How do you reconcile Matthew 16:27 and 16:28? What is the time frame for the fulfillment of this prophecy?
Question:,One of my sons asked me a Bible question tonight and after doing a little study I am still baffled, so I wondered if you had any insight into it. The question is: how do we reconcile Matthew 16:27 and Matthew 16:28? I read your response to a questioner who asked about Matthew 16:28 and you explained that Jesus is using the word kingdom here in such a way that he is probably referring to the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. And that explanation for verse 28 makes sense to me, but the verse above it (verse 27) is clearly referring to Judgment Day. So our question is: how do these two verses reconcile?,The only thing I can think of is that perhaps they are two unrelated thoughts.,Or maybe this is the source of the rumor that the Apostle John would not die till the Lord returns (John 21:22-24)? ,Any insight you have on this would be appreciated. And if you don’t know, that’s okay too – my son and I are just curious :-),Answer:,Good question. I will agree that setting the timing of the fulfillment of the prophecies in Matthew 16:27-28 is potentially confusing. This is not the only time Jesus prophesied the future but changed time context without warning. Another example is Matthew Ch 24. 24:15-27 is fairly clearly about AD 70, Matthew 24:29-31 seems fairly clearly to be about the still future return of Jesus (as appears to be confirmed in context by Matthew 24:36-25:13). Making it more confusing, Jesus seems to return to AD 70 in Matthew 24:32-35. We ought to be somewhat cautious about such assignments of time of fulfillment of prophecy, but this seems to be the most likely view of Matthew 24..,Such a seemingly sudden change of time frame is apparent in Matthew 16:27-28. I can imagine a double-fullfillment of Matthew 16:27. In other words there may be a preliminary fulfillment and an ultimate fullfillment of this coming to reward each person. However, I see principle fulfillment of this prophecy in Judgment Day. This is a prophecy of the same event as that prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:29-31–when Jesus comes back to bring in the end of days and final judgment. ,Matthew 16:28 is a prophecy of the coming of the Kingdom in a limited but nevertheless very significant way at Pentecost. The obvious interpretation is that some, but not all of the apostles will be alive when Jesus comes in his kingdom. Given that Judas was dead already at Pentecost, this is surely the most natural interpretation of Matthew 16:28.,Bear in mind that to the Near Eastern thinker, linear thought process is not to be assumed. For example, Matthew 16:28 seems to have principle fulfillment in Acts 2, yet it is possible to see Matthew 17:1-6 as a sort of mini pre-fulfillment of this prophecy of Jesus. The Western linear way of thinking assumes that any one single prophecy is fulfilled by a single corresponding event and to that event only. I do not believe that this assumption in necessarily correct.,John Oakes, PhD