Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Shall be preached in all the world.—The words must not be strained beyond the meaning which they would have for those who heard them, and they were certain to see in “all the world” (literally, the inhabited earth, as in Luke 2:1; Acts 11:28) neither more nor less than the Roman empire; and it was true, as a matter of fact, that there was hardly a province of the empire in which the faith of Christ had not been preached before the destruction of Jerusalem. Special attention should be given to the words, “a witness unto all the nations,” i.e., to all the Gentiles, as an implicit sanction of the work of which St. Paul was afterwards the great representative. So taken, the words prepare the way for the great mission of Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 24:14. This gospel of the kingdom — Namely, of the kingdom of God; shall be preached in all the world — Not universally; this is not yet done; but in general, through the several parts of the world, and not only in Judea. And this was done by St. Paul and the other apostles, before Jerusalem was destroyed; for a witness to all nations that I am the Christ. And then shall the end come — Of the city and temple: that is, when all nations shall, or may be convinced, by the preaching of the gospel, of the crying sin of the Jews in crucifying the Lord of glory; then shall the justice of God bring these dreadful judgments upon that people. The Acts of the Apostles, it must be observed, contain only a small part of the history of a small number of the apostles, and yet even in that history we see the gospel was widely disseminated, and had taken root in the most considerable parts of the Roman empire. As early as in the reign of Nero, as we learn from Tacitus, (Annal., l. 15.) the Christians were grown so numerous at Rome as to raise the jealousy of the government, and the first general persecution was commenced against them, under pretence of their having set fire to the city, of which the emperor himself was really guilty, but wished to transfer the blame and odium of the action on the poor innocent Christians. Clement, who was contemporary and a fellow-labourer with Paul, says of him, (see his 1st Epistle to the Corinthians,) that he was a preacher both in the east and west, and that he taught the whole world righteousness. And if such were the labours of one apostle, though the chief of them, what were the united labours of them all? It appears indeed from the writers of the history of the church, that before the destruction of Jerusalem the gospel was not only preached in the Lesser Asia, Greece, and Italy, the great theatres of action then in the world; but likewise propagated as far north as Scythia; as far south as Ethiopia; as far east as Parthia and India; as far west as Spain and Britain.24:4-28 The disciples had asked concerning the times, When these things should be? Christ gave them no answer to that; but they had also asked, What shall be the sign? This question he answers fully. The prophecy first respects events near at hand, the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish church and state, the calling of the Gentiles, and the setting up of Christ's kingdom in the world; but it also looks to the general judgment; and toward the close, points more particularly to the latter. What Christ here said to his disciples, tended more to promote caution than to satisfy their curiosity; more to prepare them for the events that should happen, than to give a distinct idea of the events. This is that good understanding of the times which all should covet, thence to infer what Israel ought to do. Our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace, shall be made to hear the messengers of war. But where the heart is fixed, trusting in God, it is kept in peace, and is not afraid. It is against the mind of Christ, that his people should have troubled hearts, even in troublous times. When we looked forward to the eternity of misery that is before the obstinate refusers of Christ and his gospel, we may truly say, The greatest earthly judgments are but the beginning of sorrows. It is comforting that some shall endure even to the end. Our Lord foretells the preaching of the gospel in all the world. The end of the world shall not be till the gospel has done its work. Christ foretells the ruin coming upon the people of the Jews; and what he said here, would be of use to his disciples, for their conduct and for their comfort. If God opens a door of escape, we ought to make our escape, otherwise we do not trust God, but tempt him. It becomes Christ's disciples, in times of public trouble, to be much in prayer: that is never out of season, but in a special manner seasonable when we are distressed on every side. Though we must take what God sends, yet we may pray against sufferings; and it is very trying to a good man, to be taken by any work of necessity from the solemn service and worship of God on the sabbath day. But here is one word of comfort, that for the elect's sake these days shall be made shorter than their enemies designed, who would have cut all off, if God, who used these foes to serve his own purpose, had not set bounds to their wrath. Christ foretells the rapid spreading of the gospel in the world. It is plainly seen as the lightning. Christ preached his gospel openly. The Romans were like an eagle, and the ensign of their armies was an eagle. When a people, by their sin, make themselves as loathsome carcasses, nothing can be expected but that God should send enemies to destroy them. It is very applicable to the day of judgment, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in that day, 2Th 2:1. Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure; then may we know that no enemy or deceiver shall ever prevail against us.And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world - The evidence that this was done is to be chiefly derived from the New Testament, and there it is clear. Thus Paul declares that it was preached to every creature under heaven Colossians 1:6, Colossians 1:23; that the faith of the Romans was spoken of throughout the whole world Romans 1:8; that he preached in Arabia Galatians 1:17, and at Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum Romans 15:19. We know also that He traveled through Asia Minor, Greece, and Crete; that he was in Italy, and probably in Spain and Gaul, Romans 15:24-28. At the same time, the other apostles were not idle; and there is full proof that within thirty years after this prophecy was spoken, churches were established in all these regions.

