The Coming Kingdom

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Matthew 16:28

And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Mark 9:1

But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:27

As I mentioned yesterday, this text says too much for it to be referring to the end of time or some millennial kingdom to come in the future. Whatever coming of the kingdom that Jesus is talking about it is going to happen while at least some of His disciples are still alive.

So what is Jesus talking about?

There are several interpretations of this text that carry a lot of credibility but there are two in particular that resonate with me as strong possibilities.

One possibility is that Jesus is referring to the judgment of Israel when Titus brings the Roman army to Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This fits with the few verses before and our verse today. If this be the case, we have historic accounts that some of the disciples were still alive and preaching when this occurred. I do not dismiss this interpretation out of hand but there is not a clear physical presence of Jesus recorded in scripture when this occurred.

The other possibility is that Jesus is referring to His resurrection from the dead and, more specifically, the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit also comes and anoints the first century church with power to start spreading the word of God throughout the world. This is what I believe it the most visible ushering in of the Kingdom of God that we have in scripture. And all of the disciples, except of course Judas Iscariot, were alive and present at these events.

This latter position is supported by the language of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Rome:

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Romans 1:4

We know from Old Testament prophecy, Daniel in particular, that the kingdom of God would be established in the eyes of men when the Roman empire would begin to fall. This Kingdom of God was manifest as the kingdom the Son of Man when Christ, as man, raised from the dead and ascended to the Father to sit at His right hand to rule forever!

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