And Jesus said unto them,
Verily I say unto you, That you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Read Chapter 19
George Leo Haydock
In the regeneration. Jesus Christ here calls the general resurrection the regeneration, because there will then be a renovation of the human body, and of the whole world. The promise which is here made to the apostles of sitting on thrones at the general judgment, and passing sentence on the 12 tribes of Israel, must not be understood as limited to the apostles, or to the Jews. For St. Paul says, (1 Corinthians vi. 2. and 3,) that not only he, but also many of the Corinthians to whom he was writing, would judge not merely the 12 tribes, but the whole world, and moreover angels themselves. It is the opinion of many of the Fathers, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Gregory, and others, that all apostolical men, i.e. such as, renouncing the goods of this life, adhere to Christ in mind and affection, and by every possible means promote his reign and the propagation of his gospel, will be so far honoured as to sit in judgment with him at the general resurrection. (Tirinus)
You also shall sit ...
What then, one may say, shall Judas sit there? By no means. How, then, does He say, You shall sit on twelve thrones? how shall the terms of the promise be fulfilled?
Hear how, and on what principle. There is a law ordained of God, recited by Jeremiah, the prophet to the Jews, and in these words: At what instant I shall speak a sentence concerning a nation and kingdom, to pluck up and destroy; if that nation turn from their evil deeds, I also will repent of the evils, which I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and kingdom to build and to plant it; and if they do evil in my sight, that they obey not my voice, I also will repent of the good, which I said I would do unto them. Jeremiah 18:7-10
For the same custom do I observe with respect to the good things as well, says He. For though I spoke of building up, should they show themselves unworthy of the promise, I will no longer do it. Which sort of thing was done with respect to man upon hi...
But what does it mean that they will “judge the twelve tribes of Israel”? It means they will judge them insufficient and convicted. For they are not going to sit as jurymen. But just as he said that the queen of the south is to judge that generation and the Ninevites will condemn them, so will these too. For this reason he did not say “the nations and the world” but “the tribes of Israel.” The Jews and the apostles had been brought up in the same laws and customs and political system. When the Jews said that they were not able to believe in Christ because the law forbade them to receive his commandments, he brings forward these people who had received the same law and had believed, and thus he condemns all those others. That is why he had already said, “Therefore they shall be your judges.” The Gospel of Matthew, Homily
. Surely they will not be seated? Of course not, but He indicated by means of a throne the great honor they will enjoy. Will Judas also be seated? No; for Christ said, "which have followed Me," that is, "followed Me to the end," but Judas did not follow to the end. By a different interpretation, God often promises good things to those who are worthy. But if they should change and become unworthy, as Judas did, those good things are denied. Similarly with more menacing things, He often threatens but does not carry out the threat, because we have repented. By "regeneration" understand the resurrection of the dead at the Last Judgement.
Surely they will not be seated? (2) Of course not, but He indicated by means of a throne the great honor they will enjoy. Will Judas also be seated? No; for Christ said, which have followed Me, that is, "followed Me to the end," but Judas did not follow to the end. By a different interpretation, God often promises good things to those who are worthy. But if they should change and become unworthy, as Judas did, those good things are denied. Similarly with more menacing things, He often threatens but does not carry out the threat, because we have repented. By regeneration understand the resurrection of the dead at the Last Judgement.