“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”  Matthew 16:28 NIV. What did Jesus mean here? Is he referring to his second coming?


In Matthew 16:28 appears at first glance to be a reference to the second coming of Jesus, and I certainly cannot blame anyone for thinking this to be the case, but history and context tell us to look elsewhere for the fulfillment of Jesus’ prediction.  If we go back to Matthew 16:18-19 that “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.”  and “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”  He then went on to talk about his arrest and execution in Jerusalem in Matthew 16:22.  Peter then told Jesus, “This shall never happen to you.”  The reference to Peter being given the keys to the kingdom is probably a reference to his preaching the first gospel sermon in Acts 2.  In a sense, Jesus came in his kingdom when the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles in Acts 2 and when the kingdom was preached by Peter on Pentecost.  By this time, Judas was dead, but all the other apostles were still alive.  I believe this is what Jesus is referring to when he says that some of those with him would not taste death before they saw Jesus coming in his kingdom. He is not talking about his second coming but the coming of the kingdom as recorded in Acts 2.

John Oakes
















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