Jesus told his disciples, I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God. The kingdom will come when? Either there are two-thousand year old men walking around, or Jesus came again bringing the kingdom of God. Did some of those standing there that day live to see Jesus come again in his glory? Did we miss the second coming of Christ? What does this mean?
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 9
By Delbert Young
Kingdom of God Will Come When video audio notes Luke 9:26-27
Kingdom of God Will Come When video audio notes Luke 9:26-27
Scriptures: Luke 9:26-27; Luke 9:18-20; Luke 9:21-25; Matthew 16:27-28; Mark 8:38-9:1; Matthew 23:34-36; Matthew 23:36-24:2; Matthew 24:21; Matthew 24:29-30; Matthew 24:34; Matthew 26:63-65; Acts 1:11
Today I get to talk about a scripture which changed my theology and showed me I can’t accept everything preachers say as biblically accurate. I’m going to read it, look at the dilemma, and teach it in its context.
Luke 9:26-27 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when HE COMES in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, SOME WHO ARE STANDING HERE WILL NOT TASTE DEATH BEFORE THEY SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”
Either there are some two-thousand year old men walking around, or Jesus came again bringing the kingdom of God. Did some of those standing there that day live to see Jesus come again in his glory? Did we miss the second coming of Christ? What does this mean? Let’s read the passage in context and see if we can understand it.
Luke 9:18-20 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “WHO DO THE CROWDS SAY I AM?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” “BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?” HE ASKED. “WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
We looked at this last time. I’m not going to teach it again, but we must see the statement Jesus made referencing his coming and those standing there would not die before seeing it began with these two questions and the answer during a time of prayer. The actual purpose of the questions was to open to them the soon coming kingdom.
Also, the Christ of God and the kingdom of God are synoptic. There cannot be a kingdom without a king. The very purpose of the Christ of God’s birth was to bring the kingdom.
The following verses is Jesus instructing them concerning what his being the Christ of God meant for him, for them, and for the kingdom of God to come. The next verses read,
Luke 9:21-25 Jesus strictly warned them not to TELL THIS to anyone. AND HE SAID, “The Son of Man Must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he MUST be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” THEN HE SAID TO THEM ALL: “If anyone would come after me, he Must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me…”
Jesus didn’t want their answer – “the Christ of God” – nor the following to be told to anyone. All this is in context. It’s “And he said” (v22) and “Then he said”(v23). Jesus told them what he must do and what they must do to bring the kingdom. Jesus said, and instructed them to teach, the kingdom of God was “near” and “at hand.” First, Jesus must suffer, be rejected, and must be killed. They must follow him to the extent of death by crucifixion themselves if necessary. If they followed him as the Christ of God to bring the kingdom of God they could literally end up like so many crucified hanging dead on the side of the road. Many of them did.
This was not hyperbolic to them. They are not thinking “spiritual” and “eternal” meanings. Jesus was saying to them for the kingdom to come, he must die and they must be willing to die.
To properly interpret this passage we must see that a distant futuristic coming spiritual kingdom was not what they thought. Here’s the kicker. Neither was it what Jesus wanted them to think. Jesus wanted them to think in the present as that’s exactly what he is instructing. Here it is.
Luke 9:26-27 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when HE COMES in his glory and in the glory of the father and of the holy angels. I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, SOME WHO ARE STANDING HERE WILL NOT TASTE DEATH BEFORE THEY SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”
According to Jesus, they would physically see something to know the Son of Man and the kingdom of God came. Jesus is not talking about a spiritual kingdom coming in the distant future. He is talking about it coming in their lifetimes. What does this mean?
Jesus said his coming again would happen before some of those standing there would die. “But, Delbert, I thought his second coming would not happen until…” Until when? “Well, later.” Let’s look again and focus on what Jesus said.
Luke 9:26-27 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when HE COMES in HIS GLORY and in the GLORY OF THE FATHER and of the HOLY ANGELS. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
Two things while we look at the scripture: (1) It doesn’t say “second coming,” but then no other place in scriptures does either. I’ll elaborate in a moment; (2) It’s not only his coming. It’s coming in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. He’s bringing lots of majesty and power with him. He’s unstoppable. Why?
First, the “Second Coming,” is not a biblical term. Though his “coming” is mentioned many, many times, there is no quote, unquote “second coming.” The “second coming doctrine” is a tradition of man doctrine and will make the word of God of none effect (Mat 15:6; Mar 7:13). So, what’s going on here?
This is the first mention in Luke’s gospel about the coming again of Jesus as the Son of Man. It won’t be the last, so we need to go slow and get it. Jesus emphasized the immediacy of his coming. He gave it an “I tell you the truth”emphasis. Jesus made certain what he said was not confused with something happening in the distant future. He wanted them to know his coming in glory and the coming of the kingdom would take place in their lifetimes.
Let’s look at the parallel passages from Matthew and Mark’s gospels.
Matthew 16:27-28 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 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.”
Mark 8:38-9:1 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words IN THIS ADULTEROUS AND SINFUL GENERATION, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him WHEN HE COMES IN HIS FATHER’S GLORY WITH THE HOLY ANGELS.” And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are STANDING HERE WILL NOT TASTE DEATH BEFORE THEY SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD COME WITH POWER.”
The gospels, plural, speak of Jesus, the Son of Man, coming in his glory before some of his disciples standing there died. Mark seems to make it generational specific. How are we to interpret this? If we continue awaiting this coming then some of those who were standing there that day with Jesus remain alive this day. That seems a ridiculous interpretation. So, Jesus was wrong? If he was wrong can we trust anything he said? If he was wrong about this then is he the Christ of God? Of course, he wasn’t wrong.
