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Insight #108 — Chrysostom Examines Matthew 24

Many of us believe the early part of Matthew 24 predicts the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and the latter part of the chapter predicts the second coming. This is no new doctrine. John Chrysostom, who lived A.D. 347-407, held the same view. Enjoy these quotes:

“He [Jesus] added moreover, ‘And this gospel shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come,’ of the downfall of Jerusalem. For in proof that He meant this, and that before the taking of Jerusalem the gospel was preached, hear what Paul says, ‘Their sound went into all the earth;’ and again, ‘The gospel which was preached to every creature which is under Heaven’… in twenty or at most thirty years the word had reached the ends of the world.

” ‘After this therefore,’ says He, ‘shall come the end of Jerusalem.’ For that He intimates this was manifested by what follows. For He brought in also a prophecy, to confirm their desolation, saying, ‘But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’…

“Says He: ‘For then shall be tribulation, such as never was, neither shall be.’ And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken hyperbolically; but let him study the writings of Josephus, and learn the truth of the sayings. For neither can any one say, that the man being a believer, in order to establish Christ’s words, hath exaggerated the tragic history. For indeed he was both a Jew, and a determined Jew… What then says this man? That those terrors surpassed all tragedy, and that no such had ever overtaken the nation…

“Having finished what concerned Jerusalem, He passes on to His own coming” (Homilies 75 and 76 on the Gospel of Matthew).