“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
Passage from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
What does Matthew 24 verse 35 mean? In this passage of the gospel, Jesus tells us about the end of time, when everything disappears, even the most concrete and lasting elements of our reality: Heaven and Earth. His words remind us of the prophecy of Isaiah (51: 19) who said: “the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.” They also refer forward to the final chapter of the Bible, the Book of Revelations (19:11-15), in which we see the prophecy fulfilled.
Here, Jesus calls to God the Father, who creates the whole Universe of his words, words that are fulfilled in the breadth of human history.
In doing so, Jesus reinforces the idea that we must rely on Him and His word, and not on the things of this world, which will pass. The words of the gospel are vital and more permanent and secure than anything we can see or touch.
As Christians, our goal should be to never forget that. We are constantly tempted to rely on our knowledge, relationships, or talents. Jesus reminds us that all his things can disappear at any time, and that only his words and grace will remain with us.
As Paul recommends to us in his letter at the new church in Corinth, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
So, let us keep reminding each other, and keep remembering that one can really rely only on Jesus and the word of God.
“My words will never pass away” Jesus told us. They are living words that come to transform our lives from within. Every day, welcome the word of God through the commented gospel or by receiving a verse to meditate throughout the day. You can also choose to be guided through Matthew’s gospel, with this beautiful online retreat.