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Did Jesus make a mistake about His disciples seeing the kingdom come in their lifetimes? MATTHEW 16:28

MATTHEW 16:28—Did Jesus make a mistake about His disciples seeing the kingdom come in their lifetimes?

PROBLEM: Jesus told His disciples that of them would not see death until they saw Him coming in His kingdom. Yet during the life of the , Jesus never returned to set His kingdom.

: This is a question of when this was going to take place, not whether would. There are three possible solutions.

First, have suggested that this may be a reference to the Day of Pentecost where ’s Helper, the Spirit, came to descend upon the . In John’s Gospel (14:26), Jesus promised to send the Spirit, and, in the beginning of Acts (1:4–8), tells them not to leave Jerusalem until they have received the Spirit. But this hardly seems to fit the description of seeing coming in His kingdom (Matt. 16:28).

Second, others believe this might be a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem and the in a.d. 70. This would mean that would return to bring judgment upon the city that rejected Him and crucified Him. While this is a possible explanation, does not seem to account for the that Jesus appears to be coming for believers (those “standing there” with Him), not simply coming in judgment on unbelievers. Nor does the judgment on Jerusalem in a.d. 70 adequately express seeing the “ of Man coming in His kingdom” (v. 28), a phrase reminiscent of His second coming (cf. 26:64). Nor does explain why Jesus never appeared in a.d. 70.

A third and plausible explanation is that this is a reference to the appearance of in His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration which begins in the next verse (17:1). Here does literally appear in a glorified form, and of His are there to witness the occasion, namely Peter, James, and John. This transfiguration experience, of course, was only a foretaste of His Second Coming when all believers will see Him come in power and great glory (cf. Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7).

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[1]Geisler, N. L., & , T. A. (1992). When critics ask : A popular handbook on difficulties (349). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor .

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