Jesus said,  "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28) I thought that Jesus might be referring to his ascension here, but it didn’t seem to make sense in the context of the passage.  Jesus also said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."  If I am interpreting this correctly this contradicts what he says later: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, then the end will come."  On your website I saw that a writer refuted the fact that the disciples thought the end of the world was imminent, but it seems that so did Jesus.  Even if only the father knew the day and the hour Jesus still seems affirmative that it would be soon.  Am I misunderstanding Jesus’ words? Is there a mistranslation from the Greek?  I can’t seem to find another explanation for these quotes. 


The prophecy that "some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost as described in Acts 2:1-13.   If you read Acts chapter one, Jesus spoke after his resurrection about the kingdom.  He also told them to wait in Jerusalem for him to send the Holy Spirit on them.  Acts 2 is when Peter was given the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16).  This pouring out of power on the Day of Pentecost was "the Day of the Lord" prophesied by Jesus and also by Joel.  It was a day of the coming of the kingdom.  Remember that when the events of Acts 2 happened, Judas was already dead, but, of course, the other apostles were certainly alive when the kingdom came in Acts 2.  As for the other two prophecies, we must be careful to interpret each prophecy in its context.  You definitely ought not to confuse these, as Jesus is clearly talking about very different things.  Again, look at the context.  About Matthew 10:23, I will have to admit I am not completely sure what Jesus meant by this.  I believe he may mean that he will come, with the Holy Spirit (as in Acts 2) to give them help before they even finish bringing the good news to all of Israel.  The Son of Man certainly did "come" at Pentecost.  He did not come in the sense he will at the end of time, of course.  The "second coming of Jesus" is a whole other thing.  Obviously, Matthew 10:23 is not talking about the coming of Jesus at the very end of days.  I believe the third prophecy you mention–Matthew 24:14 is a prophecy about the final coming of Jesus at the end of days.  "And then the end will come."   This is not what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 10:23.  As to when Jesus was going to come back, it is true that the early church generally had a sense that the return was imminent.  That is exactly the attitude Jesus obviously wanted them to have.  His technique worked!!!  Nevertheless, Jesus did not say when he would come back.  Apparently, it has not happened yet.  But we should be aware of the warning in 2 Peter 3:1-7.  Many will scoff, but one day Jesus will come back, and remember to God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.  Bottom line, Jesus did not contradict himself.
John Oakes

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