“What shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
This was a private discourse which the apostles asked Jesus and the answer he gave we shall take as a guide for us well. In order to study more than what any Bible scholars and teachers may have spoken on the topic of eschatology the official and only true version is from the Son of man who is the Word made flesh.
Here we shall consider the verses 3-42. This is divided into two sections.
First Section: Signs (vs.3-35)
He prefaces with a warning,’ Take heed that no man deceive you.’ From verse.5 till verse 10 is one account of the signs. This we may consider as placed in parenthesis since Jesus repeats more or less the same adding some more details which we can apply as injunction for the church as well as for Israel in particular. Of the latter is the parable of the fig tree and it ends in a categorical statement: ‘Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, but my words shall not pass away (vs.34)’. This has been fulfilled under the Roman occupation of the city of Jerusalem and razing of the temple.
On the other hand the symbol of the carcase (vs.28) applies to martyrs and saints of the church who shall be gathered (Re.6:9)At the opening of the fifth seal the dead both from the nation of Israel and the Church those shall be sealed and gathered. This carcase therefore a collective term for the dead from the Great Tribulation and prior (who were killed from Abel onwards)
As with the narrative mode the Spirit uses in other passages we are to infer the narrative telescoped from the specific into general events. The verses 5-6 are repeated in (vs.23-24) In the following verse the Spirit prefaces thus: “Behold I have told you before..(vs.25) From vs.5 till vs14 the Spirit introduces the divine Will and the vs.25 onwards it is set down from the standpoint of Jesus Christ.