The Gospel according to Matthew

24:1As Jesus was leaving the temple compound, his disciples came and began to remark about how the temple was built.24:2But Jesus replied, “See all these things? I can assure you that not one stone will be left on top of another!”24:3Then a while later, after he had sat down on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us when these things will happen, and what sign to look for that will signal your official arrival1 and the end of the age.”

24:4And he replied, “Watch out so that you are not deceived!24:5For many will claim to come from me, or even say, ‘I am the Anointed!’, and they will deceive many.24:6You will see wars and hear reports of wars far away, but don’t be alarmed, because such things must happen— but it will not yet be the end.24:7Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places,24:8but these are only the beginning of birth pangs.

24:9“Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be despised in all nations because of me.24:10Many will be ensnared; they will betray and hate each other.24:11Many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people,24:12and due to all the lawlessness the love of many will grow cold.24:13But whoever endures to the end will be rescued.24:14The Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

24:15“So whenever you see ‘the disgusting thing that completely ruins’ (as declared through the prophet Daniel) standing in the Holy Place (reader, make sure this is clear!),224:16then those in Judea must run away into the mountains;24:17those on the housetops must not go inside to get belongings;24:18those out in the fields must not go back to get their coats.24:19Woe to women who are pregnant or nursing at that time!24:20And pray that your escape will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

24:21“After that will be great oppression, the likes of which has never happened from the beginning of the world until now, nor will ever happen again!324:22In fact, if those days had not been cut short, all flesh would have been wiped out, but they will be shortened for the sake of the chosen people.4

24:23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Anointed!’ or ‘There he is!’, don’t believe it.24:24For false Anointed ones and false prophets will rise up and perform impressive miracles and signs, to the point where even the chosen ones would be misled— if that were possible.24:25That’s why I’ve warned you in advance.24:26So if they say ‘Look, here in the desert!’, don’t go; if they say ‘Look, in this hidden place!’, don’t believe it.24:27For the official arrival of the Human will be as the lightning that flashes across the whole sky.24:28And where the corpse is, there you will find the eagles.

24:29“Immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.524:30Then the sign of the Human will appear in the sky, and all the world’s ethnic groups will be filled with self-loathing as they see the Human coming on the clouds of the sky with great power and majesty.24:31And at the blast of a trumpet he will send out his Messengers to gather his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

24:32“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree: When you see that the branches have already become tender and the leaves have sprouted, you know that summer is about to begin.24:33Likewise, when you see all these things, you will know that it is near, right at the door.24:34I can assure you that this generation will not pass away until all these things happen.24:35The earth and sky will pass away, but not my words!

24:36“But no one knows the day or hour when this will happen; not the Messengers of heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father.24:37The official arrival of the Human will be just like the days of Noah:24:38In the days just before the Flood, people were eating, drinking, and marrying as usual, right up to the very day that Noah entered the ark.24:39They had no idea what was about to happen until the Flood took them all away. And so will it be with the official arrival of the Human.24:40Two will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left behind.24:41Two will be grinding with a millstone: one will be taken and the other left behind.

24:42“So stay alert, because you don’t know what day your Master will show up.24:43You need to understand that if the homeowner knew exactly when the thief would arrive, he would stay alert and not let his house be broken into.24:44So be prepared, because the Human will come when you least expect him.

24:45“Who, then, is a trustworthy and thoughtful slave? It is the one the master puts in charge of the household staff and sees to it that they get their meals at the right times.24:46That slave will be happy when their master arrives and finds them doing their duty.24:47I can assure you that such a slave will be put in charge of all their master’s possessions.

24:48“But what if the slave is shiftless and says to himself, ‘My master is very late in returning’?24:49So they begin to beat the other slaves, eat all the food, and go out drinking with the drunkards.24:50Their master will come on an unexpected day and time.24:51He will cut him in two and consign him to the fate of the pedants, where they wail and grind their teeth.

  1. 1The word rendered “official arrival” has that as its primary and most common meaning, as opposed to any ordinary arrival. So the disciples are asking when Jesus will come as King, as well as the separate question about when the temple would be destroyed.
  2. 2Matthew’s note to the reader refers to the person reading the text aloud to others. Jesus is quoting Dan. 9:27.
  3. 3Dan. 12:1.
  4. 4While ‘the chosen people’ could refer to followers of Jesus, it could also refer to the nation of Israel.
  5. 5Isaiah 13:10, 34:4.