The importance of context of what’s being said, and to whom, in Scripture.
I came across this image the other day (in the header above; see larger here) that links together three parts of Matthew’s Gospel to highlight the connection which many often miss, or read as separate events. I like the image because it shows that when Jesus spoke these things, he would have been saying them directly to the disciples and others who were listening to his teaching, and not in some cryptic, ambiguous dictation to a prophetic scribe, devoid of all context and meaning to those around him at the time.
Update Feb 2017: I am adding some additional information to this to display some of the counter arguments/alternative interpretations used by dispensationalists, sometimes also called “Futurists” (those who believe these passages refer to a distant future event centred around the “Second Coming” of Jesus, and is typically the most popular and recent interpretive framework taught in churches today) to try and give a more well rounded view and a defense of the non-dispensational interpretation.
So let’s break it down and look at each quote in a bit more detail to see how these all connect together coherently.
Source: That Ancient Faith