Have you ever pondered the implications of Matthew 16:27-28 (below)? It seems rather straightforward, doesn’t it? So it’s rather puzzling that commentators are all over the map on this one, with most refusing to consider its most obvious meaning i.e. that some of those who stood listening to Jesus, would still be alive to witness His second coming. What’s your first impression? Do these two verses make you uncomfortable, causing you to scurry for your footnotes? It can mean what it sounds like it means, can it?
Matthew 16:27-28 (NASB) “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. 28″Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Most often the commentators attempt to do one of two things and sometimes both. They either divorce verse 27 from verse 28 (since chapter divisions were not part of the original manuscripts) as though Jesus was speaking of two events separated by thousands of years i.e. verse 27 referring to a still future 2nd coming, while 28 referred to a more imminent event such as either the transfiguration or Pentecost; OR they couple verse 27 and 28 and argue that Jesus was speaking about either the transfiguration or Pentecost.
Let me ask you a question. Are the above solutions the most natural and plausible explanations of these verses?
Is it possible that the paradigm/worldview of the commentators, is driving them far afield from what Jesus was actually teaching? Without stealing any of his thunder, consider the short videos believe from Don K. Preston (www.eschatology.org). In these”Preston’s Ponderings”, Don presents what I believe makes the most exegetical. Well, dig in and be prepared to be challenged.
Handling two objections