1:27 PM

Verse 23 by Colin K

Initially one important exegetical issue is found in 10:23, “you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” What does it mean for the “Son of Man” to come? It is important, if in fact the statement refers to the second coming of Christ, then Jesus seems to make a false prediction, which is obviously problematic.

Luz, on pages 91-94, provides the most complete answer, though it is hardly appealing. He believes the emphasis of the phrase should be in the comforting aspects of fleeing to a safer area (a.k.a. Jesus is with us, even when we are running for our lives). Carter, on pages 238-239, interprets ‘Son of Man’ as referring to Jesus’ second coming yet he does not recognize how this statement contradicts with 23a. Hauerwas fails to address the issue on page 106 & 107. My NIV Study bible states that Jesus’ statement refers to the Temple destruction of 70 A.D., however this seems forced.

Unfortunately, it seems that a majority of the commentators have chosen to negate the issue entirely or have given interpretations that lack coherence and at times seem artificial (how could the coming of the Son of Man refer to Temple destruction).

Comments (2)

I agree; those approaches do not seem satisfactory (I looked at the same issue--below). Did you take a look at Davies and Allison? They deal with it more somewhat directly/positively, on p. 190. Luz does get down to business on the issue on pp. 93-94, though he basically just concludes that Matthew had to "correct" the contradiction.

Luz often "reads" texts as if their point is just to make people feel better. I don't get that.

Important to compare 10:23 to passage of 16:28 and to the discourse of chapters 24-25. Note that Jesus talks about his coming in that discourse in response to the disciples' question about when the temple and Jerusalem will be destroyed. An apocalyptic event of judgment within one generation is on the horizon throughout Matthew, I think.

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