Sunday, June 4th, 2023
Utley's You Can Understand the Bible Utley Commentary
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Matthew 16". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ ubc/ matthew-16.html. 2021.
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Matthew 16". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://studylight.org/
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PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS
READING CYCLE THREE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")
FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL
This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.
Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent which, is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.
1. First paragraph
2. Second paragraph
3. Third paragraph
This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.
These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.
1. Why are Matthew 16:13-20 so pivotal for the Roman Catholic Church?
2. Did the disciples recognize Peter's supremacy?
3. What is Jesus referring to by the word "church" ? (Matthew 16:18)
4. Does verse Matthew 16:18 imply an active or passive attack on the church?
5. What are the keys of the kingdom? (Matthew 16:19)
6. Why did Jesus insist that they tell no one He was the Messiah, God's son?
7. Why did the disciples balk at Jesus' revelation of His future?
8. What does it mean to die to self?
9. How do you understand verse Matthew 16:28?
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Matthew 16:1-4 1The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2But He answered and said to them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.'3And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.'Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? 4An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah." And He left them and went away.
Matthew 16:1 "the Pharisees and Sadducees" Matthew links these two groups together as the collective leadership of rabbinical Judaism (cf. Matthew 3:7; Matthew 10:1, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 10:11, Matthew 10:12; Matthew 22:34). For a full discussion of the origin and theology of the Pharisees, see note at Matthew 22:15 and for the Sadducees see Special Topic at Matthew 22:23.
▣ "testing" This word (peirasmos) was used with the connotation of "test with a view toward destruction" (cf. Matthew 6:13; James 1:13).
See Special Topic at Matthew 4:1.
▣ "a sign from heaven" "From heaven" is a circumlocution for "God." They had seen His miracles but they wanted more (cf. Matthew 12:38-42). This was the same temptation offered by Satan in Matthew 4:5-6 about winning mankind's allegiance by the use of the miraculous.
Apparently these Jewish religionists wanted evidence that Jesus was empowered by YHWH. They were calling the healings "Satan's work," so they wanted a sign that was indisputably from God (i.e., "heaven"). Exactly what that would be is not clearly stated. Jesus gives them that sign, but in a veiled and future way (i.e., His resurrection).
Matthew 16:2-3 These sentences are not in the most ancient uncial Greek manuscripts א, B, X, and the Greek text used by Origen, the Greek manuscripts known to Jerome, nor in some Peshitta or Coptic versions, but they are found in the uncial manuscripts C, D, L and W. A similar passage is found in Luke 12:54-56. The textual critics behind the fourth edition of the Greek NT put out by the United Bible Societies could not make a decision about the originality of these verses (cf. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by Bruce Metzger, p. 41.)
Matthew 16:3 "the signs of the times" Notice the PLURAL " times." This refers to the two ages (see Special Topic at Matthew 12:31). These Jewish religionists could predict and understand some weather phenomena, but they could not/would not understand the coming of the new age of the Spirit in Jesus. He chides them for their lack of spiritual perception (cf. Isaiah 6:9-10). Another sign/prophecy was fulfilled in them!
Matthew 16:4 "adulterous generation" This phrase is used in the metaphorical sense of "unfaithful." The metaphor (cf. Matthew 12:39; James 4:4) goes back to the OT usage related to idolatry and fertility worship (i.e., Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 9:2; Jeremiah 23:10; Jeremiah 29:23; Ezekiel 23:0; Hosea 4:2-3; Malachi 3:5).
▣ "the sign of Jonah" They would have had no clue what He was talking about! This was an analogy of three days Jonah was in the great fish and Jesus would be in Hades (cf. 1 Peter 3:19). Remember Jesus was in the tomb only about thirty-six to forty hours, but it was reckoned as three days in the Jewish counting system of Jesus' day. Part of a day was counted as a whole day and a day began and ended at twilight (cf. Genesis 1:0). See notes at Matthew 12:39 and Matthew 16:21.
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Matthew 16:5-12 5And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 7They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, "He said that because we did not bring any bread." 8But Jesus aware of this, said, "You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? 9Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? 10Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? 11 How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Matthew 16:6, Matthew 16:11 "the leaven" It is possible that the Aramaic term "legal severity" was meant here (remember Jesus and the Jews of His day spoke Aramaic). The two words are similar in Aramaic; however, verse Matthew 16:12 demands the term "yeast" or "leaven."
