ESV - 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.
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Well, I do believe that when Jesus rose from the dead, His Kingdom or the Kingdom of heaven was then established. That is why He said there are some here who will not test death until the Kingdom of heaven has come. This is because it would happen soon when many of those who were present would still be alive. After Jesus' resurrection, we see an emergence of so many things; Peter who had once denied Jesus and had actually gone back to fishing after Jesus' death and before Jesus' resurrection, was then empowered and began to speak so boldly in Acts 2. A king reigns even in his absence, that is what tells he is indeed king. Today, Jesus may not be here physically, but because the kingdom is his, His influence is definitely felt and all we do is to bow down before Him. Some people have been misled to think that this meant that there are people who would not die until when Jesus comes back for the second time. That is not true! We have actually always been told that there is a man whom Jesus told he would not die (the man) until Jesus returned for the second time. I strongly believe this was sheer say and speculation, only baseless rumours. God's kingdom would not only come after Jesus' return, the Kingdom of heaven is already here now that Jesus is risen. It is now with us because by rising from the dead, He (Jesus) conquered death. Death had been the devil's long time weapon to intimidate many people. After Jesus' resurrection, there is some degree of fearlessness. Jesus overcame the devil and put him under His feet and if you accept Jesus, you became a member of the Kingdom and the devil no longer has any authority over you. That means the devil's kingdom is no more, it is now the kingdom of God because of what Jesus the CHRIST, the Son of the Living God did. For that reason, me and you are now witnesses that the kingdom of God is here with us. We can witness that the lame walk, people are changed and transformed to accept CHRIST, the dumb speak, the dead rise etc. So the kingdom of heaven is already with us because Jesus the CHRIST rose from the dead, He is alive, and He is with us through the Holy Spirit. This is because the Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus. God bless
The Bible contains many difficult and challenging texts. When I arrive at a text that is hard to understand, usually I keep on reading and eventually things start to make sense. Matthew 16:28 is no exception. The meaning of Jesus statement is found in the next chapter, Matthew 17. After six days, Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a high mountain where He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining exceeding white like snow, Elijah and Moses appeared and they were talking to Jesus. Bible scholars believe that this event was meant to straighten the disciples faith and to give them a taste of Christ glorious Second Coming. Moses was a representation of the law and of those who died and were resurrected; Elijah was representing the prophets and those who are translated without seeing death. God the Father comes in a cloud and says: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (Matthew 17:5) That experience, called the Mount of Transfiguration, was the fulfillment of what Jesus told them six days earlier: "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." Mark 9:1, describes the same event, The translation from Greek is slightly different, which makes it a little easier to understand: 'And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” On that mount, the disciples saw exactly what Jesus promised them, "the kingdom of God present with power.”
In the very next chapter in Matthew 17 we read about the transfiguration where Moses and Elijah appeared to Peter, James and John. They were given a vision of the Kingdom of God.
This literally happened, for about eight days afterward Christ was transfigured before them, as He would be in the kingdom of God. (Lk. 9:28-35; Mt. 16:28 -- Mt. 17:8; Mk. 9:1-8; 2Pet. 1:16-18).
If Jesus had been wrong about this, then His deity would come into question for the same reasons a prophet's would come into question. For a prophet to prophesy something that did not come to pass would disqualify him from being a prophet of God, but instead would be a false prophet. Christ here is referring to His church and on the day of Pentecost, following His resurrection, His church was established. He was referring to His spiritual kingdom that the apostles and others at first thought would be a new earthly king (like King David) and earthly kingdom. So, this would be a matter of less than 2 months after Christ's death which many and most all listening to Christ would certainly still be alive.
This may be a very simple answer to some, but to my understanding this is a true statement from Jesus, because the kingdom of God is within, and that to me means that as we walk in the light of Christ the Kingdom of God is revealed to us. Surely the disciples who walked closest to him would come to this revelation.
...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27) What is death? It isn't simply the death of the body, but also the second death, the death of the soul. (Rev.20:6,14). Simply because the body and soul have been separated doesn't mean true death has occurred, since the two may be reunited, as in the case of Lazarus. Tasting of death implies that the soul has been lessened as part of or after separation from the body. In this verse, Christ is saying that the souls of some standing there will be preserved until they see the kingdom of heaven implemented on earth. Then, as part of their judgment, they will be exposed to the second death. This doesn't mean their entire soul will be destroyed, only the parts inextricably involved in sin, if most of the soul isn't infected The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Eze. 18:4, 20). It has to be kept in mind that the Bible is a book about the spirit, not about the flesh.
When Jesus said, ''some standing here will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God", was he wrong? No, three of his disciples saw a vision of the kingdom of God and witness Moses and Elijah talking to Jesus about it on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was a vision.... Matthew 17: 1-9: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased; HEAR YOU HIM. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, TELL THE VISION TO NO MAN, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
It is possible that Christ meant the Kingdom of God that is within. On the Day of Pentecost the disciples received the Holy Spirit, hence the Holy Spirit was within them. Remember, a Kingdom is the domain of a King. The Holy Spirit is God, God is King, the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit makes a believer the domain (hence the Kingdom) of God.
NT Wright points out something brilliant. In the second century, we have coins from the Jewish messianic "Bar Kochba" revolt. He was perceived to have been the messiah, until Bar Kochba was violently killed by the enemies. Interestingly enough, the coins say something like, "year one, year two". It meant that they thought the kingdom had already been inaugurated, in spite of not being here in full. When Jesus said, "the kingdom of God is at hand", he was clearly talking about the resurrection of the dead. The one thing that the Jews at the time didn't expect was that one man, the Messiah, would be resurrected ahead of everyone else and would be at the helm of the new creation. What can we learn from all of this? Resurrection has started-in Jesus. Therefore, God's project to reconcile the world to Himself is in full throttle, as a result of God's work in Christ on the cross. The Kingdom of God has come in part through Christ. So, when Jesus said, "some of you will not taste death until the kingdom of God has come", he was implicitly telling them that there view of resurrection was incomplete, and also implying the coming of the kingdom in his very own resurrection. The kingdom was inaugurated in the resurrection of the Son of God. So the kingdom of God has come; the new creation has begun, since Jesus was raised from the dead with a new, glorified body. So the kingdom of God, which is the new creation, is here in Christ. It's not yet here in full, but we've been living in it and advancing the kingdom for the past 2000 years. And one day, Christ will inaugurate it in full, of course. But the kingdom of God arrived in Christ; now we must advance it to the praise of the glory of the grace of our God :)
The scripture says "...the Son of man COMING in his kingdom...." This I believe is different from saying "...the Kingdom of God COMING". Again, if the rendering had been "...the Son of Man APPEARING in His kingdom," then the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration could have offered the meaning to Jesus' saying. Again, on the Day of Pentecost, yes there was the manifestation of the kingdom of Christ, the COMING of the kingdom of God in another form. To me this again does not answer the SON OF MAN COMING IN HIS KINGDOM as Jesus states in Matthew 16. It is difficult to take it literally but I think that is what it means. Jesus was saying that those who were with Him at present would not experience physical death. The SON OF MAN COMING in his kingdom refers to the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ to establish His Kingdom here on earth. Mat. 25:31 says: When 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. Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. At least we don't have the records of how John died, neither do we have records of how all the rest who were present died.
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