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Will Jesus come on a cloud?

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30

Jesus doesn’t need a cloud to provide transportation. If Jesus is in a physically resurrected body, he’ll find clouds to be an unsteady support.

So the term must mean something else.

God revealed himself many times in clouds, especially when leading the Israelites through the desert. We see other places too.

When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple. Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.” 1 Kings 8:10-13

An oracle concerning Egypt:
See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud
and is coming to Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him,
and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them. Isaiah 19:1

For the day is near,
the day of the LORD is near—
a day of clouds,
a time of doom for the nations. Ezekiel 30:3

Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming.
It is close at hand—
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was of old
nor ever will be in ages to come. Joel 2:1-2

Clouds refer to the presence of the Lord. In some cases it is a literal description of what they saw.

Clouds also refer to judgment in these passages, the same feeling we get when we see a storm coming. People then and now believe that storms and devastation came about because God was angry at them. We see God’s power in clouds, His impending doom.

So the expression does not mean that Jesus is coming sometime in the sky and every one is looking at him. The expression means the “cloud of judgment” will fall and bring God’s wrath on Jerusalem, specifically in Matthew 24 to mean the temple itself, which happened in 70 AD.