SPECIAL TOPIC: LEAVEN
Matthew 16:8 Jesus often referred to the Twelve as having little faith (cf. Matthew 6:30; Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:31; Matthew 16:8). Those who heard Him and lived with Him did not always understand or have faith. Verses Matthew 16:7-10 are parenthetical. Jesus wanted to talk about the false faith of the Pharisees (cf. Matthew 5:20-48), but the disciples got mentally sidetracked over the lack of "bread."
Matthew 16:9 The disciples had the advantage of hearing Jesus speak and minister to the crowds and also the private the private discussions and interpretation afterward, but still they, like most of the hearers (cf. Matthew 13:13, Matthew 13:14-15 [Isaiah 6:9-10,19]), did not understand (i.e., Matthew 15:17; Matthew 16:11; Luke 2:50; Luke 18:34; John 10:6; John 12:16). Jesus' message was so unique and different from the Jewish religion (i.e., "the leaven of the Pharisees") they had grown up with that it took a supernatural Spirit-led opening of their minds to perceive (i.e., Luke 24:45). This occurred slowly during Jesus' time with them (i.e., Matthew 16:13-28), but not fully until
1. after the resurrection
2. in the upper room (cf. John 20:0)
3. by the seashore in John 21:0
4. Acts 1:0 when He ascended into heaven
Matthew 16:12 It was their legalism and lack of love that caused Jesus' sternest words of condemnation! Often, religiosity can be a barrier instead of a bridge!
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Matthew 16:13-20 13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah or one of the other prophets." 15He said to them, " But who do you say that I am?" 16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." 20Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
Matthew 16:13 "Caesarea Philippi" This was a city in Philip's territory about 20 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. This was Jesus' second attempt to get away with the disciples alone (cf. Matthew 15:0).
▣ "Son of Man" This phrase was used several times in the OT. It implies humanity (Psalms 8:4; Ezekiel 2:1) and deity (Daniel 7:13). The phrase was not used by the rabbis of Jesus' day; therefore, it had no nationalistic or militaristic implications. This was Jesus' self-chosen designation because it combined the twin aspects of His person, fully God and fully man (cf. Philippians 2:6-8; 1 John 4:1-3). See note at Matthew 8:20.
Matthew 16:14 "John the Baptist" Herod Antipas guessed that Jesus was actually John the Baptist (cf. Matthew 14:1-2).
▣ "Elijah" This was from the prophecy of Malachi 3:1; Malachi 4:5 which said Elijah would prepare the way for the Messiah. It would have acknowledged the dawning of the new age of the Spirit.
▣ "Jeremiah" The rabbis held that he hid the Ark of the Covenant on Mt. Nebo and that he would bring it out just before the New Age began.
▣ "one of the prophets" This made Jesus a prophet like other OT figures. It could have related to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (cf. John 2:2). All of these guesses involved a resuscitation!
▣ "But who do you say that I am" "You" is plural. Jesus asked all of His disciples this question. Peter answered first. His personality made him the spokesman for the group.
Matthew 16:16 "You are the Christ" This had been expressed before by Andrew in John 1:41, Nathaniel in John 1:49, and Peter in John 6:69. The Greek title "Christ" is the equivalent of the Hebrew "Messiah" or " Anointed One." See Special Topic: OT Titles For the Special Coming One at Matthew 8:20.
▣ "the Son of the living God" Peter did not fully understand Jesus' Messiahship as is obvious from verses Matthew 16:21-23. Therefore, the blessing of verse Matthew 16:17 related to the phrase "Son of the living God." The phrase " living God" was a paraphrase of YHWH which is the from the Hebrew verb "to be" (cf. Exodus 3:14). See SPECIAL TOPIC: NAMES FOR DEITY at Matthew 1:21.
NASB"Simon, Barjonah" NKJV"Simon Bar-Jona" NRSV, NJB"Simon son of Jonah" TEV"Simon son of John"
This Aramaic "Barjonas" meant "son of John."
▣ "but My Father who is in heaven" The content of Peter's confession (Matthew 16:16) was not human discovery, but divine revelation. The Spirit is the person of the Trinity who is attributed this task, but here it is the Father, possibly because of the mention of "Son of God."
The gospel cannot be comprehended nor responded to without divine aid (cf. John 6:44, John 6:65; John 10:29). This does not eliminate the mandated human response (cf. John 1:12; John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13), but it does show that humans can only respond to the initiation from the spiritual realm. The cannot/do not initiate spiritual decisions! The verb tense related to the "binding" and " loosing" of Matthew 16:19 reflect this same truth!
