Saturday, 22 December 2012

Matthew 24 and Luke 21 - separate audience targets

Luk 21:25  "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,
Luk 21:26  people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

You will not find any mention of "the roaring of the sea and the waves" in Matthew 24 (or Mark 13) because Matthew is addressing those living in physical Israel at the end time. The roaring of the sea and the waves seems to be addressed to the gentile world. (Indeed, the weather seems to be rather favourable to Israel now she is back in the land). It is also worth considering that the Mediterranean, on account of it's relative isolation from the great oceans, will not experience these marine nightmares, at least not to any degree worth noting in Matthew.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 
Mat 24:15  "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 
Mat 24:16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 

You will not find any mention of "the abomination of desolation" in Luke 21 because this event will be witnessed in the physical land of Israel and residents in Judea are instructed to flee. 
Mat 24:20  "Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath." Such Sabbath laws will only be in force in physical Israel.

The Matthew discourse was spoken directly, in private, to his disciples on the Mount of Olives:-

Mat 24:3  As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?

However, in Luke:-

Luk 21:5  And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, 
Luk 21:6  "As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down." 
Luk 21:7  And they asked him, "Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?"
Luk 21:8  And he said, "See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is at hand!' Do not go after them. 

"these things that you see" were the stones of the temple and the Lord then answers their questions - no mention of the mount of olives or privacy. However, it appears that this may just be that Luke does not record that they moved over to the mount of olives. and who the 'they' were in Luke 21:7.

Matthew and Luke both agree on this, though:-

Luk 21:27  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 
Mat 24:30  Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

So the shaking of the heaven and the earth seems to affect everyone greatly but Matthew doesn't even mention it! This must have something to do with Jerusalem being the very centre of the Universe in time and space. Israel's problem, though, is going to be the 'abomination of desolation'.

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