Matthew 16:28 (NASB):

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.”

And then John, on Patmos, is shown an outstanding vision:

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great feast of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, both free and slaves, and small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse, and against His army.

[Revelation 19:11-19 NASB]

Was John shown in a vision the second coming of Christ, while he was on Patmos, alive, not having tasted death yet, in fulfillment of the promise made in Matthew 16:28?

  • 1
    Are you asking if this is a partial fulfillment? "until they see". John is 1 guy. Mar 20, 2021 at 18:45
  • @AnthonyBurg - Once again, good point. Maybe part of the fulfillment would be a more accurate version of the question?
    – user38524
    Mar 20, 2021 at 18:46
  • Matthew 16:28 quite clearly relates to the immediate incident of the transfiguration.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 20, 2021 at 22:12
  • @NigelJ Why is Jesus talking about people dying if this event is going to happen just a short while after (i.e., transfiguration)? Mar 20, 2021 at 22:21
  • @NigelJ Do you think Matthew 16:27 is also talking about the transfiguration? Mar 20, 2021 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


Note the comments of Benson:

Matthew 16:28. Verily, there be some standing here, &c. — And that you may not doubt that there shall be a day of judgment, when I shall come clothed with divine majesty, to render unto men according to their actions in this life, let me assure you there are some here present that shall not die till they shall see a faint representation of this, in events which will soon take place, especially in my coming to set up my mediatorial kingdom with great power and glory, in the increase of my church, and the destruction of mine enemies. Accordingly the disciples saw their Master coming in his kingdom, when they were witnesses of his transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension, and the miraculous gifts of his Spirit conferred upon them; and lived to see Jerusalem, with the Jewish state, destroyed, and the gospel propagated through the greatest part of the then known world.

Thus, according to Benson and similar commentators, the transfiguration was the fulfillment of Jesus prophecy in Matt 16:28.

However, I also agree with Ellicott that it can only be regarded as a foretaste of what was to come - Jesus' Advent of glory and judgement. The Book of Revelation has several references to the second coming of Jesus among its seven visions such as:

  • Rev 1:7 - "Look, he is coming with the clouds," and "every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth "will mourn because of him." So shall it be! Amen.
  • Rev 6:12-17 - And when I saw the Lamb open the sixth seal, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth like unripe figs dropping from a tree shaken by a great wind. The sky receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the commanders, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and free man hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16And they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17For the great day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?”
  • Rev 11:15 - Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and loud voices called out in heaven: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.”
  • Rev 14:14 - And I looked and saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was One like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.

The vision of Rev 19:11-21 is controversial. The safest is to assume it is a symbolic description of the battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:16) which is not described in Rev 16 but left until Rev 19 where we have the armies of the earth and the armies of heaven (Rev 19:19) about to do battle. However, the armies of the earth are defeated by the sword from the mouth of Jesus on the white horse (V21).

  • Can you clarify what you think the reason is that Jesus is talking about people dying if this event is going to happen 6 days later? I.e., why wouldn't he just say "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."? Mar 20, 2021 at 22:40
  • @AnthonyBurg - that is why the transfiguration is the first fulfillment and was thus a foretaste of the second coming. Then there are some who believe that this alludes to the resurrection because this was the inauguration of Jesus' Kingdom (I think the latter is a bit of a logical stretch).
    – Dottard
    Mar 20, 2021 at 22:44
  • So is he referring to the transfiguration or the second coming here? Mar 20, 2021 at 22:44
  • @AnthonyBurg - I think Jesus is alluding to the transfiguration as the "type' of the second coming.
    – Dottard
    Mar 20, 2021 at 22:46
  • Do you think Matthew 16:27's reference to "repaying each one according to what they've done" is referring to a different event from the transfiguration? Mar 20, 2021 at 22:50

The fulfillment of Mat 16: 28 The Lord was talking to his disciples so the words "there be some of you" referred to some of the disciples that were present and after six days Mat17:1 the Lord takes three disciples into the mount and makes them see how he was going to come in his kingdom. The first words that they spoke as they came down from the mount was a question vs 10 and that showed what they had understood about this whole event. It was like yes we have seen how you are going to come but then why is it the scribes (Malachi 4:5-6) say an elijah has to come first before this. In which the Lord replied to the affirmative vs 11. So indeed some of the disciples did see the Lords coming before death but Rev 19 is the final stage in the fulfillment of the VISION of Mat 17 and not Mat 16:28.

  • Can you clarify what you think the reason is that Jesus is talking about people dying if this event is going to happen 6 days later? I.e., why wouldn't he just say "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."? Mar 20, 2021 at 21:31
  • Also, Matthew 16:27 says "then He will repay each one according to what he has done." Do you think Jesus did this also at the transfiguration? Mar 20, 2021 at 21:33
  • Please consider the question in vs 10 of Mat 17 and tell why they asked the way they did taking note that its about a coming. Also read 2 Peter 1:15 down . It is the same account of Mt transfiguration and again take notice of vs 16 that declares what it was all about.(power and coming)
    – MJMW
    Mar 23, 2021 at 7:57

No. The promise was:

  1. plural (they) and
  2. that they would see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom,

not have a prophetic vision of that.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 25, 2021 at 11:53

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