Saturday, January 3, 2015

Matthew 17:1-13

Matthew 17

The Transfiguration
Matthew 17:1-13

Let’s start with the word Transfiguration. What does that mean? The word means that something has metamorphosed into something else. In this case Jesus became something else. We can surmise that he returned to his natural state. That would be what we will see when we get to heaven.
Why did Jesus take Peter, James and John? They were the inner circle of his 12 disciples. The most trusted. He also needed to make clear some of the things that will happen and that had happened.

Mat 17:1 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. Mat 17:2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
This is the metamorphosing of Jesus. The three disciples witness this and you can only imagine what is going on in their heads. I do not think the word syfy had been invented yet so think in those terms would not be true,

Mat 17:3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Now they see two more figures with Jesus. I inserted this image to give you an idea of how it may have looked. It most likely was more awesome that this but that is something we will not know. The three disciples have now seen Jesus transformed and two others appear Elijah and Moses.

Mat 17:4  Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

In my reading on this Peter made a mistake. The three tabernacles he referred to were equal. That does not recognize Christ as the Son of God. Why were the two that Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah. There is so much writing on this I can only make a short synopsis of why. Moses died a natural death. So  the disciples were able to see that you can be risen from the dead and go to heaven. Elijah was picked up by a chariot and never died so that shows the end times are possible for those alive when Christ returns. Moses also wrote the Pentateuch and Elijah represents the prophets. It is also believe that Moses and Elijah will be the two witnesses in the end times.
Mat 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" Mat 17:6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. Mat 17:7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, "Get up, and do not be afraid." Mat 17:8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

Peter, James and John were the object of God’s voice. He was speaking directly to them. This was absolute conformation that Jesus was the Son of God. I think Peter may have figured out that the three equal tabernacles may have not been the best idea. But just imagine this happening to you. And all of a sudden Jesus taps you one the shoulder and everyone is gone. It would be like standing in the middle of a hurricane and just before you are swept away everything is calm and quiet.  

Mat 17:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead." Mat 17:10 And His disciples asked Him, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" Mat 17:11 And He answered and said, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things; Mat 17:12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." Mat 17:13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.

Elijah had returned in the form of John the Baptist. He was not recognized as the one predicted and no one made the connection Malachi 4:5-6 . Elijah will most likely be one of the two witnesses and most will still not heed his warning.

This a great set of verses to study on your own. It is extremely interesting