What Jesus taught about the Sign of the Times and End of the Age
by Robert Randle 6/21/2009 / Bible Studies
Perhaps one of the most intriguing narratives in the Synoptic (side by side) Gospels contained in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke is the 'End of the World.' Each writer has their own individual perspective gleaned from the sources which were used to compile and reference this unique event in which each one of them conveyed to a particular audience. In most instances there is agreement with the other accounts and as it shall be shown, there is a widely divergent viewpoint as to what the Lord Jesus Christ actually said.
To set the stage for this momentous discussion, Jesus had just wrapped up teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem, and His disciples had commented about the beautiful stones and buildings of the temple, to which Jesus replied, 'There will not be one stone left standing on top of another." The disciples asked Him privately by the Mount of Olivet, "What was going to be the Sign of the Times and the End of the Age?" (Cp. Matthew 24: 3; Mark 13: 3; Luke 21: 5). This occasion was about two days before the Passover
(Cp. Matthew 26: 1-2; Mark 14: 1; Luke 22: 1??)
All three authors start off with "THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE" (Cp. Matthew 24: 1-2; Mark 13: 1-2; Luke 21: 5-6)
NOTE: Luke does not mention about the Gospel being preached to the entire world. (Cp. Matthew 24: 14: Mark 13: 10)
Matthew 24: 26-28
"Therefore, if they say to you, Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man be, "For wherever the carcass is, then the eagles will be gathered together
(Cp. Revelations 19: 17-18??).
NOTE: Omitted in Mark and Luke.
Luke 21: 18-19
"But not a hair of your head shall be lost."By your patience possess your souls."
NOTE: Matthew and Luke do not mention this.
For these are "the Days of Vengeance," that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
NOTE: Instead of that phrase, Matthew and Mark use the term, the Abomination of Desolation spoken by the Prophet Daniel (Cp. Matthew 24: 15; Mark 13: 14; Daniel 11: 31; 12: 11). It seems more likely that the source for Luke's use here is taken from the Prophet Isaiah (61: 2b; 34: 8-15), and possibly Malachi 4: 1, 3??
Luke 21: 24
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be carried away captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the "Times of the Gentiles" are fulfilled. (Cp. Revelations 11: 2??)
NOTE: Excluded by Matthew and Mark.
Matthew 24: 29-31; Mark 13: 24-27; Luke 21: 25-28 "THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN"
NOTE: Luke account differs in that he does not mention anything about His (Christ's) angels gathering the 'elect' from the four corners of the earth.
Matthew 24: 32-35; Mark 13: 28-31; Luke 21: 29-33 "THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE"
Matthew 36-44; Mark 13: 32-37
"NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR"
NOTE: Matthew includes "The days of Noah" (37-39) and "Two men working in a field"
(40-41); Mark uses "A man going into a far country" (34).
NOTE: Luke omits this.
Matthew 24: 45-51 "THE FAITHFUL SERVANT AND THE EVIL SERVANT"
25: 1-13 "THE WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS"
14-30 "THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS"
31-46 "THE SON OF MAN WILL JUDGE THE NATIONS"
NOTE: Mark and Luke do not include these.
Luke 21: 34-36
"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and that 'Day' comes on you unexpectedly. "For it will come as a snare on all them who dwell on the earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
NOTE: This is not included in the other Gospel books of Matthew and Mark but interestingly, Luke uses the word 'snare' whereas in Jesus' other warnings about His Second Coming, He uses the phrase, returning as "A Thief in the Night" or coming suddenly, when people are caught unaware and unprepared.