…Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel – Matthew 19:28
The positioning of the punctuation in our opening scripture is somewhat misleading. The translators used their prerogative to place a comma after “…ye which have followed me….” It should have come after the word “regeneration” to read, “…ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
You might ask, “What’s the difference?” The difference is huge. Jesus wasn’t referring to the regeneration as something that would happen in the future, but as something that was happening already. The translators must have thought Jesus was talking about reconstitution. Reconstitution may be synonymous with renewal, but they’re not the same. In Acts 3:21, the Bible gives an instance of reconstitution, “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” The reconstitution, restitution, restoration, rebuilding, or putting together again of all things is futuristic. The regeneration however is a rebirth, a renewal, not a restoration.
When you were born again, you were given a new life. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). Jesus came to begin this regeneration with His disciples, hence, His reason for saying to them, “…ye which have followed me in the regeneration….” His disciples will receive a reward in future for following Him in the regeneration, but it surely isn’t over.
We’re still preaching, and carrying out the work of regeneration today. We’re with Him in His project of bringing men into a new birth of the Spirit; we also shall have our reward for following Him in this regeneration.
Dear heavenly Father, I’m so glad to be chosen of you to be a part of this great ministry of reconciliation, carrying out and carrying on the work which the Lord Jesus began, both to do and teach. I recognize my responsibility as a minister, and I keep at it, spreading the good news and bringing many to righteousness, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Further Study: 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; 2 Timothy 4:2