Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 have been badly misunderstood over the years! Jesus said in Matthew 24: 4-6, “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth-pains.”
The disciples had asked Jesus when the temple in
would be destroyed and when the end of the world as-they-knew-it would be. In Jewish thinking the destruction of the temple would me the end of the present age. Jerusalem
Jesus replies that life will go on as normal. In the
Middle East, then as now, there are always wars and rumours of wars. There always have been famines and earthquakes. We simply know about them because of CNN and Sky News. Since the fall of man in Genesis 3 the earth has been experiencing the groans of birth pains (Romans 8). Jesus whole point is that we don’t know when the end of the present age will be! Life will carry on as normal and then the end (or really the beginning) will come. That’s the whole point of verses 37-39: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
The sudden destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD (v4-35) will be a small picture of the sudden, unexpected return of Jesus (v36-44).