In verse one of chapter 9, Jesus said, “I can assure you that some of the people standing here will not die before they see God’s kingdom come with power.”
What do you suppose Jesus was talking about here? Was He talking about His second coming? Was he talking about the rapture? If so, then was He wrong? Is this one of those “difficult passages” that we hear about?
Well let’s ask ourselves whether Jesus was ever wrong or if He was even capable of being wrong. What do we believe about Him? Jesus is God, isn’t He? If He is God, then one of the attributes of God is omniscience, which means “all-knowing”, so He can’t be wrong.
Well, if He wasn’t wrong, then what does that leave us with? After all, all the disciples died before Jesus’ second coming or the rapture.
As always, it is important to look at context. We look at the verses before and after this verse.
At the end of chapter 8, Jesus talked about His suffering and death and the fact that He would come back “in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
But now back to our chapter today, chapter 9, in the verses immediately after He makes the statement we’re trying to figure out, we read that six days after he spoke these words He took Peter, James and John up on a high mountain and “There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed. 3And his clothes became much whiter than any bleach on earth could make them. 4Then Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with Jesus.” And dropping down a few verses we read, “The shadow of a cloud passed over and covered them. From the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, and I love him. Listen to what he says!”
So these three disciples *did* see a glimpse of God’s kingdom coming with power! They saw Jesus in His glory, and they heard the voice of God the Father proclaiming that Jesus is His Son and must be listened to.
This experience was important for these three key disciples, as we talked about just a few episodes back when we discussed the transfiguration as told to us in Matthew’s gospel.
You knew Jesus couldn’t be wrong, didn’t you?