Matthew 16:18 "Peter" This is the Greek word "petros," a masculine noun. It referred to a detached boulder. For much of his life (i.e., Matthew 16:22, Matthew 16:23; Mark 14:0) he was anything but a "rock" !
▣ "this rock" This is the Greek work, "petra," a feminine noun. It referred to bedrock (cf. Matthew 7:24). These two words (petros and petra) cannot grammatically link up to each other because of their gender. The disciples did not see this as a reference to Peter's superiority because they continued to argue over who was greatest (cf. Matthew 18:1, Matthew 18:18; John 20:21). These two terms are related but distinct in Greek. There is an obvious play between Peter's faith and the faith of all the apostles. However, in Aramaic there is only one term, "kepha" (" Cephas, John 1:42; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:5) for both of the Greek terms for "rock." Jesus spoke Aramaic but His words are recorded by inspired writers in Greek. Therefore, we must deal with the Greek text, not a supposed Aramaic statement.
▣ "church" "Ekklesia" was the word used in the Septuagint for "the congregation of Israel" (Qahal, BDB 874, cf. Deuteronomy 18:16; Deuteronomy 23:2). One must be careful not to read post-Pentecostal definitions and forms into this very early and Jewish passage. These early disciples saw themselves as an extension of the OT people (i.e., Qahal) of God. They were the fulfillment of the OT people. The term itself implied a called gathering for some purpose. Its Greek background was a called town meeting (cf. Acts 19:32, Acts 19:39, Acts 19:41). This term does not occur in Mark, Luke, or John. It occurs in Matthew only three times (cf. Matthew 16:8; Matthew 18:17 [twice]). The Matthew 18:17 text obviously refers to a later period of time. The term does occur often in Acts and Paul's writings.
SPECIAL TOPIC: CHURCH (EKKLESIA)
▣ "gates of Hades" "Gates" can refer to (1) the idea of a city of death from which no one escapes, (2) a city council meeting held at the gate, or (3) an active scheme of evil against the Church. Hades was from the word "to see" negated, therefore invisible. It equals the OT "Sheol," where the righteous and wicked alike go at the time of death. See Special Topic: Where Are the Dead? at Matthew 5:22.
▣ "will not overpower it" This word had an active connotation of "to assault, to gain control." Death and evil have not overcome nor even comprehended (the two meanings of this term) the Church of the Living God.
Matthew 16:19 "keys of the kingdom of heaven" This was a metaphor for ownership by gaining entrance. See Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 3:7. The keys are the proclamation of the gospel with an invitation to respond. This concept of Hades and heaven having gates like a city goes back to Isaiah (see Special Topic following). The author of Hebrews also uses this metaphor for heaven (cf. Hebrews 11:10, Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:4), as does John in Revelation (cf. Revelation 3:12; 21-22).
SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TWO "CITIES" OF ISAIAH
▣ "kingdom of heaven" Mark and Luke have, "kingdom of God." The difference is not one of substance, but a difference of recipients. See special topic on the Kingdom of God at Matthew 4:17.
NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NJB"bind. . .loose" TEV"prohibit. . .permit"
These were rabbinical terms used for legal decisions of permitting or not permitting something. The tense of these two periphrastic verbals is significant. They are both future indicatives of "I Am" with perfect passive participles. They should be translated " shall have been bound" and "shall have been loosed" (cf. Matthew 18:18). This reflects the truth that what humans, led by the Holy Spirit, decide on earth about spiritual matters will have already been decided on in heaven. This passage does not express a human decision, but humans following God's lead (cf. Matthew 18:18; John 20:23).
Matthew 16:20 "He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ" The gospel was not yet complete. The current Jewish notions about the work of the Messiah were incorrect. The disciples must wait (cf. Matthew 8:4; Matthew 9:30; Matthew 12:16; Matthew 17:9).
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Matthew 16:21-23 21From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." 23But He turned and said to Peter, " Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
Matthew 16:21 "must" This was the word "dei" which meant moral necessity (Jesus came to die, Mark 8:31; Mark 10:45; John 3:14, John 3:16). Jesus knew there was a divine plan for His life and ministry (cf. Matthew 12:15-21; Luke 22:22; Acts 2:23; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31). He knew at the age of twelve (cf. Luke 2:41-49)!
