When the Son Comes to Rule at Papa’s Right Hand

A Christ-centered, Trinitarian paraphrase of Matthew 24.1-31

(1) The disciples were all like “Oooooo” and “Aaahhhh” about how grand the temple was. (2) Jesus said: “Don’t be so easily impressed by this big pile of rocks.  It’s going down; the whole thing—KABLOOEY!

(3) Later as they were hanging out on the hill, they asked him: “When is that going to happen?  How will we know that you’ve come to the Father?  How will we know that this present evil age has ended and that the Age of the Messiah has begun?

(4) Jesus answered: “Don’t let anybody trick you. (5) Lots of people are going to say “Look at me! I’m the Messiah!”  Lots of people will fall for it, but my coming will not be like that.

(6) Don’t freak out when wars happen; in the time before the end of this evil age, such things are par for the course. (7) Wars, famines, earthquakes (8) are just how it begins. (9) Before this age ends, you Twelve will be hated, betrayed, tortured, and killed because of me.

(10) Many will lose sight of the gospel.  They will betray and hate one another. (11) They will fall for get-religious-quick schemes. (12) They will live without healthy boundaries, and they will experience the consequences — cold and frightened hearts. (13) But not you guys.  Stick with me, and you will be safe from those perils. (14) You will spread the good news — that I am your king and defender — all over the place.  Then this age will end, and the new age will begin.

(15) Watch for the sign of Daniel: The abomination standing inside the Temple. (16) When you see that, get out of town.  Head for the hills.  Literally. Run into the mountains and hide.  Don’t waste a single second.  (17) Don’t run back into your house (18) to get your stuff. There will not even be time for that.  Just RUN. (19) It will be hard for those who are pregnant or have little kids.  (20) It will be even harder if it happens in winter, or on a Sabbath when people are crammed into the Temple courts. Pray that it will not be so. (21) Because that is where it will start — a massacre the likes of which you have never seen. (22) Without Papa’s intervention, absolutely everyone there would die. (23) But he will intervene.  He will intervene for you guys, the ones chosen to witness to what you have seen.

(23) Don’t fall for false messiahs. (24) There will be lots of them, complete with fancy tricks.  But you know me.  Don’t fall for it. (25) Don’t forget I told you this. (26) Don’t follow them to look for me hiding in a cave or basement. (27) You don’t need anyone to tell you where lightning is, because it brightens up the whole sky.  Likewise, you won’t need anyone to tell you the Son of Man has come to begin exercising his rule over all things.  When the destruction I have prophesied comes to pass, everyone will see it. (28) A hovering flock of vultures is visible to everyone.  No one needs to be told about the corpse on the ground beneath them.

(29) In the wake of all this carnage, everything will fall to pieces. Chaos galore!  Kings will fall.  Society will break down. Thrones will fail. The powers will be shaken to their foundations. (30) When this prophecy comes to pass, everyone will see me vindicated over my enemies.  They will see that I truly am what Daniel prophesied — the true Son of Man, now come to heaven to rule at the right hand of the Ancient of Days.  They will weep.  My enemies in Israel will see what Egypt saw [Isa 19.1] — The Son of Man making war on them from above, bringing their dark schemes to utter annihilation.  (31) His messengers will spread out to all corners of the earth, and their proclamation will gather Papa’s children to his arms.

~ John Stonecypher

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