What does Jesus mean by the regeneration (Mat 19:28)? Notice that the Greek word used (palingenesia) means literally a re-birth and occurs only twice in the Bible; it was used by the Hellenistic Jews to refer to a state of renewal, such as after the flood or the return of the Jewish exiles from captivity. Observe also that the punctuating comma in our English texts (“you who have followed Me, in the regeneration…”), like all other punctuation marks, is not part of the original text and must be supplied by the translation, but the editors of the Greek text place this comma after regeneration; what effect does that have on the meaning? (Note that the NIV and other less literal versions change the Greek word order.) In what sense has the time since Christ’s appearing been such a time of renewal? Cf. Tit 3:5 for the only other Biblical use of this word, as well as Joh 3:3, Rom 6:4, 2Co 5:17, and Heb 9:10. Is there also a sense in which the Son of Man is already seated on His glorious throne? Cf. 1Sa 2:8 (notice that NAS “seat of honor” is “glorious throne” in the LXX), Mat 22:44, 26:64, 28:18, Mar 16:19, Act 5:31, 7:55-56, Rom 8:34, Eph 1:20, Phil 2:9, Col 3:1, Heb 1:3, 2:9, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2, 1Pe 3:22. Is there a sense in which the apostles too were exalted to reign and judge the twelve tribes of Israel with the authority of the kingdom of heaven? See Act 1:8, 2:1-4,22,33-37, 3:14-15, 5:1-6, 13:8-11 and cf. Mat 16:18-19, 18:15-18, Joh 20:22-23; see also Mat 10:23 and consider the judgment that overtook the nation in 70 a.d. after the apostles’ ministry to Israel. What insight does this give us into the disciples’ actions in Acts 1:15-26? Think: in light of this promise of Jesus, why did they consider it important that there be twelve apostles and they fill the vacancy left by Judas’ departure? See also Act 2:14. What insight does this give us into the notion by some that the disciples’ election of Matthias to take Judas’ place was premature, because God intended the apostle Paul to have that place? Hint: was Paul an apostle to the Jews? See Rom 11:13. Is it possible that we ourselves can begin to reign with Christ in a way similar to that of the first apostles even now in this life?
In what complete sense is the regeneration spoken of in Mat 19:28 still future? See Isa 65:17, 66:22, Act 3:21, Rom 8:18-21, 2Pe 3:13, Rev 21:1,5. In what complete sense has the Son of Man not yet been seated upon His glorious throne, nor His saints been given full authority to reign and judge? Cf. Mat 16:27, 25:31, Rev 2:26-27, 20:4. Where else in Scripture do we see this tension between the “now” and the “not yet” fulfillment of God’s promises? Cf. Mal 4:5-6, Mat 17:11-12, Heb 2:8, 1Jo 3:2.