▣ "and suffer many things" John had implied this by calling Jesus "the Lamb of God" (cf. John 1:29), but the disciples were not prepared for this truth. It was not in their first century Jewish notions about the Messiah. The rabbis emphasized the coming of the Messiah as an act of judgment and military triumph (cf. Revelation 19:11-16). They were not wrong in this assessment but they failed to recognize His first coming as the suffering servant (cf. Isaiah 53:0), the humble one on the colt of a donkey (cf. Zechariah 9:5), both of which seem to follow Genesis 3:15. See Special Topic: YHWH's ETERNAL REDEMPTIVE PLAN at Matthew 27:66.
This revelation of His suffering was so shocking that Jesus had to repeat it several times (cf. Matthew 17:9, Matthew 17:12, Matthew 17:22-23; Matthew 20:18-19). He did this so that when it happened the disciples, after their initial grief and confusion, would realize that Jesus was in control of His own destiny. This would embolden them for their called mission (cf. Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8).
▣ "the elders, and chief priests, and scribes" This was the phrase used to describe the Sanhedrin. It was the ruling body of the Jews made up of 70 leaders from the Jerusalem area. In Jesus' day it had been corrupted by Roman politics because the High Priesthood had become a purchased position.
SPECIAL TOPIC: THE SANHEDRIN
▣ "on the third day" Jesus specifically mentioned this time element several times, Matthew 12:40; Matthew 16:4, where it was related to the prophet Jonah and as a sign of His Messiahship. Paul implied in 1 Corinthians 15:4 that it was predicted in the OT. The only two possibilities are Hosea 6:2 and Jonah 1:16. In the context of Jesus' usage it must relate to Jonah.
However, it was not a full 72 hours but only about 36-40. The Jews counted partial days as full days. Their days started at twilight. Jesus died at 3 p.m. on Friday and was buried before 6 p.m. This was counted as one day. He remained in Hades all of the Sabbath, 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday. Then sometime before sunrise on Sunday He arose (see Special Topic: Resurrection at Matthew 27:63), thereby, three Jewish days.
Matthew 16:22 "Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him" Peter overstepped his bounds. Jesus used the term "rebuke" in several other strong contexts (cf. Matthew 8:26; Matthew 12:10; Matthew 16:20). Peter's personal feelings for Jesus were superceding God's plan of redemption.
▣ "This shall never happen to you" This is literally " mercy on you" which implied "May God have mercy on you so this never happens." This is a strong double negative used for emphasis.
Matthew 16:23 "Get behind Me, Satan" Peter, who moments before spoke a revelation from God, now speaks temptation from Satan. This was the same temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness, to bypass the cross (cf. Matt: Matthew 4:1-11). In this context, Peter was Satan's spokesman!
▣ "stumbling block" This referred literally to a baited trap-stick trigger on an animal trap. The word was used metaphorically of an obstacle.
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Matthew 16:24-27 24Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds."
Matthew 16:24 "disciples" This meant "learner." Jesus' emphasis was not on an initial decision only but on a continuing and deepening discipleship (cf. Matthew 28:19).
▣ "if" This is a first class conditional sentence which is assumed to be true from the author's perspective or for his literary purposes. Jesus assumes that people will want to follow Him.
▣ "he must deny himself" This is an aorist middle (deponent) imperative. There must be a decisive act. Believers must turn away from self-centered lives (the results of the Fall of Genesis 3:0) in all areas. This concept is similar to repentance.
Matthew 16:24 "take up his cross" This is an aorist active imperative. This same emphasis is recorded in Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; John 12:25. Another decisive act is called for. Condemned criminals had to carry their cross bar to the place of crucifixion (cf. John 12:24). This was metaphorical of a torturous death, in this context, the death of the self-life (cf. John 12:24; 2 Corinthians 5:13-14; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 3:16).
▣ "and follow Me" This is present active imperative. As the two previous phrases were decisive commands (aorist imperatives) this one speaks of habitual living. Followship (rabbinical discipleship) in a first century Jewish context had specific requirements. As Jesus called the twelve disciples to be with Him, He calls believers of every age. Jesus poured His life into these men and they had to respond by pouring their lives into others (cf. 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 John 3:16). Jesus often spoke of the radical continuing nature of followship (cf. Matthew 10:37-39; Mark 8:38-39; Luke 9:23-27; Luke 14:25-27; Luke 17:33; John 12:25).
