When the Son of man - This is in answer to the question which the disciples proposed to Jesus respecting the end of the world, Matthew 24:3. That this refers to the last judgment, and not, as some have supposed, to the destruction of Jerusalem, appears:
1.From the fact that it was in answer to an express inquiry respecting “the end” of the world.
2.“All nations” were to be assembled, which did not take place at the destruction of Jerusalem.
3.A separation was to take place between the righteous and the wicked, which was not done at Jerusalem.
4.The rewards and punishments are declared to be “eternal.”
None of these things took place at the destruction of Jerusalem.
In his glory - In his own proper honor. With his glorified body, and as the head and king of the universe, Acts 1:11; Ephesians 1:20-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:24-25, 1 Corinthians 15:52.
The throne of his glory - This means, in the language of the Hebrews, his glorious or splendid throne. It is not to be taken literally, as if there would be a material throne or seat for the King of Zion. It expresses the idea that he will come “as a king and judge” to assemble his subjects before him, and to appoint them their rewards.
When the Son of man shall come - This must be understood of Christ's coming at the last day, to judge mankind: though all the preceding part of the chapter may be applied also to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Holy angels - The word αγιοι is omitted by many excellent manuscripts, versions, and fathers. Mill and Bengel approve of the omission, and Griesbach has left it out of the text. It is supposed by some that our Lord will have other angels (messengers) with him in that day, besides the holy ones. The evil angels may be in attendance to take, as their prey, those who shall be found on his left hand.
The throne of his glory - That glorious throne on which his glorified human nature is seated, at the right hand of the Father.
These angels were of the company that had been waiting in a shining cloud to escort Jesus to His heavenly home. The most exalted of the angel throng, they were the two who had come to the tomb at Christ's resurrection, and they had been with Him throughout His life on earth. With eager desire all heaven had waited for the end of His tarrying in a world marred by the curse of sin. The time had now come for the heavenly universe to receive their King. Did not the two angels long to join the throng that welcomed Jesus? But in sympathy and love for those whom He had left, they waited to give them comfort. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14. DA 832.1
Christ had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. The disciples had beheld the cloud receive Him. The same Jesus who had walked and talked and prayed with them; who had broken bread with them; who had been with them in their boats on the lake; and who had that very day toiled with them up the ascent of Olivet,—the same Jesus had now gone to share His Father's throne. And the angels had assured them that the very One whom they had seen go up into heaven, would come again even as He had ascended. He will come “with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise.” “The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 25:31. Thus will be fulfilled the Lord's own promise to His disciples: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3. Well might the disciples rejoice in the hope of their Lord's return. DA 832.2
When the disciples went back to Jerusalem, the people looked upon them with amazement. After the trial and crucifixion of Christ, it had been thought that they would appear downcast and ashamed. Their enemies expected to see upon their faces an expression of sorrow and defeat. Instead of this there was only gladness and triumph. Their faces were aglow with a happiness not born of earth. They did not mourn over disappointed hopes, but were full of praise and thanksgiving to God. With rejoicing they told the wonderful story of Christ's resurrection and His ascension to heaven, and their testimony was received by many. DA 832.3Read in context »
Jesus is coming as He ascended into heaven, only with additional splendor. He is coming with the glory of His Father, and all the holy angels with Him, to escort Him on His way. Instead of the cruel crown of thorns to pierce His holy temples, a crown of dazzling glory will deck His sacred brow.... He will not wear a plain seamless coat, but a garment whiter than snow—of dazzling brightness. Jesus is coming! But not to reign as a temporal prince. He will raise the righteous dead, change the living saints to a glorious immortality, and, with the saints, take the kingdom under the whole heaven.... FLB 351.5Read in context »
“He shall build the temple of the Lord.” By His sacrifice and mediation Christ is both the foundation and the builder of the church of God. The apostle Paul points to Him as “the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also,” he says, “are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20-22. GC 416.1
“He shall bear the glory.” To Christ belongs the glory of redemption for the fallen race. Through the eternal ages, the song of the ransomed ones will be: “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, ... to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” Revelation 1:5, 6. GC 416.2
He “shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.” Not now “upon the throne of His glory;” the kingdom of glory has not yet been ushered in. Not until His work as a mediator shall be ended will God “give unto Him the throne of His father David,” a kingdom of which “there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32, 33. As a priest, Christ is now set down with the Father in His throne. Revelation 3:21. Upon the throne with the eternal, self-existent One is He who “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows,” who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” that He might be “able to succor them that are tempted.” “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” Isaiah 53:4; Hebrews 4:15; 2:18; 1 John 2:1. His intercession is that of a pierced and broken body, of a spotless life. The wounded hands, the pierced side, the marred feet, plead for fallen man, whose redemption was purchased at such infinite cost. GC 416.3Read in context »