Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
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(35) Heaven and earth.—The tone is that of One who speaks with supreme authority, foreseeing, on the one hand, death and seeming failure, but on the other, the ultimate victory, not of truth only in the abstract, but of His own word as the truth. The parallelism of the words with those of Psalm 102:26, Isaiah 40:8, gives them their full significance. The Son of Man claims for His own words the eternity which belongs to the words of Jehovah. (Comp. 1Peter 1:24-25.) The whole history of Christendom witnesses to the fulfilment of the prophetic claim. Amid all its changes and confusions, its errors and its sins, the words of Christ have not passed away, but retain their pre-eminence as the last and fullest revelation of the Father.

24:29-41 Christ foretells his second coming. It is usual for prophets to speak of things as near and just at hand, to express the greatness and certainty of them. Concerning Christ's second coming, it is foretold that there shall be a great change, in order to the making all things new. Then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds. At his first coming, he was set for a sign that should be spoken against, but at his second coming, a sign that should be admired. Sooner or later, all sinners will be mourners; but repenting sinners look to Christ, and mourn after a godly sort; and those who sow in those tears shall shortly reap in joy. Impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, shall mourn and weep in endless horror and despair. The elect of God are scattered abroad; there are some in all places, and all nations; but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing. Distance of place shall keep none out of heaven. Our Lord declares that the Jews should never cease to be a distinct people, until all things he had been predicting were fulfilled. His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; therefore he here, ver. 34, foretells that Judah shall never cease to exist as a distinct people, so long as this world shall endure. Men of the world scheme and plan for generation upon generation here, but they plan not with reference to the overwhelming, approaching, and most certain event of Christ's second coming, which shall do away every human scheme, and set aside for ever all that God forbids. That will be as surprising a day, as the deluge to the old world. Apply this, first, to temporal judgments, particularly that which was then hastening upon the nation and people of the Jews. Secondly, to the eternal judgment. Christ here shows the state of the old world when the deluge came. They were secure and careless; they knew not, until the flood came; and they believed not. Did we know aright that all earthly things must shortly pass away, we should not set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do. The evil day is not the further off for men's putting it far from them. What words can more strongly describe the suddenness of our Saviour's coming! Men will be at their respective businesses, and suddenly the Lord of glory will appear. Women will be in their house employments, but in that moment every other work will be laid aside, and every heart will turn inward and say, It is the Lord! Am I prepared to meet him? Can I stand before him? And what, in fact, is the day of judgment to the whole world, but the day of death to every one?Heaven and earth shall pass away ... - You may sooner expect to see the heaven and earth pass away and return to nothing, than my words to fail. 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.

Ver. 32-35. Mark hath the very same, Mark 13:28-31. So hath Luke, Luke 21:29-33, only he saith, the fig tree, and all the trees, when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily, &c. By this similitude of the fig tree (called therefore by Luke a parable) our Saviour doth not only design to inform them that these things which he had told them should be as certain signs of the approaching of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the coming of his kingdom, as the fig trees and other trees putting forth of leaves is a sign of the approaching summer, as Song of Solomon 2:13; but that as the frosts, and snow, and cold of the winter, doth not hinder the trees from bringing forth fruit in the summer, so these tribulations and troubles should be so far from hindering and destroying Christ’s kingdom, that they should prepare the world for it, and promote it: so that as they might know from these tribulations in Judea that the kingdom of grace was at hand, and began; so from the following tribulations upon the world they might know that his kingdom of glory was also hastening.

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. There are several notions men have of that term, this generation, some by it understanding mankind; others, the generation of Christians; others, the whole generation of the Jews: but doubtless our Saviour mean’s the set of men that were at that time in the world: those who were at that time living should not all die until all these things shall be fulfilled, all that he had spoken with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem; and indeed the most of those signs which our Saviour gave, were signs common both to the destruction of Jerusalem and the last judgment, abating only Christ’s personal coming in the clouds with power and glory. So that, considering that the destruction of Jerusalem was within less than forty years after our Saviour’s speaking these words, so many as lived to the expiration of that number of years must see the far greater part of these things actually fulfilled, as signs of the destruction of Jerusalem; and fulfilling, as signs of the end of the world.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. By this expression our Saviour confirmeth the truth of what he had said, assuring those to whom he spake, that although there should be a change of the heavens and the earth, 2 Peter 3:10,12,13, which then commonly look upon as the most stable and abiding things, yet the truth of what he had said should not fail. Heaven and earth shall pass away,.... This is either an assertion, which will be true at the end of time; not as to the substance of the heavens and earth, which will always remain, but as to the qualities of them, which will be altered: they will be renewed and refined, but not destroyed; the bad qualities, or evil circumstances, which attend them through the sin of man, will be removed and pass away, but they themselves will continue in being: or is a comparative expression, and the sense is, that the heavens and the earth, and the ordinances thereof, than which nothing can be more firm and strong, being fixed and supported by God himself, shall sooner pass away, than anything asserted and predicted by Christ shall:

but my words shall not pass away; be vain and empty, and unaccomplished; which is true of anything, and everything spoken by Christ; and especially here regards all that he had said concerning the calamities that should befall the Jews, before, at, or upon the destruction of their nation, city, and temple; and the design of the expression, is to show the certainty, unalterableness, and sure accomplishment of these things; see Jeremiah 31:36.

{8} Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

(8) The Lord now begins the judgment, which he will finish in the latter days.

Matthew 24:35. With the preceding πάντα ταῦτα γένηται will commence the passing away of the fabric of the world as it now exists (2 Peter 3:7-8); but what I say (generally, though with special reference to the prophetic utterances before us) will certainly not pass away, will abide as imperishable truth (v. 18). The utterance which fails of its accomplishment is conceived of as something that perishes (Addit. Esther 7:2), that ceases to exist. Comp. ἐκπίπτειν, Romans 9:6.Matthew 24:35. eclaration similar to that in chap. Matthew 5:18 concerning the validity of the law.35. This verse was originally omitted in the Sinaitic MS., but is inserted by a later hand.Matthew 24:35. Ὁ οὐρανὸς, heaven) The motion of which is otherwise regulated by the most unerring laws.—ἡ γῆ, the earth) which is otherwise most firmly founded.—λόγοι Μου, My words) The plural number is employed; cf. πάντα, all, Matthew 24:34, which is likewise plural.—οὐ μὴ παρέλθωσι, shall not pass away) q.d. My words shall correspond exactly with the event; although it does not appear so to men immediately. Heaven and earth will give place to the new heaven and new earth, which are described by My words. The firmness of the law is illustrated in a similar manner in ch. Matthew 5:18.Verse 35. - Christ adds a solemn assurance that his words have in them a vitality and endurance which the mightiest works of nature do not possess. The facts and truths embodied in his words are sure and steadfast, and what he has promised or predicted shall inevitably be fulfilled. This verse is omitted by א but it is most probably genuine, as it undoubtedly has its place in the other two synoptists (comp. 1 Peter 1:24, 25).
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