The Beginning of Birth Pangs

. . . all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. Matt. 24:8

This little statement is found only in Matthew, not in Mark or Luke.

Birth pangs are about bringing new life into the world, and the new life is identified over and over in Matthew as the coming Kingdom of Heaven/God. We call this the Messianic or Church Age. “The Church Age” was born on the spurned ruins of the temple worship in Jerusalem. It brought a complete, and certainly radical, break with the Jewish or Mosaic  age.

FYI: The Church Age as it is called by theologians, should have been called The Kingdom Age, for that is what both John the Baptist and Messiah called it. [Matt. 3:2; Matt. 4:17]

When Jerusalem was destroyed, it was the end of Jewish polity. They no longer had a nation. They no longer had the protection of a government and laws. Instead they were thrown out into a world that did not want them. For 2000 years they have wandered from place to place, persecuted almost everywhere they went, hence, the term “wandering Jews”.

FYI: They did make two more attempts to regain their land and temple. In 137AD, a second Jewish revolt under Bar Kokhba was attempted. Then again, in 362AD the Roman Emperor known as Julian the Apostate (because he wanted to return the Roman Empire to paganism) gave money toward the rebuilding of the Jewish temple.

The Futurists believe this to be the birth pangs of the present political Jerusalem, since 1948AD. However, the context of this passage doesn’t support this claim. The entire section from chapter 21 to chapter 25 is about the end of Jewish polity and the birth of the Kingdom of Heaven/God.

The gestational time of a child is 40 weeks from conception to birth. In this passage, the Lord uses similar imagery to describe the spiritual birth of the New and Everlasting Kingdom. The Messianic Kingdom was in a fashion, conceived, carried, felt birth-pangs and finally birthed during from 30-70AD.

This new Kingdom would be different, indeed. It would not include a Temple, Priesthood or Jewish authority. Its citizens would become children of the Living God; based on faith, not blood line and based on Messiah’s blood atonement, not ritual sacrifice. It will be forever built on the foundation of Messiah, our Prophet, Priest and King.

 

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