what does the bible say?

Please explain Jesus’ words “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.”

The context of the verse clearly reveals its meaning.  Note that Jesus was only talking to His disciples (Matthew 16:21).  And, in verse 28 He made it clear that only some of them would “see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Since God’s Kingdom has not yet been established here on earth and the disciples did all die, the obvious meaning is that some of the disciples were to be shown the splendor of the Kingdom in a vision.  And so they were, through the transfiguration.

Jesus did not say He was actually going to come before they would “taste death.”  The first verse of the next chapter is a continuation of the same train of thought.  

“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, brought them up on a high mountain by themselves, and was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:1-2).  Read the companion account in Luke 9:28-32. Much later, the Apostle John, one of this same group, again describes seeing Christ in His glory: “…One clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.  His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” (Revelation 1:13-16).  

Both times John saw this manifestation in a vision.  Revelation 1:10 says the vision came when he “was in the Spirit.”  Matthew 17:9 says, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”  The disciples saw these things only in a vision – not in reality. Christ has yet to come in real, actual glory as King of kings and Lord of lords.  Peter, James, and John had a foretaste of this event – in vision – while they were yet alive.  The Second Coming of Christ is yet to occur (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

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