Matthew 16:25 The new age is different from the current evil, self-centered age. Humans show that the transition has been made by how they live (cf. Matthew 7:0 and 13). Living right does not make one right with God (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9); confession and faith do that (i.e., Matthew 16:16), but it does give evidence a change/transition has been made!
The term "life" (psuchç) is equivalent to nephesh (BDB 659), which denotes life on planet earth, in this case self-directing life (i.e., human). The new age calls for a radical new orientation. The old age is characterized by a pull toward self (cf. Genesis 3:0), but the new age is characterized by selflessness. The image of God in humanity (cf. Genesis 1:26-27) was damaged in the Fall. Salvation restores the image so that fellowship with God (i.e., the purpose of creation) is restored! Self is replaced by service, sin by sanctification, me by ministry, more and more for me by less of me and more of Him!
Matthew 16:26 "if" This is a third class conditional sentence which meant potential future action. Some do gain worldly things but forfeit spiritual, eternal things.
▣ "what will a man give in exchange for his soul" Life selfishly lived ends in death, but life given away for Christ's sake results in eternal life (cf. Mark 8:34-38). Believers are responsible stewards of the gift of physical life and spiritual life!
Matthew 16:27 "The Son of Man is going to come. . .with His angels" This referred to the Second Coming (cf. Matthew 10:23; Matthew 24:3, Matthew 24:27, Matthew 24:37, Matthew 24:39; Matthew 26:64; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; James 5:7-8; 2 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:4, 2 Peter 3:12; 1 John 2:28; Revelation 1:7). Notice the angels of heaven could be the Father and/or the Son's angels. This was another way to assert the deity of Jesus. Several times in Matthew the angels are the eschatological gatherers and dividers of humans (cf. Matthew 13:39-41, Matthew 13:49; Matthew 24:31).
▣ "in the glory of His Father" In the OT the most common Hebrew word for "glory" (kbd) was originally a commercial term (which referred to a pair of scales) which meant "to be heavy." That which was heavy was valuable or had intrinsic worth. Often the concept of brightness was added to the word to express God's majesty (cf. Exodus 15:16; Exodus 24:17; Isaiah 60:1-2). He alone is worthy and honorable. He is too brilliant for fallen mankind to behold (cf. Exodus 33:17-23; Isaiah 6:5). God can only be truly known through Christ (cf. Jeremiah 1:14; Matthew 17:2; Hebrews 1:3; James 2:1).
The term "glory" is somewhat ambiguous: (1) it may be parallel to "the righteousness of God" ; (2) it may refer to the "holiness" or " perfection" of God; (3) it could refer to the image of God in which mankind was created (cf. Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 5:1; Genesis 9:6), but which was later marred through rebellion (cf. Genesis 3:1-22). It is first used of YHWH's presence with His people (cf. Exodus 16:7, Exodus 16:10; Leviticus 9:23; Numbers 14:10).
▣ "will then repay every man according to his deeds" This is an allusion to Psalms 62:12 or Proverbs 24:12. This judgment of deeds is seen in Job 34:11; Psalms 28:4; Proverbs 24:12; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 32:19; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:31; Romans 2:6; Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 6:7-10; 2 Timothy 4:14; 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 2:23; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 22:12. Our life shows our allegiance ! 1 John and James assert that how we live gives evidence of the validity of our profession of faith. No fruit-no root! Jesus came as Savior (cf. John 3:16-21), but He will return as Judge (cf. Revelation 19:0)!
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Matthew 16:28 28"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
Matthew 16:28 This is a difficult verse to interpret. In context it seems to refer to the Second Coming, but Matthew, writing forty plus years after Jesus' death, realized this was incorrect. It could refer to
1. Jesus' ascension
2. the kingdom which was already present in Jesus
3. the Parousia or Second Coming
4. the Spirit's coming and equipping at Pentecost
5. the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Roman General Titus
6. the transfiguration recorded in the next chapter (note the proximity in Matthew 16:1 and 9:2)
Because of the immediate context of Matthew 17:0, the sixth option is best. See special topic on the Kingdom of God at Matthew 4:17 and Reigning in the Kingdom of God at Matthew 5:3.
▣ "Truly" See Special Topic at Matthew 5:18.
▣ "taste death" This is a Hebraic idiom for dying (cf. 1 Samuel 15:32).