2. Matt 24:3 records the disciples of Jesus clearly associating the destruction of the temple as the end of the Mosaic age and an event that would reveal the presence (or coming) of Jesus as Messiah.
3. Matt 24:4-32 Jesus does not correct them as though their assumption that all three events were not synonymous, but instead answers them by describing many events/signs that would allow them to know when this event was getting closer and would occur (the destruction of the temple, the end of the age, and His coming or the Parousia).
4. Matt 24:33 Jesus is recorded saying that only when his disciples saw all these signs occurring, would they know that the Coming of the Son of Man was near, right at the door.
5. James 5:7¬-9 James encourages his 1st century readers to “be patient, until the coming of the Lord”….. “for the coming of the Lord is near” and alluding to Jesus’ words in Matt 24:33, he says “behold the Judge is standing at the door” (but Jesus said that only when his disciples saw the signs given in Matt 24:4-24 could they know that He was near, standing at the door). So unless you say: Jesus was wrong, James was wrong, or can prove that Jesus and James were talking about two different judgments, two different comings, and that both were to occur within the lifetime of his 1st century audience, then logic 101 demands that James was a witness of the signs given in Matt 24 and was confident because of Jesus’ own words that He was now near, standing at the door to judge those who had fattened their hearts in a day of slaughter.
6. Matt 24:34 Jesus is recorded stating plainly to his disciples that “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” which is clear that from the perspective of his contemporaries they were to expect the destruction of the Herodian Temple, during their lifetime which would end the current Mosaic age and at the same time reveal/vindicate Jesus as Messiah, the true vine (Jn 15:1), and his followers as the true circumcision (Phil 3:3).
Major Premise: It was taught by Jesus that the destruction of the Herodian Temple would occur at the end of the age by the coming of the Son of Man and all of this would occur before that generation passed away.
Minor Premise: The destruction of the Herodian Temple did (historically) occur before that generation passed away, as Jesus said it would.
Conclusion: The end of the age and the coming of the Son of Man must have also occurred when the Herodian Temple was historically destroyed, before that generation passed away.
There is one more event we most look at here. The resurrection of the dead was also to occur at the end of the age (Dan 12:13) at the coming of the Son of Man (Matt 13) and this seems to be a difficult stance for most scholars to make because of an apparent absence of the event (resurrection of the dead) in Matt 24. Most scholars like to point out that although the Matthew chapter 24 account could be attributed to the fall of Jerusalem, they would argue that the resurrection of the dead is not mentioned at all in Matt 24 thus disassociating the resurrection from the other events listed by Jesus in His discourse. I disagree. They are overlooking a major key phrase that is mentioned, and that phrase is “end of the age.”
Since it seems that Jesus correlates the “end of the age” with the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 then he would be plainly stating that the resurrection would occur at that same time. As a matter of fact, to his Jewish audience, who were familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures, I believe he could not have made it plainer.
The phrase “end of the age” and other phrases meaning the same thing such as “last days” (Deut 32:29, Heb 1:1-2), “end of the days or age[s]” (Dan 12:13, 1Cor 10:11) and “end time” (Dan 12:4,9) are found to be in many biblical texts as noted above but taking a look at only a few in relation to the topic might be helpful to get my point across. Please note that many Jewish Rabbis knew that it was only in these “last days” or “end of the age” that some sort of resurrection of the House of Israel would occur (see Ezk 36-37,Isa 26:19, Hos 6:1-2, Dan 12:13). Some texts such as Dan 12:13 are great examples because of the resurrection being discussed with a time statement attached to the event. It is stated that Daniel would only rise again (from the dead) but only at the end of the age. Because of the lack of space and time (including my concern of confusing the reader) I would like to list only a few examples with my focus being only to show how Jesus made this point clear to His disciples by using simple and familiar time indicators, such as “the end of the age” which would allow his disciples to understand not only his discourse but also when explaining the meaning behind His parabolic language. Hopefully I can make it easier for the reader to see the obvious as a 1st century Jew would in 1st century Palestine.
