Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. The position in which these words stand is significant. Many writers see references to the commonly called "end of the world" in vers. 29-31 because the imagery is so large as to seem unsuitable for a mere national desolation. Our Lord meets that difficulty, and distinctly declares that the figures picture events which belong to that generation. What needs to be clearly seen is, that this discourse of our Lord's is not a general discourse on the "last things," but a precise anticipation of the experiences through which his disciples were about to pass, and a gracious preparation for them. He was leaving those disciples to themselves. He had indications to the very last of their unfitness to be left. They were still so hampered by their notions of a material kingdom. They were Jews, full of Jewish ideas. It would be a distress to them that the Jewish system was to be put away, as having fulfilled its mission. It might even be overwhelming to them that the very city and temple were destroyed. Our Lord would forewarn them. Their knowledge of the fact would help them to think aright, and to act aright, when the time came. This is the key to our Lord's meaning.
I. THE DISCIPLES HELPED TO THINK ARIGHT. We know how great a strain on them was the opening of the gospel to the Gentiles. St. Peter had to explain his conduct in baptizing Cornelius. St. Paul had to give account of his teachings of the Gentiles. And we can understand how much greater must have been the strain, when not only were Gentile Churches formed, but the Jewish Church was broken up. suppose that our Lord had never spoken of this removing of organized Judaism. We can quite see that the Jewish Christians would have been altogether alarmed and overwhelmed. They could think aright, and realize the permanency of the Church as a spiritual institution, independent of, if related to, any material forms.
II. THE DISCIPLES HELPED TO ACT ARIGHT. Explain that, from a Jewish point of view, the centre for the new Christian mission must be Jerusalem. Those disciples would be likely to cling to Jerusalem in a way that would involve their personal safety. Our Lord therefore forewarned them. When certain events happened, they must finally and quickly forsake the sacred city. That there might be no self-delusions, no procrastinations, he made his meaning plain by the words of the text. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.