September  2018

 

 

What Jesus Really Said

 

 

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “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.”

Matthew 16:21-28

 

The last verse of this passage is often misread because of not paying attention to what it says.  Jesus said that some of his disciples would not die before they would see Jesus coming in His kingdom.  At that time Judas had not yet betrayed Jesus and committed suicide.  And, we also know all the original disciples died almost 2000 years ago.  Therefore, Jesus could not have been referring to His coming back for the saints at the last day.  So, Jesus must have been speaking about what the disciples would see happen after Judas’ death. 

 

This doesn’t make sense to many Christians because we have always seen “Jesus coming” as meaning when Jesus comes back from heaven to gather the saints.  But now we can clearly see this view does not fit the context of the passage.  It is evident that we need to check the meaning of the word coming. 

 

The Greek word for “coming” can be translated as meaning to come from one place to another, and is used both of persons arriving and of those returning; or to appear, make one's appearance, come before the public.  It can also mean to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence, be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto.

 

Understanding that the disciples would still be alive when Jesus is coming in His Kingdom, therefore limits the “coming” to when Jesus rises from the dead after He returns from preaching to those in Paradise; and His appearing to the disciples and 500 others; and His ascension into Heaven.  That would use the meaning of the word as Jesus coming from one place to another; and that of Jesus appearing before the public.

 

Now, let’s back up to verse 21 and look at more of the context in which Jesus was speaking.

 

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

 

All the way from verse 21 to 28, Jesus is talking about the same topic: He would be killed and raised from the dead on the third day after.  But, Peter interrupts, by telling Jesus this isn’t going to happen.

 

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

 

Jesus addresses Peter’s interruption.  Then He continues with speaking about death.  Only now He talks about the disciples need to die on a cross, too.  He speaks of denying self as being the equivalent of death on a cross.  To follow Jesus would require the disciples deny themselves and obey Him.

 

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

 

Jesus then contrasts losing your soul by not denying yourself with the reward that will come from Him when He returns for His own people at the last day.  This is what confuses people, and causes them to think Jesus is talking about His returning at the last day.  He is still talking about the disciples denying themselves.

 

Then Jesus returns to what He was initially talking about – the subject of His dying and being raised from the dead on the third day.

 

28 “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.”

 

So, Jesus told His disciples indirectly that one of them would die before He would die and that all the rest of them would see Him arise into His Kingdom after He rose from the dead.  He’s not talking about coming back from Heaven.  He’s talking about going to Heaven. 

 

Let me remind you of the definition for the word “coming.”  It can be translated as meaning to come from one place to another, and is used both of persons arriving and of those returning; or to appear, make one's appearance, come before the public.  It can also mean to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence, be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto.

 

Therefore, I believe verse 28 can be much more easily be understood if the word “arising” is substituted for “coming.”  Psalm 47 agrees with this. 

 

1 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, And the nations under our feet He will choose our inheritance for us, The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have gathered together, The people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.

Psalm 47:1-9

 

Jesus has gone up into Heaven and is still there.  He has not come back yet.  But, our hope is in His promise that He will return!     

 

 

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