Week 75 | Section 84

Our study this week could be considered to be the explanation of the paradox provided in our last study which we closed before the end of the year. Groups may like to combine these two weeks but others will find the subject matter ever-pressing on the minds of young believers and people who have differing eschatological views, disbelief of Pentecost, and bold denial of the very nature and mission of Jesus Christ. These three verses have generated much controversy through the generations but a few truths will remain evident and essential as we conclude our study today.


Scripture:

Section 84 | Coming of the Son of Man and Judgement

Matthew 16:27-28

 

27 For the Son of Man1 will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds.2 28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”3

Mark 8:38-9:1
38 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation,4 the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him,5 when he comes in his Father’s glory,6 with the holy angels.” 9:1 He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see God’s Kingdom come with power.”7
Luke 9:26-27
26 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.

27 But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here8 who will in no way taste of death9 until they see10 God’s Kingdom.”11


Group Dialog:

  1. As Jesus closes his discourse with his disciples (see Section 83) he utters yet another prophetic message about His second coming. What did He say He would do? What did he say he would be like? With whom did he say he would be when he returns?
  2. Compare this passage with Romans 2:6, 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 2:23 and discuss your understanding of Jesus’ second coming.
  3. In the coming reckoning, and in this very moment, are you more inclined to aim to justify yourself and your action or accept the reconciliatory work which Jesus accomplished for you and the world on the cross?
  4. To which spiritual authority do you bow? Are you inclined to take God at his Word or embrace the philosophies of this present age?

Learning Objectives: Divinity of Jesus, Authority of Jesus, enduring love of God for his people, power given us in Christ, end times, security of salvation by the eternal work of Christ.


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Study Notes:

  1. We’ve discussed this term many times before but to call himself the “Son of Man” is a claim to his divinity, equality with God and role as Messiah (Dan 7:13; See also: Mt 12:8; Mk 8:28; Luke 6:5) and equal with God, clothed with holiness, power and authority he is the mediator in the world to come.
  2. These deeds, as seen by the parallel passages in Mark and Luke are not good or godly deeds, but the deeds of the flesh (Gal 5) referring directly to the adulterous people of Israel and Judah. We read in Revelation words that indicate that Jerusalem is Babylon and so these passages are describing the judgment of this “adulterous generation/wife” which is about to be (gk. mello) judged. See the events of A.D. 70 and the destruction of the temple. Still as we read elsewhere in the Bible (Romans 2:6) we will be judged, cleansed, and held accountable for our faith, deeds, and words.
  3. Among the three Gospel writers we have three words for “come” Luke uses Gk. elthe; Matthew uses Gk. erchesthai; and Mark uses the Greek word elelythuian. Meanwhile, the word for Kingdom is the same among them all, Gk. basileia which can be translated kingdom or reign.
  4. “this adulterous and sinful generation” was not Jesus’ reference to people today, but to Jews living in A.D. 30 – A.D. 70.  Jesus seems to be referencing the old covenant and God’s relationship to Israel his bride. In a manner of speaking God was married to Israel (Exodus 19). Their marriage was to be monogamous (having no other gods), but not only did the nation divide (Israel and Judah) between 926 and 922 BCE after the death of Solomon (I Kings 11:43), but each of the kingdoms (led by Jeroboam in the North and Rehoboam in the South) sometimes called the “two daughters” (Jer.31:31-32; Ezek. 1:1-4; 1Kings 11:9-13) remained notoriously adulterous – not honoring their covenant with God (cf. Ezk. 23:3; Jer. 3).
  5. This shame may not be grounds for condemnation or eternal damnation, just as good works are not the cause of one’s salvation or eternal reward. However its clear that all things are known by God (the Trinity) and even in such guilt as our sin may bring upon us, we also know that we will be acquitted, and avoid eternal punishment, though here and now we may certainly suffer in our sins, and among our neighbors who suffer the same fallen nature.
  6. Once again Jesus clarifies his identity not only as a man, but the ‘Son of God’.
  7. As we show in our other notes, his Kingdom came into being with his death, resurrection, and ascension  – evidenced at Pentecost for the people then and secured for all ages by the eternal nature and accomplishments of Jesus Christ. In this truth rests the power for every individual today.
  8. It seems in this that he is speaking not only to the twelve but also to the many disciples who were often with him
  9. CR Heb 2:9
  10. Gk. eido, translated see as to “know how” and “perceive”.
  11. Indeed, Judas did more than taste, and Peter’s thrice denial let him taste the rancid spiritual death that was very near, still all but Judas lived to witness first hand or hear the first hand story of: 1) The transfiguration, 2) Jesus’ Crucifixion, 3) Jesus’ Resurrection, 4) The ascension of Christ, and 5) Pentecost. Just before this passage Jesus warned his disciples that he would be going into Jerusalem, and that he would need to suffer there and die. But his death, and the mockery which he endured, paled there on the cross, in the tomb, and was obliterated at the time of his Resurrection. Even more, his ascension and the subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit should be enough for people in every generation to comprehend that nothing can hinder the expansion of the Kingdom of God – nothing. no one. not then, not now, nor in the future.