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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 19: Matthew 24-25, by Kevin M. Williams

On the timeline, that works out to right around the time when the Temple was destroyed. The Romans laid siege to Jerusalem, and in particular to the Temple Mount, and all manner of abominations occurred. But Israel as a whole would not suffer the full wrath of Rome until Emperor Hadrian in 135, nearly one hundred years after the Olivet Discourse, well after the passing of the “generation.”

The Greek word genea has definitions beyond the limitation of “generation.” It can be indicative of a people or nation, in which case Yeshua may have been implying that the Jewish people as a whole would not pass away until all that was prophesied had come to pass. That certainly fits within the overall context of the entirety of Scripture, and Jeremiah 31 in particular.

Genea also can mean “an age” as in a epoch or season, in which case Yeshua may have been implying—in harmony with the message of the Olivet Discourse—that this current age of “messiahism” would not conclude until “the end” when the Olam HaBa (the messianic kingdom age to come) would descend upon all mankind.

That all the events of Matthew chapter 24 would come to pass within that generation’s lifetime seems unlikely by virtue of an unsuitable translation of genea’s intent, and not in harmony with the overall context of the Olivet Discourse and the entirety of the Bible.

Regardless, the Messiah finishes chapter 24 as we began this article. Little depends on the season or even the signs of the times. The days in which we live may be interesting and a topic of conversation and vivid debate, but they are of little consequence if our lives are forfeit. “For this reason you be ready too, for the Son of Man is coming …” (Matthew 24:44).

Eschatological events will unfold as they will, in perfect accord with God’s most noble plan. Ours is not to worry about such things, and certainly we should not to allow division to come into the Body of Christ over such a trivial issue. Our calling is to “be ready,” in and out of season for “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36). Summarized as the 1930s Radio Bible Class host, M.R. DeHaan often said, “Perhaps today.”

This theme of “be ready” carries on through the parables of chapter 25, where example after example is given of being ready for the “bridegroom,” the “master,” and the “King.” Each parable contains important lessons all their own regarding trust, works, and taking care of our fellow man as if he or she were Yeshua. However, the entirety of the message ties directly back to being ready and living life today—right now—avoiding frivolous matters and endless debates, but in accord with God’s will.

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2006

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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