“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.’ ” Mark 9:1
I think passages like our focus text today are evidence that Jesus had a healthy sense of humor. It’s virtually certain that the disciples minds, just like our minds today when we read this text for the first time, thought that Jesus was saying that some of the disciples would never die because Christ would set up his eternal kingdom first. Only it was like some big April fools day joke, because Jesus was talking about a different event entirely.
Fulfillment for Jesus prediction came just six days later. Jesus together with Peter, James and John climbed a high mountain, leaving the others to wait for them at the base. The gospel of Luke tells us that the purpose of their climb was to go to a quiet place to pray.
While they were praying Jesus was transfigured. This means that Jesus’ form was changed into a different and better, a more glorious one. The description given for this event in The Desire of Ages tells us that the barriers that had been holding Christ’s divine glory shrouded were, at least in part, removed so that his divinity was visibly shining through.
Mark tells us that Jesus was joined there on the mountain by Elijah and Moses and the disciples saw them talking together. These two were representatives of Christ’s kingdom one for the group that would never die and the other representing those that would come into the kingdom through resurrection from the dead.
Like so many other times, the disciples initially misunderstood the significance of what they were seeing and hearing. We frequently have the same problem when it comes to Jesus.
Today, I’m impressed by the message that Jesus is the kingdom. On the mountain they were seeing him in a new light, literally and figuratively, but they’d been seeing him, and in him the kingdom of God, every day for three years. There’re so many things we’re promised that we won’t get till we get to heaven but we’re given Jesus today and if we receive him, if we’ll hold onto him, we’ll have the kingdom of God today.