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"You have said so," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: From now on, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64 NIV.

I´ve had a lot of discomfort in trying to understand this passage. What exactly does ¨from now¨ or ¨hereafter¨ mean? Does Jesus mean he will immediately sit at the right hand? Or is it in the future?

People, who know greek, what exactly does ἀπ’ἄρτι mean? Is it in the future or a present action that's going to take place? I´ve heard it means now, and others say it means future.

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Such an excellent and important question!!

A more literal rendering of Matt 26:63, 64 (BSB) gives:

Then the high priest said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.” “You [pl] have said it yourself,” Jesus answered. “But I say to all of you [pl], from now on you [pl] will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

There are several things to observe about Jesus reply:

  • It was in response to the question from the Jewish High Priest as to whether Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus does not deny this.
  • The "you" Jesus addresses is plural - Jesus is addressing the all the people for whom the High priest was speaking - all the Jews and (later) Christians who accept Jesus as Messiah.
  • Jesus also adds to what the High Priest says by then claiming the Jesus is not only Messiah, the Son of God (see Ps 110, Dan 7:13) but ALSO, the king of Jews who inherits David's royal throne (Luke 1:32, 33, John 1:49).
  • Jesus then ADDS another dimension - they would also see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven, presumably at a later date.

The New Testament makes much of this and often refers to Jesus occupying the throne in heaven at His ascension: Matt 26:64, Mark 14:62, 16:19, Luke 22:69, Acts 2:33, 7:55-56 (standing), Rom 8:34, Eph 1:20, Col 3:1, Heb 1:3, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2, 1 Peter 3:22. See also Ps 110:1, Matt 22:44, Mark 12:36, Acts 2:34, Heb 1:13, Rev 5.

We also see the NT regularly discussing the second coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven: Dan 7:13, Matt 24:30, 26:64, Mark 14:62, Rev 1:7.

Thus, Jesus' reply in Matt 26:64 simply says that very shortly after that conversation, "from now on" (only three days later in fact); Jesus would be seated at the right hand of God in heaven; AND, thereafter, people would also see Jesus in the clouds of heaven as per Rev 1:7.

Bengel offers these insights in commenting on Matt 26:64 -

From this time forward, etc.[1162]) From this time forward, it shall come to pass that ye shall see and know, by visible proofs, that I am HE who shall sit on the right hand of power, and come in the clouds of heaven. A pregnant mode of expression (sermo complexus). Henceforward YE SHALL SEE me sitting and COMING.[1163] The return to judgment is combined with the sitting on the right hand: and after the Lord’s Passion they believed (see John 8:28), that which hereafter they shall see. They did not believe in the past; therefore Jesus (as He frequently did) appeals to the future. In the glory of Jesus this is the first thing, that He is the Son of God: that He will come to judgment is the last. The former is the foundation of the latter; the latter the most glorious proof of the former.

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Matthew 26:64

"You have said so," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

https://biblehub.com/matthew/26-64.htm

from
ἀπ’ (ap’)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 575: From, away from. A primary particle; 'off, ' i.e. Away, in various senses.

now on
ἄρτι (arti)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 737: Now, just now, at this moment. Adverb from a derivative of airo through the idea of suspension; just now.

ἀπ’ἄρτιare is just a preposition followed by an adverb. There is nothing special about this phrase. It means from now on into the future. The main verb here is

you will see
ὄψεσθε (opsesthe)
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

The indicative mood shows matters of facts: the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.

Some months later, at the stoning of the first Christian martyr in Acts 7:55

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

It is also confirmed in Hebrews 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In the future, we will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.

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Does Matthew 26:64 describe immediate or future events?

It is a future action that will take place,"the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."Jesus was alluding to the Messianic prophecy at Daniel 7:13-14 which reads:

Daniel 7:13-14 NASB

The Son of Man Presented

13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a son of man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 And to Him was given dominion, Honor, and [a]a kingdom, So that all the peoples, nations, and populations of all [b]languages Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

Here Jesus declares that he would be the one who would gain access to the Ancient of Days that is God's presence and be given rulership in heaven.

Acts 7:55-56 NET

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

Luke 22:69 NET

But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

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