We’ve studied how the generation to which Jesus came would be severely judged. Clarity on this will intensify in our study. That generation was not only ashamed of Jesus, rejected him, and executed the Son of God; they later persecuted the church arresting and killing the apostles and its members. Jesus warned,
Matthew 23:34-36 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. AND SO UPON YOU WILL COME ALL THE RIGHTEOUS BLOOD that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth,ALL THIS WILL COME UPON THIS GENERATION.
That generation was to be judged according to Jesus. Luke 9:41; 11:29; 11:50 -51; 17:25; Matthew 23:36; 24:34 are some of the verses speaking of the event happening to his generation – the generation who killed him (see “A Doubting Generation” study on Luke 7:29-35). Jesus saying, “some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power” is Jesus saying the same thing. That generation would not pass until “all this will come.”
Let’s reason about the kingdom coming. It’s difficult for us to relate, but when one kingdom came upon another kingdom, there was war and bloodshed. It was horrific. Women were raped. Children killed. The land ravaged. It involved death and devastation. We don’t think that way as we don’t process with “kingdom” mentality.
During WWII Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan attempted to bring the Axis “kingdom” upon the world. It was war and blood and horror. Millions died. With that thinking, realize when Jesus told us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:10), what did he mean? He wasn’t speaking a sweet little time as we do when we recite the prayer and teach our children to pray it.
We’ve been taught to link his “coming again” as the “rapture” of the church and/or the resurrection of the dead at the last day. Since those, we know, have not yet happened, but all those standing there that day with Jesus died, we should realize we must, or at least could, be wrong.
What was Jesus referencing if not the rapture, resurrection, or last day? How did he, the Son of Man, come again? What did they see before some of them died and before that generation passed? What catastrophic event happened relating to this and other elements Jesus taught?
Historically, before some of them died, before that generation passed, Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome in AD 70-74. The land was ravaged from north Galilee to south Judah. Women raped. Children killed. Cities, towns, villages, desolated and burned. This is why Jesus mourned over Jerusalem (Luk 13:34).
Only days prior to his crucifixion Jesus said as he taught in the temple after giving Pharisees and scribes seven woes,
Matthew 23:36-24:2 Verily I say unto you, ALL THESE THINGS SHALL COME UPON THIS GENERATION. O JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him THE BUILDINGS OF THE TEMPLE. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, THERE SHALL NOT BE LEFT HERE ONE STONE UPON ANOTHER, THAT SHALL NOT BE THROWN DOWN.
The Roman army dismantled the Temple stone by stone. The temple, the central necessity for Old Covenant worship, was destroyed exactly as Jesus said it would be. All remaining today is a portion of the “Wailing Wall.” Jerusalem is no longer the center of worship for God’s people (Joh 4:20-24). Jesus is! There is no Jewish Temple. The time has come to worship in spirit and in truth just as Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well. Today upon the very spot the Jewish Temple once stood sits the Muslim Dome of the Rock. Temple worship became obsolete. The kingdom of God came.
You might want to study this. Search out “The War of AD 70.” You will find a wealth of information. I even wrote a book about it titled “War of AD 70 The Great Tribulation.” The entire nation lay desolate, devastated, and demolished unlike anything every happening to Israel before or since exactly as Jesus said.
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
It was the most horrific event ever.
Matthew 24:29-30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:AND THEN SHALL APPEAR THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the SON OF MAN COMING in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
“Stars shall fall” etc is referred to as “collapsing universe terminology” (Isa 13:9-10; 34:1-6; Eze 32:7-8; Joe 2:10, 11, 28-31; 3:14-15; Zec 14:1-2, 6-7; Rev 6:13, etc). It is catastrophic lights out and end of the world for whomever. Jesus said it was the catastrophic end for Judaism and temple worship. After the devastation and victory completed, the King of kings, the Son of Man comes to claim his kingdom.
The section beginning in Matthew 23 concludes with Jesus saying…
Matthew 24:34 I tell you the truth, THIS GENERATION WILL CERTAINLY NOT PASS AWAY UNTIL ALL THESE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.
A few days after saying this, Jesus was arrested. It will help to see Jesus’ answer the high priest at the trial of Jesus.
Matthew 26:63-65 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: in the future YOU WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN sitting at the right hand of the mighty one AND COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.
Jesus told the high priest HE WOULD SEE the coming of the Son of man. That very statement brought about the execution of Jesus. The high priest did see it. The destruction of Jerusalem was the end of the Old Covenant.
Jesus emphatically said some of the disciples standing there would see the kingdom of God come and the Son of Man come in his glory. I must make certain you did not miss hear me. Will Jesus return physically? Will there be a last day resurrection?
Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? THIS SAME JESUS, who has been taken from you into heaven, WILL COME BACK IN THE SAME WAY YOU HAVE SEEN HIM GO into heaven.”
Yes, Jesus will return in a glorified physical body.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says there will be a physical phenomenon that will catch up living believers, but only after the resurrection. According to Jesus the resurrection will be the last day (Joh 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24).
I’ve given you so much theology today. How do we make this applicable for our lives? I’ll tell you how it’s applicable for me. When I began understanding the kingdom of God from the perspective I believe Jesus intended it to be understood, it changed my life. The kingdom of God isn’t coming. It came. It continues to expand. It changed how I interpret scripture. I feel I am more accurate. It’s made so many scriptures which were impossible to understand, as this one, understandable. It gave me a new Bible, as it were. But, mostly, I see Jesus is the Christ of God. The crowd says he’s coming one day to establish his kingdom. The disciples standing here see the kingdom come every day before they taste of death.
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