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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






08 December 2005

Tasting Death


Q: Jesus said in Matthew 16:28, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Jesus hasn’t returned yet; why would He tell his disciples He would return before some of them would die?

A: Of the Twelve, only one (Judas) died before they saw the coming of His kingdom, for He entered it through His suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. These words were spoken not just before His ascension, but before His suffering and death. He wasn’t talking about His return in judgment, but about going to the cross. A similar confusion arose out of Jesus’ conversation with Peter in John 21:20-23, where some thought that John was not going to die.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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