"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."” (Matthew 16:27-28)
What does 'the Son of Man is going to come' mean?The phrase, "Son of Man" comes from the Greek phrase, υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. The word υἱὸς can only mean "son" "in a restricted sense, the male offspring (one born by a father and of a mother)" according to the lexicon. It can also mean, according to the lexicon, "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower."
In this context, the word refers to a "follower" or "servant."
The word τοῦ means "of". And the word ἀνθρώπου can mean either "mankind" or "humanity."
Because we know Jesus was not a follower of humanity, this means this phrase is better translated to "Servant of Humanity." This is consistent with the fact that Jesus' coming to teach is a service to all of humanity.
What about 'going to come' then? The word "come" is translated from the Greek word ἔρχομαι which means - when used metaphorically as Jesus is using it - "to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence."
What does 'in his Father's glory with his angels' mean?Jesus is saying this in conjunction with his previous phrase. Does it mean that Jesus will be riding across the sky on horseback with a big army of angels as depicted by some institutions?
No. Jesus is speaking about the time of death. That moment when the spirit-person leaves the physical body and the body turns lifeless.
It is at this moment when the spirit-person is judged for the things the person has done in their life, along with their state of consciousness.
What does 'he will reward each person according to what they have done' mean?This prospect of "reward" relates to what a person does with their life. What are we doing with our life? Are we hurting others? Are we chasing the mighty dollar? Are we focusing our attention upon our own selves at the expense of others?
Or are we putting our focus and attention upon the Supreme Being? Are we trying to follow Jesus' teachings?
This is what will be rewarded at the time of death. That point when our next destination is determined.
How do we know Jesus is speaking of the time of death rather than some glorious moment sometime in the distant or near future that some institutions and their teachers have been promoting for the past 2,000 years which has never come?
What does 'will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom' mean?This statement clearly indicates that Jesus is referring to the time of death of the physical body. The word "death" here is translated from the Greek word θάνατος (thanatos), which refers to, according to the lexicon, "that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended" as well as, "with the implied idea of future misery in hell."
Strong's lexicon goes on to say, "since the nether world, the abode of the dead, was conceived as being very dark, it is equivalent to the region of thickest darkness i.e. figuratively, a region enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and sin."
This means that Jesus is saying that at the moment of the death of the physical body, the spirit-person who has dedicated their lives to following Jesus will not have to "taste" this kind of death - that leads to "misery in hell."
The body is a temporary vehicle for the spiritual self. Each of us is a spiritual being, and we will each leave our temporary physical bodies after the body gets old and/or diseased. This has been scientifically established by thousands of clinical death or near-death experiences (NDE). Once we leave the body, the body decomposes. The body will exist no more.
Our spiritual selves will continue to exist, however. After the death of this body, we will be escorted either to another physical body depending upon our activities in this life. Or, if we have turned to God and developed our love for God (as Jesus asks us to do), we will return to the Supreme Being, back to the spiritual world.
Furthermore, a self-centered person who has performed painful acts upon others will likely take on a specific body whereby they suffer precisely the same pains that they inflicted upon others ("as you sow, so shall you reap"). This is also confirmed by Jesus' statement above that everyone will be “rewarded according to what he has done.”
What does this mean for the purported "second coming"?We can conclude that the "second coming" of Jesus is somewhat different than the popular depiction. (The popular depiction typically consists of Jesus riding through the clouds on horseback with a big sword, slaying all those who haven't joined a particular church or sect.)
Each of us has an opportunity to experience Jesus' "second coming" at the time of the death of our body. For those who have dedicated their lives in truly following Jesus' instructions will be escorted back to the Supreme Being at the time of the death of the physical body. They "will not taste death". Because they gave up the chase for the self-centered pleasure chase and the quest for the admiration of others and authority over others, Jesus will be there for us to guide us home.
And what was Jesus' most important teaching?
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22: 37-38)