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Reformation Study Bible – Matt 10:23
Matt 10:23

10:23 before the Son of Man comes. There are several interpretations of the coming of the Son of Man referred to in this verse.

(a) The “coming” is the Second Coming of Christ to judge the earth. This view fits most of the other occurrences of the phrase (24:30; 25:31; 26:64; but see 16:28). The chief difficulty is that the note of urgency in v. 23 seems incompatible with a delay until the Last Judgment.

(b) The “coming” is the resurrection and ascension of Jesus or the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost. However, there is no evidence that the disciples were persecuted with the intensity assumed in vv. 17–22 prior to Jesus’ resurrection or Pentecost.

(c) The phrase “before the Son of Man comes” is a way of saying, “before I rejoin you.” But again the persecution described in vv. 17–22 did not occur during this time, and the purpose for the coming of the Son of Man elsewhere (to bring judgment) makes this meaning unlikely.

(d) The “coming” refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70 as an act of judgment against the nation of Israel. This understanding retains the note of urgency and fits the experience of the church prior to a.d. 70. The other references to the coming of the Son of Man view it as a great and terrible display of God’s judgment. Although these cannot be limited to the destruction of Jerusalem, that event was terrible in intensity and fell on what had been the central visible symbol of God’s presence, the temple.