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Jesus said to him, “Yes, it is as you say. Moreover, I say to you all, in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”a Bible other translations
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From Ps. 110:1; Dan. 7:13

Yes, it is as you say.” See commentary on Matthew 27:11; “It is as you say.” In the related record in Mark 14:62, Jesus says, “I am.” Some critics say that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God. Here, he swears to it.

“Moreover.” Jesus agrees that he is the Christ, but he is certainly not confirming the accusation of blasphemy, so he says, “Moreover ... you will see the Son of Man....”

“you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power.” The most natural reading of this verse is that Jesus is specifically speaking to the leaders in front of him and saying that they would see him come down from heaven. This would then fit with all the other places in which Jesus indicated that his return would occur during the lifetime of the generation in which he lived.

It is possible, but unlikely, that this statement made by Jesus is a general statement and the “you” is not specific but refers to rulers in any age who are ungodly, such as these ungodly Jews. However, in order to make Jesus’ statement more general, the two main phrases have to be understood in an allegorical, not literal, way. As to the first of these phrases, about Jesus being on the right hand of God, many commentators say that it refers to the way it was possible to “see” the effects of Jesus’ reign from heaven through the actions of the Church. The problem with that interpretation is that there is no evidence that the unbelievers “saw” Christ reigning by watching Christians. Unbelievers regularly mocked, ridiculed, and persecuted Christians. They did not “see” the reign of Christ through them. In contrast, when Jesus actually comes from heaven where he is sitting on the right hand of God, “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him” (Rev. 1:7). When Jesus starts to come down from heaven to conquer the earth (Rev. 19:11ff), not even an unbeliever will be able to deny it; everyone will see him.

The phrase, “coming on the clouds of heaven,” should be understood in a literal way too. When it is taken allegorically, it is said to be a general phrase referring to Christ’s actions in judgments after his ascension. However, there is no reason to assume that Jesus meant it that way with the exception that his return did not occur in the lifetime of those he was speaking to. Had he returned in their lifetimes, the prophecy of him coming in the clouds of heaven and judging the earth and ruling over it (Dan. 7:13, 14), would have been fulfilled. If we read the Bible literally, then the evidence is clear that Jesus was expecting his Second Coming to occur during the lifetime of those Jews to whom he was speaking.

What Jesus said here in Matthew 26:64 (cp. Mark 14:62) fits with what Jesus said to other people at other places in the Gospels, that they would be alive to see Jesus return to earth at his Second Coming. Jesus apparently thought he would return soon and spoke that way in a number of places in the Gospels.

[For more on Jesus speaking about his Second Coming occurring soon, see commentary on Matt. 16:28. For more on the coming kingdom of Christ on earth, the Millennial Kingdom, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].


Commentary for: Matthew 26:64