For a witness unto all nations - This preaching the gospel indiscriminately to "all" the Gentiles shall be a proof to them, or a witness, that the division between the Jews and Gentiles was about to be broken down. Hitherto the blessings of revelation had been confined to the Jews. They were the special people of God. His messages had been sent to them only. When, therefore, God sent the gospel to all other people, it was proof, or "a witness unto them," that the special Jewish economy was at an end.

Then shall the end come - The end of the Jewish economy; the destruction of the temple and city.

CHAPTER 24

Mt 24:1-51. Christ's Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Warnings Suggested by It to Prepare for His Second Coming. ( = Mr 13:1-37; Lu 21:5-36).

For the exposition, see on [1355]Mr 13:1-37.

So saith Mark, Mark 13:10. Some think that the end mentioned in the close of this verse refers to the destruction of Jerusalem; others, that it refers to the day of judgment. If we take world (as it is often taken) for the Gentiles in opposition to the Jews, synecdochically, the whole being put for a great part, it is most certain, that before Jerusalem was destroyed, the gospel, which is here called the gospel of the kingdom, either because it shows the way to the kingdom of God, or because it is that sacred instrument by which Christ subdueth men’s hearts to himself, was preached to the world, that is, to the Gentiles, and that to a great part of them. Paul alone had carried it from Jerusalem to Illyricum. The Romans’ faith was spoken of throughout the world, Romans 1:8. Paul saith it was preached to every creature, Colossians 1:23 Romans 10:18 15:16 Colossians 1:6 1 Timothy 3:16. But others choose by the end here to understand the end of the world. And this Gospel of the kingdom,.... Which Christ himself preached, and which he called and sent his apostles to preach, in all the cities of Judah; by which means men were brought into the kingdom of the Messiah, or Gospel dispensation; and which treated both of the kingdom of grace and glory, and pointed out the saints' meetness for the kingdom of heaven, and their right unto it, and gives the best account of the glories of it:

shall be preached in all the world; not only in Judea, where it was now confined, and that by the express orders of Christ himself; but in all the nations of the world, for which the apostles had their commission enlarged, after our Lord's resurrection; when they were bid to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature; and when the Jews put away the Gospel from them, they accordingly turned to the Gentiles; and before the destruction of Jerusalem, it was preached to all the nations under the heavens; and churches were planted in most places, through the ministry of it:

for a witness unto all nations; meaning either for a witness against all such in them, as should reject it; or as a testimony of Christ and salvation, unto all such as should believe in him:

and then shall the end come; not the end of the world, as the Ethiopic version reads it, and others understand it; but the end of the Jewish state, the end of the city and temple: so that the universal preaching of the Gospel all over the world, was the last criterion and sign, of the destruction of Jerusalem; and the account of that itself next follows, with the dismal circumstances which attended it.

And this {d} gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the {e} world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

(d) Joyful tidings of the kingdom of heaven.

(e) Through all that part of the world that people live in.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 24:14. Having just uttered the words εἰς τέλος, Christ now reveals the prospect of a most encouraging state of matters which is immediately to precede and usher in the consummation indicated by this εἰς τέλος, namely, the preaching of the gospel throughout the whole world in spite of the hatred and apostasy previously mentioned (Matthew 24:9-10 ff.); ὅτι οὐδὲν τῶν δεινῶν περιγενήσεται τοῦ κηρύγματος, Euthymius Zigabenus. The substantial fulfilment of this prediction is found in the missionary labours of the apostles, above all in those of Paul; comp. Acts 1:9; Romans 1:14; Romans 10:18; Romans 15:19; Matthew 28:19; Colossians 1:23; Clem. 1 Corinthians 5.

τοῦτο τὸ εὐαγγ.] According to de Wette, the author here (and Matthew 26:13) so far forgets himself as to allude to the gospel which he was then in the act of writing. The τοῦτο here may be accounted for by the fact that Christ was there and then engaged in preaching the gospel of the Messiah’s kingdom, inasmuch as eschatological prediction undoubtedly constitutes an essential part of the gospel. Consequently: “hoc evangelium, quod nuntio.”

ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμ.] must not be limited to the Roman empire (Luke 2:1), but should be taken quite generally: over the whole habitable globe, a sense which is alone in keeping with Jesus’ consciousness of His Messianic mission, and with the πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσι which follows.

