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“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 (NKJV)
If we were to read what directly proceeded today’s verse, we’d know Jesus is speaking to the twelve disciples, and that He’s just dropped some hard and heavy truths on them. For one thing, He brought them to the point of confessing that He is the Christ, the Son of God. This is a real turning point in their relationship with Him, because now He’s no longer a teacher or prophet, but He is on an entirely different level. He’s the Christ, the King over the kingdom of God.
But then He goes on to share He would be rejected and killed (and resurrected, but this detail was missed), for which Peter rebukes Him, and for which Jesus rebukes Peter! If that wasn’t enough, Jesus goes on to basically tell them they should sacrifice all (lives included) for the sake of following Him and that anything less would receive eternal punishment! To top it all off, He promises that anyone who rejects Him under His humble conditions now would be rejected by Him when He’s gloriously revealed for who He truly is.
Imagine processing all of that! Do you think the disciples had a few questions and perhaps even some hesitations about what they had committed themselves to? They were human beings just like us, so we shouldn’t put it past them if there was some second-guessing going on.
That’s the context as we come to Christ’s declaration that some of them would see the glorious power of God’s kingdom. Can you see the purpose behind it now? It was a way of assuring and reaffirming them after hearing this deep and difficult truth. It’s as if Jesus were saying, “Is all of this getting to be too much for you? Just wait, you’re going to get a sneak preview of what all your sacrifice will be for.” And we’re going to see that Peter, James, and John (who appear to be the leaders among the disciples) would be the ones who get this glimpse in just a matter of days.
What an encouragement and what perfect timing! But that’s just how Jesus works, isn’t it? He doesn’t shy away from the hard and heavy things we need to know. He knows they’re deep and difficult for us to handle. But, He also knows exactly what we need and when we need it. And in His perfect goodness, He gives us just that.
Remember this in your struggles, doubts, and hesitations. The Lord will give you what you need when you need it so you can continue to walk in the path He’s prepared for your life . . . a path that leads to His heavenly kingdom.
Pause: What does the context of this passage reveal to you?
Practice: Write down any encouragement you have drawn from this passage today.
Pray: Lord, please meet me in the difficult valleys of life and provide what I need when I need it. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.