Mark 9:1 AV
And he said unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
That there be some of them that stand here,
which shall not taste¹ of death²,
till they have seen the kingdom³ of God⁴
come⁵ with power⁶.
²) This word could as well point to the death of the body as well as Metaphorically, the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name, or the misery of the soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body in hell; and in the widest sense, death comprising all the miseries arising from sin, as well physical death as the loss of a life consecrated to God and blessed in Him on earth, to be followed by wretchedness in hell.
³) Royal power, kingship, dominion, rule; not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom.
⁴) The Godhead, the trinity; God the Father, the first person in the trinity; Christ, the second person of the trinity; and the Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity.
⁵) To appear, make appearance; Metaphorically: To show itself, to find place or influence, to become known.
⁶) Inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth.
And Jesus said to them, Truly and solemnly I say to you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death before they see the kingdom of God come in [its] power. [AMP] And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." [ESV] Then he drove it home by saying, "This isn't pie in the sky by and by. Some of you who are standing here are going to see it happen, see the kingdom of God arrive in full force." [MSB] And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. [KJV] And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power." [NIV] Jesus went on to say, "I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see the Kingdom of God arrive in great power!" [NLT] And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power." [NKJV]
Jesus is not saying here that some bystanders, the crowd, with the disciples, (Mark 8:34) will experience His second coming (Mark 13:32), but that they will still see the realization of God’s plan takine effect during their life.
The prophets of the Old Testament usually did not distinguish between the first coming of Jesus (the Incarnation) and the second coming in their predictions.
From their point of view it was one and the same saving act of God (the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom) at the end of time.
In the New Testament it becomes clear that all this takes place in several phases.
Already now, people can enter the Kingdom (Mark 10:14,15,23-25) and it is described as something that is already there (Luke 17:20,21), but the Kingdom is also spoken of, as something that is still must come (Mark 9:47; 14:25).
When Jesus here speaks of ‘the kingdom having come with power’, he is referring to the first phase of the realization of God’s plan of salvation through His suffering, death, and resurrection (“with power,” Romans 1:4), the outpouring of the Holy One
Spirit on the day of Pentecost (“with power”, cf. Acts 1:8) and the proclamation of the Gospel to all nations.
In that sense, some of the bystanders will still experience this. ‘Some’, not because the others will no longer be alive, but because the reality of the Kingdom will not be visible to each of them (‘see’).
This verse does not refer to the transfiguration on the mountain (Mark 9:2-13) that followed a week later, because the expression ‘do not taste death’ (dying, John 8:52; Hebrews 2:9) makes little sense for such a short term.
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I think Jesus, in what He says here, is referring to the events of the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, and the time of His exaltation, and of the work of the Holy Spirit.
With the coming of Jesus into the world, the Kingdom of God has already broken through and is present, even if it is still for the time being. Through His resurrection and Ascension and through the power of the Holy Spirit it is indeed possible to speak of God’s Kingdom coming with power.
We, as weak people, may also be part of that Kingdom.
In that Kingdom it is not about our own strength, but of that, of the Holy Spirit (Cf. Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
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