Bible kid wow

In this post, I'm going to show you something that Jesus said about His second coming which may surprise you. Then, I'm going to connect it with other things Jesus said which will exponentially increase its importance.

This is cool stuff!

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Welcome to the 15th post in my series of rethinking Christian eschatology. Because these posts build upon each other, if you've not already done so, I invite you to read the previous posts in this series before continuing here.

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We have traveled many miles in our journey. We have arrived at the point where we begin focusing on a number of the Lord's important teachings from His time on earth.

This is exciting.

To this point, the trip has been fairly peaceful with little-to-no room for disagreement or controversy. But for many, things may be about to get bumpy.

In this post, we're going to study what Jesus said about His second coming in Matthew 10. You may be quite surprised.

Let's begin by quickly recapping the waypoints we've passed thus far. It's important that we maintain a big picture awareness of the things we study.

Recap

Post 1: Do You See What I See? (An Invite to a New Perspective on Scripture)

We began with an overview of the reason for this series. I have some conclusions I am excited to share with you, but in order to do so, we must take this journey through the Scriptures together.

Post 2: How to Clearly See the Big Picture of the Bible

Humanity’s most basic problem is our struggle to “go beyond” that which we can sense.

This shortcoming leads to our biggest problem: failure to see GOD as He really is, resulting in idolatry.

The big picture of Scripture is more broad than we typically hear explained.

It is the story of GOD replacing the temporal and physical with the spiritual.

Virtually everything in the Bible has a physical shadow and a spiritual substance. And the physical always precedes the spiritual.

False conclusions arise when we fail to recognize where GOD used physical language metaphorically to refer to spiritual events and things.

In Gal. 4, Paul explains this principle using Hagar and Sarah to represent the old and new covenants.

Post 3: The Surprising Truth About the Evolution of Idolatry

Since idolatry is humanity’s most impactful problem, it is helpful to understand its evolution. When we think of idolatry today, we often think just about bowing before carved images, but idolatry is very much alive today, even among “Christians.” When we imagine or ascribe false characteristics to GOD, we have, in essence, invented and worshiped our own god.

Idolatry is a huge part of the narrative of Scripture and of the demise of Israel. Thus, it is an important foundational topic.

Post 4: An Important Truth from GOD’s Promises to Abraham

Prior to re-studying these things in recent years, I had thought that GOD’s promises to Abraham were entirely fulfilled by the time Jesus came.

  • The land promise was fulfilled when Israel conquered and inherited Canaan.

  • The great nation promise was fulfilled at Sinai when Israel accepted GOD’s covenant.

  • And the “bless all nations” promise was fulfilled in Jesus.

Though GOD did fulfill His three original promises to Abraham (see Gen. 12), there were additional details and promises GOD made to Abraham which were not fulfilled physically, such as:

  • Abraham personally inheriting the Promised Land and

  • future generations keeping it perpetually.

Heb. 11 tells us Abraham and his descendants all died without receiving what was promised. They all looked for a city whose builder and maker was GOD.

And history tells us that Israel was carried off into Assyrian and Babylonian slavery and never again possessed the entire land of Canaan without someone ruling over them.

Therefore, as Scripture shows, we must look for GOD’s ultimate fulfillment of these promises spiritually, with these partial physical fulfillment shadows pointing toward this eventuality.

Post 5: A Spotlight on the Shadows of Israel's Exodus

Paul demonstrated in 1 Cor. 10 that Israel’s exodus from Egypt was a shadow of the Christian’s departure out of sin into Jesus.

GOD was displeased with the Israelites because of their idolatry, so He forced that generation to live out their remaining days wandering in the wilderness.

Unlike today’s popular false doctrines proclaim, GOD is just as serious about His children avoiding idolatry today as He was in Moses’ day. And the consequences for disobedience are the same. GOD spiritually rejects and eventually punishes all who reject Him to embrace idolatry.

Posts 6-7: The Most Important Ignored Old Testament Scripture

The Song of Moses is the most important passage in the Old Testament (OT) that hardly anyone pays attention.

Post 6 examined the Song within its broader historical and textual context.

Post 7 examined at least 5 key reasons why the Song of Moses is so important:

  1. The Song of Moses foretold the nation of Israel’s end at its beginning.

  2. In the Song of Moses, GOD introduced a coming distinction between Israel and His servants.

  3. The rest of Scripture describes the unfolding of this prophecy.

  4. The Song of Moses shed light on Jacob’s cryptic “last days” prophecy shortly before his death (see Gen. 49).

  5. The Song of Moses was repeatedly quoted in the New Testament (NT) and divinely applied to the first century timeframe.

Post 8: The Fascinating Contrast of the Two Israel's of Scripture

Beginning with the Song of Moses, the Scriptures repeatedly speak of two Israel’s—one that was wicked and rebellious and would be destroyed, and another that would be blessed immensely.

This language can be confusing, even seemingly contradictory at times.

The two Israel’s are:

  1. the wicked, rebellious Jews who would be cursed and destroyed, and...

  2. the righteous children of Abraham by faith, which, Paul shows in Romans, includes Gentiles as well as Jews.

Post 9: How Daniel's Visions Relate to the End of Israel

Daniel 8-9 contains visions revealed to Daniel around 550 B.C. regarding Israel’s future.

They speak of the time of “the end” and of the “time of wrath” and deal with the timeframe of the Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires.

In fact, Dan. 9 references Jesus and the crucifixion and says that war would continue “until the end.

