Did jesus promise to come back in the 1st century?


In Matthew 16:28 jesus says:

Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

indicating that in his 2nd comming some ppl would be still alive, how should we 2,000 years later interpret this?


I hear crickets.


I could be wrong but I think He is talking about his ressurection.


Dr. Scott Hahn addresses this in his CD on Corpus Christi. He said that the language Jesus uses about the coming judgement aligns with the language of the Old Testament concerning temporal judgements. Meaning that when the prophets warned that God’s wrath was coming, it actually happened in history. Jesus could then be understood to be talking about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. So there were those alive then who would live to see that judgement.

What’s neat about our Faith is that we don’t need to understand Scripture in only one way. This same passage referring to Jesus coming or presence (Greek: parousia) can have applications in referring to his coming / presense in the Holy Eucharist. He did come again, in the Eucharist and is still with us.


“Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Jesus was continually saying that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

At hand = there for you to reach out and take.

And it was, and it still is. The Church is the Kingdom of God, and those that saw it and those that chose it saw the Son of Man in his glory. And we still do.


For one, we know that John did in Revelation. Christ only said they would SEE His return.

I do not doubt that Christ had supplied that same vision to others as well.

I have heard that the Transfiguration explains Christ’s words as well, though I am leary of that explanation.


Dan. 2:44 - Daniel prophesies an earthly kingdom that will never be destroyed. Either this is a false prophecy, or the earthly kingdom requires succession.

Isa. 22:20 - in the old Davidic kingdom, Eliakim succeeds Shebna as the chief steward of the household of God. The kingdom employs a mechanism of dynastic succession. King David was dead for centuries, but his kingdom is preserved through a succession of representatives.

Isa. 22:19 - Shebna is described as having an “office” and a “station.” An office, in order for it to be an office, has successors. In order for an earthly kingdom to last, a succession of representatives is required. This was the case in the Old Covenant kingdom, and it is the case in the New Covenant kingdom which fulfills the Old Covenant. Jesus our King is in heaven, but He has appointed a chief steward over His household with a plan for a succession of representatives.

Isa. 22:21 - Eliakim is called “father” or “papa” of God’s people. The word Pope used by Catholics to describe the chief steward of the earthly kingdom simply means papa or father in Italian. This is why Catholics call the leader of the Church “Pope.” The Pope is the father of God’s people, the chief steward of the earthly kingdom and Christ’s representative on earth.

Isa. 22:22 - we see that the keys of the kingdom pass from Shebna to Eliakim. Thus, the keys are used not only as a symbol of authority, but also to facilitate succession. The keys of Christ’s kingdom have passed from Peter to Linus all the way to our current Pope with an unbroken lineage for almost 2,000 years.

Above courtesy of ScriptureCatholic.com.

Christ Kingdom was established at Pentecost. With the descent of the Holy Spirit and the setting up of the office of dynastic succession. With our Lord enthroned in the eucharist. This is what was established in the 1st century. You must understand the Kingdom of God is the Catholic church. To further characterize my statement here’s some more scripture:

Matt. 13:47-50 says: “**Again, the kingdom of heaven **is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sortd the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. …”

It is also written about the Ten Virgins. Five foolish and five wise. Now we no that no one in heaven is foolish. And no one in heaven will be thrown in the fire.

So my point being is that Jesus said that many will see the establishment of His kingdom. Which is His Holy Catholic Church.


It tells us that either the gospels were written within living memory of Jesus, or that the words had acquired such sanctity that the gosepl writers didn’t dare change them even after they had been shown to be false.

I suspect that what happened was that Jesus made statements with the strong implication that the second coming would be imminent. They as war clouds gathered over Jerusalem the Churhc said “these are the end times”, and Jesus was reported in the gospels as explicitly giving a time for His return. It’s only a conjecture of course.


I guess that makes sense from the perspective of a believer.


ANd I guess that makes sense from the perspective of everyone else.



The idea here being that the Church re-interpreted the events to fit the prophecy, I suppose.

It is indeed hard to validate any public prophecy, since prophecies can’t name names, or else the people named might be influenced by the prophecy. So the necessary lack of clarity requires someone in authority to connect the dots.

That’s why Jesus publicly founded the authority. So that authority, the Catholic church, can validate the prophecy. Even after the fact.

But indeed, it might not make sense to non-believers. It’s certainly easier to discount prophecies altogether. Prophecies are not proof, but evidence.


And they, as well as we, “saw/see” Him coming at every Consecration at Mass.

Matt 16:28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

There is a connection between this verse and Our Lord’s words a few chapters later, at the Last Supper:

*Luke 22:17-18 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Luke 22:28-30 "You are those who have continued with me in my trials; and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table ***in my **kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Realizing the kingdom of God includes the visible Church Jesus established on earth, and that in the Eucharist He comes continually to those in this kingdom, gives clear understanding to some Scriptural passages that would otherwise seem obscure and puzzling.



Christ never put see in quotes.

Why did you feel the need to do so?


Have you read anything that Jesus wrote? If not, how do you know his puncuation habits? :slight_smile:


Sorry for the confusion Atemi. I guess I should have included the OP’s post in my response. Better late than never. Here’s the OP.

6glargento asked:

In Matthew 16:28 jesus says:

“Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

indicating that in his 2nd comming some ppl would be still alive, how should we 2,000 years later interpret this?

As you can see :slight_smile: , Jesus did use the word “see”. I was answering glargento’s question from the perspective of how seeing the Son of Man… applied to those present at the time and to us 2000 years later ----- as well as reponding to the poster I did quote who used the word “see” in his remarks.

Hope this explains the quote marks - I was quoting the word “see” from the Scripture passage Mt 16:28.



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.