Ver. 30,31. Mark saith, Mar_13:26,27, And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Luke saith, Luk_21:27,28, And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Interpreters are also divided about these words, as about the former, some understanding them concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and judging that by the sign of the coming of the Son of man is probably meant some prodigy or some comet seen before that destruction, which should be of that nature as it should make the Jews (here called the tribes of the earth) to mourn; they by the angels and trumpet, mentioned Mat_24:31, understanding the ministers of the gospel, who after the destruction of Jerusalem should go and preach the gospel over all the world, and so gather in the elect into the gospel church. But I cannot agree to this sense, and most interpreters expound these words of the last judgment. What is meant by
the sign of the Son of man all are not so well agreed. Two of the evangelists say only the Son of man. Matthew mentions first the appearance of the sign of the Son of man, then the Son of man himself; probably it signifieth some great prodigy that shall be seen before that great and terrible day. Those things which incline me to think that the day of judgment, not the destruction of Jerusalem, is that which is spoken of in these verses, is;
1. That all the phrases are such as the Scripture useth to express Christ’s coming to the last judgment: his coming in the clouds of heaven, Mat_26:64Rev_1:7; the tribes of the earth mourning, Rev_1:7; his coming with the angels, and the sound of a trumpet, Mat_25:31Mar_8:381Co_15:521Th_4:16; his sending his angels to gather the elect, Mat_13:49.
2. The tribes of the earth mourning, seems to signify more than the twelve tribes of Israel.
3. That which Luke hath, Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh; seemeth hardly applicable to the destruction of Jerusalem, rather to the redemption of the body, mentioned Rom_8:23.
For the gospel before this time was carried to the Gentiles; nor do I know that that is any where called redemption. Those things which have led some learned interpreters to expound Mat_24:29-31 of the destruction of Jerusalem, are, I conceive, those particles, immediately after the tribulation of those days, Mat_24:29 and the particle then, Mat_24:30; together with Mat_24:34 where our Saviour saith, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. But the term, immediately after the tribulation of those days, may signify not only the destruction of Jerusalem, but that, and all the calamities of those days that should follow that, to the end of the world: and it is very usual for prophetical scriptures to speak of things to come long after as if they were presently to come to pass, Deu_32:35; and the day of judgment is ordinarily spoken of as if it were at hand, 1Th_4:15Jam_5:81Jo_2:18, both to denote the certainty of it, and to keep us from security, and to let us know that a thousand years in God’s sight are but as one day, 2Pe_3:8. For in Mat_24:34, we shall give the sense of it, in its order.