|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:29-38 Christ tells his disciples to observe the signs of the times, which they might judge by. He charges them to look upon the ruin of the Jewish nation as near. Yet this race and family of Abraham shall not be rooted out; it shall survive as a nation, and be found as prophesied, when the Son of man shall be revealed. He cautions them against being secure and sensual. This command is given to all Christ's disciples, Take heed to yourselves, that ye be not overpowered by temptations, nor betrayed by your own corruptions. We cannot be safe, if we are carnally secure. Our danger is, lest the day of death and of judgment should come upon us when we are not prepared. Lest, when we are called to meet our Lord, that be the furthest from our thoughts, which ought to be nearest our hearts. For so it will come upon the most of men, who dwell upon the earth, and mind earthly things only, and have no converse with heaven. It will be a terror and a destruction to them. Here see what should be our aim, that we may be accounted worthy to escape all those things; that when the judgements of God are abroad, we may not be in the common calamity, or it may not be that to us which it is to others. Do you ask how you may be found worthy to stand before Christ at that day? Those who never yet sought Christ, let them now go unto him; those who never yet were humbled for their sins, let them now begin; those who have already begun, let them go forward and be kept humbled. Watch therefore, and pray always. Watch against sin; watch in every duty, and make the most of every opportunity to do good. Pray always: those shall be accounted worthy to live a life of praise in the other world, who live a life of prayer in this world. May we begin, employ, and conclude each day attending to Christ's word, obeying his precepts, and following his example, that whenever he comes we may be found watching.
Verse 32. - Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pan away, till all be fulfilled. In the interpretation of this verse, a verse which has occasioned much perplexity to students, any non-natural sense for "generation" (γεμεά), such as being an equivalent for the Christian Church (Origen and Chrysostom) or the human race (Jerome) must be at once set aside. Γενέα (generation) denotes roughly a period of thirty to forty years. Thus the words of the Lord here simply asserted that within thirty or forty years all he had been particularly detailing would be fulfilled. Now, the burden of his prophecy had been the destruction of the city and temple, and the signs they were to look for as immediately preceding this great catastrophe. This was the plain and simple answer to their question of ver. 7, which asked "when these things should come to pass." The words he had added relative to the coming of the Son of man did not belong to the formal answer, but were spoken in passing. This mighty advent the Lord alluded to as probably a very remote event - an event certainly to be postponed, to use his own words, "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Not so the great catastrophe involving the ruin of Jerusalem and the temple, the prophecy concerning which occupied so much of the Lord's reply. That lay in the immediate future; that would happen in the lifetime of some of those standing by. Before forty years had elapsed the city and temple, now lying before them in all its strength and beauty, would have disappeared.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Verily I say unto you, this generation,.... See Gill on Matthew 24:34. See Gill on Matthew 24:35. All the Oriental versions read here as there, "all these things"; before related.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. This generation—not "this nation," as some interpret it, which, though admissible in itself, seems very unnatural here. It is rather as in Lu 9:27.
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