Matthew 16:27-28 (The Son of Man is Going to Come)

Mat 16:27   From the immediately preceding context, what sort of “coming” does Jesus mean when He speaks of His coming in the glory of His Father with the angels, and what sort of recompense or reward is referred to for men’s deeds?  See Mat 13:40-42, 49-50 and note that the Greek word for “deeds” used here refers almost exclusively to evil or corrupt deeds: see Luk 23:51 (action), Acts 19:18 (practices), Rom 8:13, Col 3:9; also recall that “forfeit” in Mat 16:26 has the connotation of a fine, penalty, or punishment.  What do the words “recompense” (NASB), “repay” (updated NASB), and “reward” (KJV) indicate about how the debt of our sins shall be repaid if it is not atoned for by Christ and forgiven?  Is that coming of Jesus with His angels to recompense every man according to his deeds only a one time future event that has yet to happen?  See Rom 1:18, Eph 5:6, Col 3:6[1], Rev 2:20-23, 22:12; cf. Luk 12:19-21.  Note also that the Greek word translated “is going” to come means literally “is about to”, “intends to”, “is at the point of”, etc… and communicates that He is poised to act and it could happen at any time.  “To come” is a present infinitive which indicates a continuous, abiding condition, not a onetime event in which case we would find the aorist tense.

When Jesus says He is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, should we assume that event will be plainly visible with our physical eyes?  Cf. 2Ki 6:17, Luke 16:22, Joh 5:3-4, Act 12:23, 1Co 11:10, 2Co 12:7, 1Ti 5:21, Heb 12:22, 13:2.  In what way then is that which Jesus refers to here to be distinguished from the parousia (Greek) that is commonly translated as His “coming”, but means literally His “presence” (cf. 1Co 16:17, 2Co 7:6, 10:10, Phil 2:12), and hence is better understood as His “arrival” or “coming to be present” as a King to reign?  Note the Greek word used here in our present context is erchomai, not parousia; for parousia see Jdt 10:18 and 2Ma 8:12 in the LXX[2], as well as Mat 24:3,27,37,39, 1Th 4:15-17, 5:23, 2Th 2:1,8-9, 2Pe 3:4,12, 1Jo 2:28 (notice “appears” in this verse, which means to become visible).

Mat 16:28: In light of the previous discussion, do you think the Greek word used in this verse that refers to the Son of Man coming in His kingdom is parousia?  Why not?  What does “taste death” mean?  Does it refer only to physical death?  See Joh 8:51-52, Heb 2:9.  What word here in Mat 16:28 makes clear that Jesus is referring to physical death?  Contrast Joh 11:26.  What do Mark and Luke record that some of those who were standing there would see before their physical death?  See Mar 9:1, Luk 9:27.  In what way could all of the following be understood as a fulfillment of Jesus’ words here: The resurrection?  The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost?  The spread of the gospel and establishment of the Church?  The death of Ananias and Sapphira?  The hardening of the Jews? The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple?  Were such things their expectation of the Son of Man coming in His kingdom?  In what ways do we see the kingdom of God and experience the Son of Man coming in His kingdom today?  What event do all three synoptic gospels record immediately after this verse that could also be understood as a fulfillment of Jesus’ words here?  See Mat 17:2, Mar 9:3, and Luk 9:29.  In what way would that event have been a foretaste of the parousia when Jesus will come not only in the hearts of men through His Spirit to prepare His kingdom, but will arrive as the King in power and presence to reign?  See 2Th 2:8, especially in the KJV and NIV (appearance, brightness = epiphany).  What indication do we have that this is what Peter understood the Lord to be primarily referring to in this verse?  See Mat 17:5, 2Pe 1:16-18 and note that “coming” in 2Pe 1:16 is the Greek parousia.  What indications did Jesus give His disciples that the full establishment of His kingdom would not happen immediately as they supposed?  See Luk 19:11, 17:20-21, Act 1:6-8.  Because it has been so long in arriving, should we suppose it will always remain just a spiritual kingdom?  See 2Pe 3:3-13.

 


1. All present tense verbs, indicating an abiding, continuous action, not just a future one time event; “will” come in Col 3:6 as translated by the NASB is incorrect if understood as a future—see all other versions—but may be understood in terms of the certainty of wrath coming upon the wicked.

2. Judith 10:18 There was great excitement in the whole camp, for her arrival (parousia) was reported from tent to tent.

2Maccabees 8:12-13 Word came to Judas concerning Nicanor’s invasion; and when he told his companions of the arrival (parousia) of the army, those who were cowardly and distrustful of God’s justice ran off and got away.

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