Threats of Betrayal and Martyrdom

Matthew 24:9-14


From Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, 2006, AMG Publishers

[9] The false notion that believers are exempt from affliction (thlípsis [2347], squeezing, suffering) is being spread today. In this section, Jesus said this is not true. Here tóte (5119), “then,” covers the whole period from Christ’s first coming to His triumphant return in glory to reign on earth after the tribulation (Matt. 25:31).

Given the nature of the persecution that follows and the reference to endurance to the end (v. 13), the “then’s” in verses 9 and 10 extend through the time of the “Great Tribulation” specified in verse 21. But the emphasis of thlípsis without the definite article (as in v. 21) is on the quality of persecution as opposed to its identity or duration. It is then that “they (an undefined subject but presumably agents of the Antichrist) will deliver (from paradídōmi [3860], to deliver)” (a.t.) believers into affliction by superior but temporary physical force. As the devil focuses on earth, having been cast out of heaven, he “knows that he has only a short time” (Rev. 12:12; a.t.). Panic sets in, and he will rage against the victorious “saints” (Rev. 13:7).

His agents will “kill” (from apokteínō [615]; in this context, murder) many believers unjustly during this time. As all nations hated the Jews, so the world will “hate” (from miséō [3404]) Christians during this season (Matt. 10:22; John 15:18, 19). Believers do not need to do anything to incite hatred. Resentment is aroused simply by bearing and declaring the name of Christ before unbelievers. During this time of intense persecution, believers will rise to the call of the hour to be on a polite but an assertive offensive. 

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