How do you reconcile Matt 16:26,27?  They are two distinct prophecies in these verses.  One is about the distant future which is the judgment.The other happened six days later.


First of all, I assume you mean Matthew 16:27-28, not 26-27.

In this little prophecy of Jesus he is doing what he often did, which is mix prophecies of end-times with prophecies of the time soon after his death and resurrection.   In Matthew 24:3-51 Jesus intersperses prophecies clearly about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (24:15-21), with ones clearly about his second coming (24:36-44) and ones which it could be debated might be about either or both (24:23-24).

Similarly, in Matthew 16:26-27, Jesus combines a prophecy about his second coming (Matthew 16:27) with one about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Matthew 16:28).   This pattern is found in multiple places in the Old Testament as well.   The “pattern” is that prophecies about the coming of the Kingdom of God often intersperse different future events.   For example, Ezekiel 36:24-38 is about the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land under Zerubbabel and it is also about the giving of the Holy Spirit and the coming of the Kingdom in the church.  Many more examples could be listed of combined prophecies of God coming at the end of time, when the church began and during the history of Israel.   You will find more material on this in the power point and outline on Ezekiel and Jeremiah in the power point section of the web site.

So…. Back to Matthew 16.   `Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”  This is fairly obviously (in my opinion, anyway) a prophecy about the second coming of Jesus.  That is the straightforward part.   The verse which gives some people problems is Matthew 18:28 “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man comign in his kingdom.”   I believe that this is a prophecy of the coming of the kingdom of God which happened at Pentecost, 49 days after the resurrection.  By this time, sure enough, one of the apostles was dead (Judas) but the rest were still alive to see the miraculous coming of the Kingdom, with the pillars of fire, rushing of wind and speaking on many languages, all of which happened in Acts chapter 2.   In this case, the events fit the prophecy perfectly.

The problem is that some Christians, especially those influenced by premillenialism, believe that the Kingdom of God has not come yet.   They are wrong.  The Kingdom of God has come in various times and in various ways.  It came particularly when Jesus walked the earth and it came particularly at Pentecost.   It will come in all its glory when Jesus comes back.  This pattern in the Bible of mixing prophecies of the Kingdom coming in different ways is a repeated one in the scriptures.  For more material on the Kingdom of God and on the different ways in which the Kingdom has come, see the notes and power point on the Kingdom of God and the Day of the Lord in the power point section of the web site.

I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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