Show at the Mall

Jesus lists 7 Woes. He’s mad at the religious leaders.

Imagine his reaction to today’s American religious establishment!

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Commentaries on Jesus’ Prohibitions Against Titles

David Guzik’s Commentary

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

This one volume commentary was prepared by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown and published in 1871

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Wikibooks, uncertain authorship


The main common theme is that Jesus himself accepted titles at times. Paul also used “forbidden” honorifics. This supports a non-literal reading.

Instead, Jesus is warning against allowing titles to lead us into sinful pride and spiritual arrogance. The Body of Christ is a body of equals.

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Verses 8-12

I wonder what Jesus means when he tells his followers not to be called rabbi.

There is an element of humility. Jesus says so in verse 12.

But I’m proud to be a teacher. I just finished my PhD and there are times it’s useful to be called “Dr. Mitchell.”

I suppose part of it is not requiring students to call me Doctor. “Mr. Mitchell” makes much more sense when I’m visiting classrooms.

It’s clear that I need to do more digging and reflection on these verses. I wonder what the commentaries say.

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