Shall Not Taste Death

The Mark Prophecy of the Kingdom

        In Mark 9:1, page 1574, Jesus had summoned the disciples and the crowd to Himself. Jesus then made a second prophecy before He went up to the mountain of transfiguration. Similar to the prophecy in Matthew 16:28, page 1530, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God. 

 

Mark 9:1, page 1574
And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

In Mark 9:1, page 1574, Jesus prophesied that some of His living disciples would “not taste death until they see the Kingdom of God after it has come with power.” Notice that here Jesus focused upon the time after the kingdom of God has come with power. 1The Greek word for “after” is part of the translation of the single word “has come” (“ἐληλυθυῖαν”) meaning that the disciples will see after the kingdom of God has come with power. The “has come” word is a perfect passive participle, accusative singular, and that participle depends upon the main verb for its meaning in this context. The main verb “they see” (“ἴδωσιν”) is a perfect subjunctive, third person plural. Some disciples will see the kingdom, but the participle further describes the kingdom of God as already having come with power. Therefore, the thrust then amounts to a claim that some of the disciples will live long enough to see the Kingdom of God after it has come with power. They see the time after the initial coming of Jesus to establish His physical kingdom on earth. They will see the operation of the kingdom of God in divine power. The words of Scripture are inspired and every word is inspired. So, we must pay close attention to the words Jesus prophesied in both Matthew and Mark concerning the kingdom of God. The prophecies in Matthew and Mark are very similar, but have crucial distinctions.

The Two Prophecies Compared

       Now we may compare and contrast the two prophecies Jesus gave to His disciples and the crowd at large. One emphasized the Son of Man coming in His kingdom and the other prophecy emphasized the time after the kingdom of God has come with power. We may summarize the prophecies as follows.

Prophecy One. Some of the disciples will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom (Matthew 16:28, page 1530).

Prophecy Two. Some of the disciples will not taste death until they see the Kingdom of God after it has come with power (Mark 9:1, page 1574).

The two prophecies focus upon two related events which are: (1) seeing the coming of the Son of Man in His kingdom; and (2) seeing the Kingdom of God after it has come in power. The prophecy in Mark 9:1, page 1574 is not identical then to the Matthew 16:28, page 1530 prophecy because of the different time frames involved. The Matthew prophecy only refers to the time of the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom, whereas the Mark prophecy looks farther ahead to a time after the Kingdom of God has come with power. 2At this point, we should begin to doubt that the traditional explanation of the prophecy being fulfilled with the disciples seeing Jesus transfigured on the mountain because the the dual nature of the prophecies. Now let us look to the fulfillment of these two prophecies in the New Testament.

The Luke Prophecy of the Kingdom

       Jesus offered the same prophecy concerning the taste of death and the Kingdom of God in Luke 9:27, page 1616. Jesus prophesied: “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” In the context of this prophesy, consider the preceding verse, Luke 9:26, page 1616. Jesus declared: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes 3The Greek word for “comes” (“ἴδωσιν”)  means to see with the eyes and to experience. In this text, Jesus emphasized that some of His disciples will see with their eyes, or mind, Jesus coming in the glory of His kingdom. This picture of glory may support the view that Jesus referred to the transfiguration here, but the transfiguration does not picture a time when Jesus comes in glory to confront men ashamed of Him. in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Therefore, we understand that Jesus in Luke 9:27, page 1616, focused upon the time when Jesus would come “in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” and men would have their shame of Jesus returned to them by Jesus coming in glory. The time here links to Christ coming in His glory and confronting men ashamed of Him on earth. So, we may see that only when Jesus comes in His glory to confront unbelieving men will this prophesy be fulfilled. 

References │ Page Numbers Below Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The Greek word for “after” is part of the translation of the single word “has come” (“ἐληλυθυῖαν”) meaning that the disciples will see after the kingdom of God has come with power. The “has come” word is a perfect passive participle, accusative singular, and that participle depends upon the main verb for its meaning in this context. The main verb “they see” (“ἴδωσιν”) is a perfect subjunctive, third person plural. Some disciples will see the kingdom, but the participle further describes the kingdom of God as already having come with power. Therefore, the thrust then amounts to a claim that some of the disciples will live long enough to see the Kingdom of God after it has come with power. They see the time after the initial coming of Jesus to establish His physical kingdom on earth. They will see the operation of the kingdom of God in divine power.
2. At this point, we should begin to doubt that the traditional explanation of the prophecy being fulfilled with the disciples seeing Jesus transfigured on the mountain because the the dual nature of the prophecies.
3. The Greek word for “comes” (“ἴδωσιν”)  means to see with the eyes and to experience. In this text, Jesus emphasized that some of His disciples will see with their eyes, or mind, Jesus coming in the glory of His kingdom. This picture of glory may support the view that Jesus referred to the transfiguration here, but the transfiguration does not picture a time when Jesus comes in glory to confront men ashamed of Him.