Daily Word

His Kingdom | Matthew 16:28 (NASB)

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.”

Matthew 16:28 (NASB)

The context

One key to Bible study is the context. Usually the context (the rest of a long verse, the passage, the chapter and book and even a collection of books) can add understanding to a verse or passage. 

Here, Jesus has been talking about building His church based on the type of faith Peter expressed through revelation from the Father (Matthew 16:16-17). First He identifies the foundation of faith like Peter’s upon which He will build His church. Following this, He rebukes Peter’s thoughtless comment to show the need for them to focus on heavenly things. In yesterday’s passage He instructed them on the cost of discipleship and the resulting eternal reward. In other passages, Jesus identified His kingdom in parables as starting small then growing large (Matthew 13:31-35).

Immortality included?

Some may wonder if the reward Jesus just referred to includes immortality. In the traditional sense, no. We can’t live forever in these bodies due to their corruption by sin. For, “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) so all will die physically. But, by giving up this life Jesus says His disciples will find it for eternity (Matthew 16:24-27). 

So what death is Jesus referring to in this passage? It must be physical death. And indeed, they all died – though none of their deaths are recorded in the Bible.

His Kingdom

And what is Jesus’ Kingdom? “The meaning evidently is, till they should see my kingdom, that is, my church, now small, feeble, and despised, greatly enlarged, established, and spreading with great rapidity and extent.” (Barnes’ commentary) Indeed all His 12 disciples (excluding Judas Iscariot) were able to see Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, conquering death and sin. They all likely saw the coming of the Spirit in Acts 2 which ushered in the Kingdom with power. Many of them saw His kingdom grow from a small seed. 

RЯeflection

  • Are we participating in the growth of His Kingdom? Do we do His business, dying to what we want and seeking His will – no matter the cost?
  • Are you ready for the death that comes to all people? To learn more about salvation click here.
Meeting a king. Image from Pxfuel.com

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