In Matthew 13 Jesus gives a parable regarding the tares among the wheat. His disciples asked Him to explain it to them and he did so. In verse 39 He says that the harvest is the end of the age, did you get that? The harvest is the end of the age according to our Lord’s own divine commentary. Jesus then goes on to say in verse 40 that the tares will be gathered up and burned with fire at the end of the age. And in the following verses He states that the Son of Man would send forth His angels to gather the stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them in the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and this was all to occur at the end of the age; which is the harvest. Please note that the phrase “end of the age” was given as a way of explaining what the meaning of the word harvest meant, which he used in the parable. Jesus was not using more parabolic language but was providing an easy definition to the parable in which He just gave because He was explaining to His disciples. So, we can conclude that by using the phrase “end of the age” Jesus was not providing yet another encrypted phrase, but was making it understandable to His disciples by using what would have been a clear, well understood time statement. Understanding verse 43 is crucial for my point to be understood because He goes on to say “then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Jesus is quoting from Daniel 12:3 which is explicitly speaking of the resurrection of the dead and He does this for a reason. We can know this by looking and Daniel 12:2-3 in context:
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
So Jesus is saying that all of this would occur at the end of the age, which is the harvest. Since, in Matt 24 Jesus describes the destruction of the Herodian temple as an event occurring at the end of the age, which He also says is the harvest, we would have to think that the destruction of the Temple would be when the resurrection would occur as we see the Harvest depicted in Rev 14:15, Hos 6:1-11 when Jerusalem according to the flesh would be Judged for her harlotry (Hos 6:10) but Jerusalem according to the Spirit would be restored from captivity (Amos 9:14) and at the same time have her fortunes restored (Hos 6:11).
Note to critics: Some have responded to this conclusion by saying that the disciples were (or could have been) confused when assuming that the destruction of the Herodian temple would occur at the end age at the Parousia and I would like to grant them my partial agreement but with some info to consider. Let me explain:
Although Jesus was speaking about the Herodian Temple and the end of the Mosaic age and His own coming, I believe the disciples would have only asked such a thing based on the prophecy found in Amos 9:11 : “ In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as the days of old…” which a Jew in the 1st century would interpret as the physical Temple that was made with hands.
So, when upon hearing that the temple would be destroyed, it is my assumption that Jesus’ disciples asked when He (Messiah) would fulfill Amos 9:11 and rebuild it, which would be the end of the age (the age of exile and curse). Now, at this time His apostles did not understand the fact that Jesus was going to start fulfilling Amos 9:11 with the raising up of His physical body, which was the true House of David or Temple ( John 2:19-22) but later on in Acts 15:15-1 we find that the prophecy was still being fulfilled by the Jews and Gentiles being gathered together in one group and raised up in His inclusive/corporate body, the body of Christ, in which they were becoming members.
Now, realizing that the disciples referred to this and knowing that they were unable to understand His resurrection which He tried to explain to them many times (Mk 8:31-33, Mk 9:31-32) and knowing that they would not understand until they witnessed it (John 20:9) He made sense out of the historical aspect of their question which was indeed true but only in its final stage. In essence the tearing down of the temple (His body) would be a process as well as the rebuilding of it (His inclusive body, the church), the age would not just end without first a process of passing away (Heb 8:16) as well as the ushering in of the age to come, and the coming of the Son of Man would be a process that would grow to be an actual final event when all that is written would be fulfilled.
Lets’ put it this way, Jesus’ physical body (the temple) being torn down and raised up again on the third day (Jn 2:19) was the beginning of the resurrection/raising of His inclusive/corporate Body (Isa 26:19, Hos 6:1-2, Col 3:1, Acts 15:16-18), which is the Church (Col 1:15,18, Eph 1:22-23, 1Pet 2:4-5), He being the head, which would only be the beginning of the end of the age (Acts 2:17-29, 1Cor 2:6-8; 10:11, Heb 8:16) which would also mark the beginning stages of the coming of the Son of Man, (Rom 13:11, Jam 5: 8-9) . The decisive or determining event was the Cross (which caused the impending ball of judgment to start rolling) but the consummating event (which would be final judgment of Old Covenant Israel) would be the Parousia.
When the physical Herodian temple was destroyed or fleshly Jerusalem for that matter, which at the time was the ultimate sign of Old Covenant Israel still existing, bearing children who are to be slaves [Gal 4:24-24], it is written that it would not be raised again (Heb 12:27), signifying that the old age, which was perishable had finally come to an end by putting on that which is imperishable , and that the coming of the Son of Man had fully arrived ushering the new age (that which is imperishable) which has no end (Eph 3:21) “ a kingdom which cannot be shaken” (Heb 12:28) and at which time; since the perishable would have put on the imperishable, and the mortal would have put on immortality, then the saying would finally be true that is written: “ Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting?” Because as Paul says: “ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Torah” meaning that if you get rid of the condemnation of Torah, then sin loses its power and if sin loses its power then Death has no more sting