These prophecies are related to the Song of Moses which first discussed Israel’s end. This becomes especially insightful and important when we study NT prophecies that used similar language, as we will see.

Post 10: Why Israel's Babylonian Return is an Important Shadow

Moses prophesied that Israel would disobey GOD and be scattered to distant lands as a result.

Though a remnant did physically return to Jerusalem from Babylon, this was a shadow of another gathering which was to come. Isaiah foretold a second gathering in Isa. 11 to occur during the time of Jesus.

Isa. 11 is one text that is often misunderstood because the language sounds like GOD is speaking of physical things, when in reality, the evidence shows He was speaking metaphorically about spiritual things.

Posts 11-13: Want to understand 'the last days?' Look in the Old Testament

One of the more confusing phrases in the Scriptures is “the last days.”

This phrase is often misunderstood, especially in the NT. This is partly because NT writers never define what the phrase means.

I want to properly understand and help others too.

In order to properly understand the intended biblical meaning, we must study the phrase in the OT. When we examine these Scriptures, we see that they all focused on what would happen to the nation of Israel and to GOD’s servants.

The phrases “the last days” and “the end” and all the prophesies that discuss them are allusions to the same time period as the fulfillment of the prophecy in the Song of Moses—the ultimate end of GOD’s first covenant with physical Israel.

Post 14: If You Miss This, You'll Misunderstand John the Baptist

Just before GOD’s long 400-year silence with Israel, the prophet Malachi foretold of a coming judgment upon Israel and an Elijah who would come first. This Elijah was John the Baptist.

As Malachi prophesied, John the Baptist came to prepare the way of the LORD.

But what many people do not realize is that this preparation was for the second coming, not Jesus’ first coming. The preparation was preparation for the judgment that Malachi foretold.

John urgently warned the first century Jewish religious leaders of a judgment and separation of the wheat and chaff by Jesus which was “about to” come.

And that catches us up to today’s post.

Jesus on ‘the end’ and Second Coming in Matthew 10

We have seen how the OT is full of prophecy regarding the end of the nation of Israel and GOD’s original covenant with them.

In the Gospels, Jesus said a good bit about “the end” as well—much of which, I believe, has been widely misunderstood or dismissed due to it contradicting existing beliefs.

One important example is found in Matt. 10. Here’s what it says:

1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
(Matt. 10:1-42 NIV)

Observations from Matthew 10

Let’s focus first on three things we can definitively conclude from the text.

First, Jesus was talking with the 12 apostles here (v.1, 5). They were His primary audience. They were the ones Jesus sent.

Second, Jesus discussed two unique sendings in this conversation. The first was to the Jews only and expressly excluded Gentiles (v.5-15).

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.

The second, beginning in v.16, included the Gentiles (v.18).

16 “I am sending you... 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.

The first sending occurred immediately. The second sending occurred later, after Jesus’ death, and those events are recorded in the book of Acts.

Third, Jesus said that “the end,” along with His return, would come during the lifetime of the apostles.

22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Parallel Accounts to Matthew 10

Mark and Luke also discuss these events.

Although they don’t say as much as Matthew did here, when we combine the three accounts, an insightful picture comes into focus.

Mark’s Account

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.

8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
(Mark 6:6b-13 NIV)

Luke’s Account

1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
(Luke 9:1-6 NIV)

So, whereas Matthew includes the following words of Jesus on this occasion, Mark and Luke do not mention them in this context.

Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matt. 10:17-22 NIV)

Guess where Mark and Luke record these statements of Jesus?

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in the context of the destruction of the temple and end of the age!

We’ll examine these events in chronological order later, but for now, here is a minimal context.

Two days before Jesus was crucified, after a lengthy series of exchanges from the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus left the temple area followed by the 12 apostles.

Mark introduced the conversation this way:

1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
(Mark 13:1-4 NIV)

Now, notice Jesus’ words in this context when placed alongside Matt. 10:17-2.

Matt. 10:17-22 NIV Mark 13:9-13 NIV Luke 21:9-19 NIV

Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

Sounds exactly the same, doesn’t it?

Obviously, Luke adds more detail here, but it’s the same message.

Mark 13 and Luke 21 described the same "end" that Matthew recorded there in Matt. 10:17-22.

So What? Key Takeaways

Three important takeaways from these things:

  1. The “end” that Jesus told the apostles about in Matt. 10:22 is the same “end” that is under discussion in Mark 13:9-13 and Luke 21:9-19, which was the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D.

  2. In Matt. 10:22-23, Jesus plainly said that both this “end” and His return would occur during the lifetime of the apostles.

  3. The “end” discussed in Matt. 10:22-23, Mark 13:13 and Luke 21:9 is the same end that we have studied about in the OT, including the Song of Moses, Daniel 9 and Malachi 3-4. All of these passages are discussing the same events. The primary audience knew of the OT prophecies on this “end” and that is why we do not see a detail explanation of what the phrase meant here or elsewhere in the NT.

These observations are critical to our understanding about the second coming, as well as related subjects like 'the last days' and future posts on the resurrection and the judgment.

Your current beliefs on these things may not be accurate. Mine weren't.

That's why I'm studying these things so diligently to try to figure out what GOD has revealed on these important subjects.

Sometimes these things can tend to feel unimportant and perhaps academic. But the reality is that our understanding of these things directly impacts each of us daily and will continue to do so until we die.


We're just getting started with what Jesus taught on these subjects. Continue to the next post, where we examine another of Jesus' key teachings on His second coming.

Got questions or comments? Drop them below.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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