In Matthew 16:28

28 Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Was Our Lord Jesus speaking literally or figuratively?


2 Answers 2


He was speaking literally in a way: "six days later", at the transfiguration, they did see some of the glory that Jesus would have at that time, and seeing Peter's reaction it was quite impressive. Read on in chapter 17:1-9, that's where your answer is.

In verses 10-13, Jesus explains a bit more about the time they lived in at that point.

  • 2
    I think the transfiguration does not relate from the above verse. My understanding of that verse is the second coming of Jesus. The transfiguration for me is the revelation of Christ divinity as God
    – Kaylee A
    Jan 8, 2020 at 22:07
  • 1
    I'd expect that most denominations would say the coming of the kingdom has got to be at least post-crucifixion. Who teaches that it came so early as the transfiguration? What sources do you have to back up this answer?
    – curiousdannii
    Jan 8, 2020 at 22:57
  • Then again, John stood there and he would 'see the Son of man coming in his kingdom' in superlative visions which he would publish to the seven churches before his death.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 9, 2020 at 0:10
  • @curiousdannii Jehovah's Witnesses believe the transfiguration fulfilled Matthew 16:28 (source)
    – user32540
    Jan 9, 2020 at 4:14
  • 1
    @4castle Interesting. Well, please do vote to close the question then.
    – curiousdannii
    Jan 9, 2020 at 4:41

In addition to the answer above, below is a bible commentary:

Till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Some expound this, as fulfilled at his transfiguration, which follows in the next chapter. Others understand it of the glory of Christ, and of his Church, after his resurrection and ascension, when he should be owned for Redeemer of the world: and this state of the Christian Church might be called the kingdom of Christ. (Witham)

This promise of a transitory view of his glory he makes, to prove that he should one day come in all the glory of his Father, to judge each man according to his works: not according to his mercy, or their faith, but according to their works. (St. Augustine, de verb. apos. serm. 35.)

Again, asks St. Augustine how could our Saviour reward every one according to his works, if there were no free will? (lib. ii. chap. 4. 5. 8, de act. cum Fœlic. Manich.) (Bristow)

  • @KorvinStarmast, thanks, yes that’s all from bible commentary in which I copied and pasted. I just don’t know how to quote blocks. I’m using an iPad. I will try and play around on my laptop. I did try to play around on my iPad but it seems could not see the icon menu for highlighting colour like when you are using Microsoft’s word.
    – Kaylee A
    Jan 25, 2020 at 4:49
  • I have already worked it out.😃🤗
    – Kaylee A
    Jan 25, 2020 at 6:36
  • great, I'll remove that comment. :) Jan 25, 2020 at 16:02

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