Did Jesus get his return wrong in Matthew 10:23? How should we understand Jesus’ meaning? What does “the coming of the Son of Man” mean? Here, Matthew 10:23, Daniel 7 and Matthew 28 are explained.
In Matthew’s Gospel in chapter 10, Jesus tells his disciples that they will not finish going throughout the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. Now, some people look at that and say this is clearly an evidence of where Jesus was wrong. He has not come back yet and the gospel has been preached throughout much of the whole world. But that reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the context of this passage. In order to understand what Jesus means, you have to understand what’s going on both in the Gospel of Matthew and also where the term, “the Son of Man” comes from.
First, what’s going on in the Gospel of Matthew? Well, Jesus tells His disciples to go out into the towns of Israel and to proclaim the coming of the kingdom, to proclaim what Christ is doing. But He tells them to not go to the Samaritans and to not go to the Gentiles. That’s very important to remember as we try to figure out why He tells them that. Still, what does it mean, this term “the Son of Man”?
Well, the term, “the Son of Man” comes from Daniel 7. There the prophet Daniel gives this vision of these four great beasts who rise up. These four great beasts represent different kingdoms of men that God eventually smites down and brings to nothing. Then there’s this vision of God sitting upon His throne in all His glory and one “like a son of man” comes to God the Father, and He has given all authority over the nations. So the “coming of the Son of Man” is not Him coming back to the earth, but it’s Him coming to the Father and being anointed with glory and honor and power and authority over the nations.
It’s the same thing that’s going on then in Matthew with that “Son of Man” term. Jesus says, “The Son of Man will not come until,” or “He will come before the gospel has gone out to all the nations” meaning all the towns of Israel. So what does that mean? Well, it means that the Son of Man is going to come to the Father and receive authority over the nations (per Daniel 7) before the gospel has been preached in all the towns of Israel.
And that’s exactly what happens in the Gospel of Matthew.
In Matthew 28, after the resurrection, Jesus tells His disciples that this prophecy has been fulfilled because He has been given all authority in Heaven and Earth. He tells His disciples not to just preach to the towns of Israel, but to go into preach to all nations. So the prophecy of the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 10 is fulfilled in Matthew 28 as Jesus–through His death and resurrection–is given all authority in Heaven and Earth and He has commissioned His church to go out now and to preach–not just to the Jews–but to every nation.
This is the eighth message in an end-times series by Dr. Sproul on the last days. Without question, the book of Revelation is difficult to understand. Questions about the anti-Christ, the Millennium, and many others a are sharply disputed among Bible teachers today. But there is one question that seems to be overlooked in our search for signs of the end-times: When was the book of Revelation written? In this message, Dr. Sproul explains the importance of properly dating the book of Revelation as we seek to understand the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.
This is the second in an end-time series by Dr. Sproul on the last days. What is the kingdom of God? Is it mainly about social issues, or is it something supernatural? What is the Parousia? In this message, R.C. Sproul warns against unbiblical views of God’s kingdom.
While most of us are conditioned to think of the Second Coming as the beginning of our escape or rapture from the world, nothing could have been further from St. Paul’s mind. Based on the Jewish hope of the Creator-God setting His world right, and the 1st-century context of Caesar as a returning king visiting his colonies, esteemed theologian N. T. Wright re-reads Paul’s words with fresh power and insight.
This is the first message in an end-times series by Dr. Sproul on the last days. Eschatology—or the study of the “last days”—is full of heated debates. In this message, R.C. Sproul looks to Jesus’ own words to bring clarity to this topic. Why is it important to understand biblical prophecy?
Here are six reasons Christians should take eschatology seriously:
1. The study of end times warns the unbeliever of coming judgment.
2. The last days is a major part of the biblical account.
3. We are called to heed and declare the whole Word of God.
4. Future fulfillment of prophetic events fascinates people.
5. Believers are encouraged by a clear understanding of the end times.
6. Proper eschatology gives perspective into the tribulation of this age.