It is my understanding that in Mt 24:30, Yeshua is referring to his coming in judgment, not only against the Jewish nation but against all the nations (or tribes) of the earth1 from ca. AD 67–70. Regarding the meaning of Yeshua’s words, I would argue that biblical precedent does not require that we interpret his words to mean that he would literally be seen riding on clouds at the Parousia. This becomes evident when one considers how “cloud rider” language is used in the Hebrew Bible (HB) in connection with Yahweh in similar contexts to that of Mt 24:30. One passage that effectively illustrates this point is 2 Sa 22:10–12:
He [Yahweh] bowed the heavens and came down; a very thick cloud was under his feet. He rode upon a cherub and flew; he was seen on the wings of the wind. He put darkness as a canopy all around him, a collection of thick rain clouds. (2 Samuel 22:10–12, LEB; emphasis added)
2 Samuel 22:10–12 is part of a psalm written by David after Yahweh delivered him from his enemies and from the hand of Saul (2 Sam 22:1). The passage describes Yahweh coming down from heaven to save David and destroy his enemies (see 2 Sam 22:14–15), which is notably what Yeshua was coming to do for his disciples at the Parousia (cf. 1 Th 1:9–10; 4:16; 2 Th 1:6–8).
What is significant about this passage—aside from the similar context and language it shares with Mt 24:30—is that though David says Yahweh was seen in his coming from heaven, he obviously didn't intend for his words to be understood literally (cf. Ex 33:20; Jn 1:18; 6:46; 1 Jn 4:12; 1 Ti 6:16). Rather, he was using figurative language to communicate that Yahweh was invisibly present and manifesting his power2 in the world by delivering David and destroying his enemies. Therefore, if Yeshua's coming was to be like the coming of his Father in 2 Sam 22:10–12 and other passages in the HB (Is 19:1; Hab 3:8; Pss 18:10; 68:4, 33; 104:3), then his intent in Mt 24:30 may not have been to indicate that he would be visible to human eyes.
With that said, it is possible that Yeshua was seen at his Parousia. Consider the quote below from Sepher Yosippon, A Medieval History of Ancient Israel regarding events that occurred prior to the First Jewish-Roman War and the destruction of Jerusalem:
For one year before Vespasian came, a single great star shining like unsheathed swords was seen over the Temple. And in those days when the sign was seen it was the holiday of Passover and during that entire night the Temple was lit up and illuminated like the light of day, and thus it was all seven days of the Passover. All the sages of Jerusalem knew that it was a malevolent sign, but the rest of the ignorant people said that it was a benevolent sign.…
Now it happened after this that there was seen from above over the Holy of Holies for the whole night the outline of a man's face, the like of whose beauty had never been seen in all the land, and his appearance was quite awesome. (Bowman, Chapter 87 "Burning of the Temple"; emphasis added)
If the above account is true, then given the context of the events described by the author, it is at least plausible that it was Yeshua’s face that was seen above the temple prior to its destruction. It is also possible that he was seen with the troops who were “running about among the clouds” above Jerusalem prior to the war, as Josephus describes in Wars of the Jews 6.296–299. But regardless of whether Yeshua was literally seen at his Parousia or not, he certainly made his presence and power known to the Jewish nation and the rest of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire.3
1 Within the context of the New Testament, all the nations of the earth would refer specifically to the nations under the dominion of the Roman Empire (cf. Lk 2:1; Ac 11:28; 17:6; 19:27; 24:5). That Matthew has in mind all the nations of the earth rather than all the tribes of the land is supported by Donald Hagner’s comments on Mt 24:30: Following the second τότε, “then,” is the reference to the coming of the Son of Man, but this is preceded, probably for emphasis, by the reference to the mourning of “all the tribes of the earth” (πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς), unique to Matthew. This language is virtually the same as that of Zech 12:10–14 (where both the same verb as in Matthew, κόψεται, “mourn,” and the phrase πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαί, “all the tribes,” as well as ἡ γῆ, here meant as “the land [of Israel],” occur—this in connection with looking on “me whom they have pierced” [LXX: “mocked”]). In keeping with Matthew’s universal perspective, the tribes of the earth, which in the OT originally meant the tribes of Israel, are to be understood as all the nations of the earth (cf. 25:32). Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 14–28, vol. 33B, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1995), 714.
2 Cf. Mt 24:30 par.; Mk 9:1; Mt 26:64 par. for references to Yeshua coming with power.
3 See Josephus, J.W. 2.455, 649–50; 6.201–213, 288–300; 6.409–421; 7.1–4; Tacitus, Histories 1.2–3; 2.56; 3.71–72; Cassius Dio, Historiae Romanae 63.28; Kurt Simmons, Urgent Corrections Preterism Must Make - No. 1.
Bowman, Steven B. (Translator). Sepher Yosippon, A Medieval History of Ancient Israel (from the critical Hebrew edition of David Flusser, translated by Steven B. Bowman). Prepublication manuscript.
Hagner, Donald A. Matthew 14–28. Vol. 33B. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1995.
Josephus, Flavius, and William Whiston. The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987.