εἰς μαρτύριον, κ.τ.λ.] in order that testimony may be borne before all nations, namely, concerning me and my work, however much they may have hated you for my name’s sake. The interpretation of the Fathers: εἰς ἔλεγχον, is therefore substantially in accordance with the context (Matthew 24:9), though there was no need to import into the passage the idea of the condemnation of the heathen, which condemnation would follow as a consequence only in the case of those who might be found to reject the testimony. There are other though arbitrary explanations, such as. “ut nota illis esset pertinacia Judaeorum” (Grotius), or: “ut gentes testimonium dicere possint harum calamitatum et insignis pompae, qua Jesus Messias in has terras reverti debeat” (Fritzsche), or: “ita ut crisin aut vitae aut mortis adducat” (Dorner).

καὶ τότε] and then, when the announcement shall have been made throughout the whole world.

τὸ τέλος] the end of the troubles that are to precede the Messiah’s advent, correlative to ἀρχή, Matthew 24:8. Comp. Matthew 24:6; consequently not to be understood in this instance either as referring to the end of the world (Ebrard, Bleek, Dorner, Hofmann, Lange, Cremer), which latter event, however, will of course announce its approach by catastrophes in nature (Matthew 24:29) immediately after the termination of the dolores Messiae.Matthew 24:14 asserts the same thing with regard to the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom: time for preaching it in the whole world, o all nations, before the end. Assuming that the terminus is the same this statement seems inconsistent with that in Matthew 10:23. But the aim is different in the two cases. On the earlier occasion Jesus wished to ensure that all Israel should hear the gospel before the end came; therefore He emphasised the shortness of the time. Here He wishes to impress on the disciples that the end will not be for a good while; therefore He emphasises the amount of preaching that can be done. Just on this account we must not strain the phrases ἐν ὅλῃ τ. οἰκ., πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθ. They simply mean: extensively even in the heathen world. But they have the merit of setting before the disciples a large programme to occupy their minds and keep them from thinking too much of the coming catastrophe.14. preached in all the world] Cp. ch. Matthew 10:23 and Colossians 1:5-6, “the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world.” The principle is at last established that the Gospel may be preached to Jew and Gentile alike.Matthew 24:14.[1039] Τοῦτο τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον τῆς Βασιλείας, THIS Gospel of the Kingdom) sc. which Jesus preached.—ἥξει, shall come) The verb ἥκειν does not signify merely to approach, but to arrive, nay, actually to be present.[1040]—τὸ τέλος, the end) spoken of in the following verses, on which account we find οὖν, therefore, in the next verse. Before that end, Peter, Paul, and others alluded to in Matthew 24:9, had concluded their apostolate.

[1039] κηρυχθήσεται) This was accomplished before the destruction of Jerusalem. Colossians 1:23.—V. g.

[1040] ἔρχομαι denotes progress to, or arrival at, a place; ἥκω, that the progress has been effected, and the arrival taken place; so that ἥκω must be rendered, not I come, but I am come.—(I. B.)Verse 14. - This gospel of the kingdom. The good news of the coming of Messiah's kingdom - what we call in short, "the gospel" - "that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). He calls it "this" (Matthew 26:13), because it is that which he preached, which it was the object of his incarnation to set forth. In all the world (e)n o%lh"" th = "" oi)koume/nh"", in all the inhabited earth). Before the taking of Jerusalem, the gospel had been carried into all parts of the then known world. We have very uncertain information about the labours of most of the apostles, but if we may judge of their extent from what we know of St. Paul's, we should say that very few quarters of the Roman world were left unvisited. "Their sound went out into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the inhabited world" (Romans 10:18). St. Paul testifies that the gospel was preached to every kingdom under heaven (Colossians 1:6, 23). He himself carried it to Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, Illyricum, Rome, Spain (see Romans 15:19, 24, 28; Galatians 1:17; Philippians 1:13, etc.). A witness unto all [the] nations. That both Jews and Gentiles might have the opportunity of receiving or rejecting Christ. The witness should be for or against them according to the use made of this opportunity. If the gospel thus delivered contained this utterance of our Lord's, the fulfilment of the predictions would lead to belief in him, and could fail to win acceptance only by reason of invincible prejudice or wilful perversity. Shortly, the truth is that the gospel will be everywhere offered, but not everywhere received. And then, when all these signs, especially the one last named, shall have appeared, shall the end come, primarily of Jerusalem, secondarily of this world or this age. Nothing is said of the effect of missionary efforts in early days or in time to come. We know that there was no national conversion in the primitive era, however common individual conversion may have been. So in the present age we are not to expect more than that Christian missions shall reach the uttermost parts of the earth, and that all nations shall have the offer of salvation, before the final appearance of Christ. The success of these efforts at universal evangelization is a mournful problem. "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find the faith upon the earth?" (Luke 18:8). World (τῇ οἰκουμένη)

Lit., the inhabited. The whole habitable globe. Rev., in margin, inhabited earth.

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