Matthew 16:28


“I assure you that there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Son of Man come as King.”

Are there any apologetics on that passage? I’m trying to figure out what it means since at a first glance, it would seem to be in error considering ~2,000 years have gone by without that happening yet. So help?


Matthew 16:28 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

According to a commentary by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, there are four possible interpretations:

  1. “Some” (Peter, James and John) saw Jesus glorified at the Transfiguration in ch. 17.
  2. “Some” saw Jesus come into his kingdom at the time of the resurrection.
  3. “Some” lived to see the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple which is connected to the second coming of Jesus.
  4. Some interpreters see this as a reference to the second coming.

I, personally, like option #1, but hey, I’m not an authority by any stretch of the imagination. :wink:


And, from the Rev. George Leo Hatdock Commentary:

“Ver. 28. Till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Some expound this, as fulfilled at his transfiguration, which follows in the next chapter. Others understand it of the glory of Christ, and of his Church, after his resurrection and ascension, when he should be owned for Redeemer of the world: and this state of the Christian Church might be called the kingdom of Christ. (Witham) — This promise of a transitory view of his glory he makes, to prove that he should one day come in all the glory of his Father, to judge each man according to his works: not according to his mercy, or their faith, but according to their works. (St. Augustine, de verb. apos. serm. 35.) — Again, asks St. Augustine, how could our Saviour reward every one according to his works, if there were no free will? (lib. ii. chap. 4. 5. 8, de act. cum Fœlic. Manich.) (Bristow)”

As Randy states, it is reasonable to believe that He spoke of the Transfiguration, as that is the very next line in the scriptures - remembering that the chapters and verses were not in the original manuscripts. Thus, what we know as Matthew 16:28 could just as well have had a 29th verse, which spoke of the transfiguration.



…too many times people jump to the end of the book in an effort to dispel the mysteries…

…it does not always work!

Jesus is not talking about the Parousia (Second Coming); rather, He is talking about the Kingdom of God being established on earth: the Church.

We know that it was established because Jesus is the Way, the Door, the Resurrection and the Life.

We also know that it was established because Jesus said so:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]14 And after that John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying: The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel. 16 And passing by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother, casting nets into the sea (for they were fishermen). 17 And Jesus said to them: Come after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

(St. Mark 1:14-17)

28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. (St. Matthew 12:28)

31 Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. (St. Matthew 21:31)

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (St. Matthew 23:13)

And he said to them: Amen I say to you, that there are some of them that stand here, who shall not taste death, till they see the kingdom of God coming in power. (St. Mark 8:39)
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection is that demonstration of Power:

50 And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. 52 And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, 53 And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.

(St. Matthew 27:50-53)

1 And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. 2 And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. 3 And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. 4 And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. (St. Matthew 28:1-4)
Maran atha!




These are the lines and note from the JB:

27 'For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour. 28 I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.'o

16o. In vv. 27-28 two sayings of Christ, each dealing with a different event, have been grouped together because they have a common reference to the coming of the kingdom of God: v. 27 refers to the Last Judgement which inaugurates the kingdom of the Father; v. 28 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem which demonstrates the presence of the kingdom of Christ, cf. 24:1+.


Jesus did not offer this as a vision for everyone. Look carefully at Acts 7:55-57.
There are only “some” who will see Jesus as king.

St. John, who wrote revelation, saw Jesus as King.
Although John was upon the earth, he saw Jesus crowned in heaven at the same “time”.

Consider carefully the wording which is found in Mark, 14:62. Although Jesus does not say “I am King” … Notice, it is the words which Jesus says which causes the Sanhedrin to accuse Jesus of claiming to be “king”. Those words are what caused Jesus to be sentenced to death. Notice what Jesus says to Pilot,“If my kingdom were of this world, my subjects would be fighting for me.”

Having the Son sit at the father’s right hand, makes Jesus a man upon a throne in heaven who is preparing to sit in Judgement of the world. A throne is an angel; Just as Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Dominions, and Powers; all refer to angels of various degrees and purposes.

The historical prophecy which Jesus is alluding to can be found in the book of Daniel.

Pay careful attention to verse 14.

The events which Daniel records are happening in heaven; and are parallel to the events recorded in Revelation; and were also carried out during Jesus’s life.

Mark Twain once made a very astute remark; He said something like,“History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

And you will sometimes hear the expression,“What that man did had neither rhyme nor reason.”

History can be considered a linear sequence of unique events (2000 years), or it can be seen as a circle with variations in the cycle; but a reference “point” or "system’ which is always the same. eg: The zero degree point on a protractor. Or the “Alpha” and “Omega” being the same. It’s a reference point on a cycle.
So, you need to consider both views of history when interpreting Jesus’ statements.


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