A few weeks ago, in a Bible study I am teaching, we were in Mark 8 and concluded with this verse:
38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
I had a fleeting thought, “I wonder what word He used for ‘coming’?” Then, at church this past Sunday, a reference was made to Revelation 22:20, …Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. I wondered again about the word used, but this time I had the opportunity to look it up. And was I surprised! It was not one of the words referenced above. It was actually a fairly common word. A plan formed - This week I will look more fully into this. And I did. This was illuminating and exciting!
I looked at every occurrence of come in the Gospels and Revelation (since I was wondering what word Jesus used in connection with the second coming).
First, He does use the word parousia. It occurs four times, all in Matthew 24 – verses 3, 27, 37, and 39. Actually, Jesus used it 3 times, and the disciples once.
But by far the most frequently used word is ἔρχομαι (erchomai). It occurs 643 times in the New Testament and is translated come 616 times. According to Thayer it means: “to come; to come from one place to another; to appear, make one's appearance, come before the public.” Actually, it is used in the New Testament more often for the second coming than parousia – 22 times compared to 16. I was really surprised by this discovery.
I will simply list the references in the Gospels and Revelation where erchomai is used and hope you are motivated to look them up.
Matthew 16:27, 28; 24:30, 42, 44; 25:13, 31
Mark 8:38; 13:26
Luke 12:40; 18:8; 21:27
Revelation 1:7; 3:11; 16:15; 22:7, 12, 20
This raises a question, Why did Jesus use this word so often?
Because his teaching on the second coming is based on Daniel 7. What? Yes, it’s true. Let’s take a look. Here is Daniel 7:13 from the Septuagint (the Greek Translation of the Old Testament, which is the version most often quoted in the New Testament)
I beheld in the night vision, and, lo, one coming with the clouds of heaven as the Son of man, and he came on to the Ancient of days, and was brought near to him.
The key phrase is, coming with the clouds of heaven as the Son of man. Compare this with Matthew 24:30
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
The Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. The word for coming in Daniel is erchomai and since Jesus is quoting Daniel, he uses erchomai as well. We find the same expression in Mark 13:26 and Luke 21:27. And this is even more striking in the Greek.
Here is the full picture painted by Jesus of his second coming, Matthew 24:30-31
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Why am I presenting this? Because Paul quotes Jesus concerning the angel, the trumpet, and the gathering of the elect
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For 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 first:
John also quotes Jesus when he describes the second coming
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
And he closes the book with, He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
And every time it’s the word erchomai.
What is the benefit of all this?
1) Well, I learned there is another word used for the second coming, erchomai
2) We see that the teaching of the second coming comes from Daniel 7:13. Jesus quotes Daniel and the Apostles quote Jesus. That is cool.
3) And of course there is this, they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!