Matthew Lesson 18 Day 2
Matthew 17:1-5; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36
3. a. Aspects of the Transfiguration:
The place—an unspecified high mountain.
Jesus, Peter, the brothers James and John
Before this, Jesus prophesied what was coming in the days ahead—His arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection. He also explained the role of the cross in the lives of those who want to follow Him. Then there is a six-day gap. (Luke says about eight days.)
While Jesus was in prayer, the glory of His Father began to change His appearance from the inside out. Light as bright as the sun shone out of His face. His clothing gave off bright light also. This reminded me of Revelation 21:23. So awesome!
2 Peter 1:16-19 NOG
16 When we apostles told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Yeshua Christ, we didn’t base our message on clever myths that we made up. Rather, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes. 17 For example, we were eyewitnesses when he received honor and glory from God the Father and when the voice of our majestic God spoke these words to him: “This is my Son, whom I love and in whom I delight.” 18 We heard that voice speak to him from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 So we regard the words of the prophets as confirmed beyond all doubt. You’re doing well by paying attention to their words. Continue to pay attention as you would to a light that shines in a dark place as you wait for day to come and the morning star to rise in your hearts.
4. Moses and Elijah appear
Jesus received strength for the events to come, and the three disciples closest to Him were eyewitnesses of this life-changing event. A fact is established by two or three witnesses (Matthew 18:16).
Peter, James, and John were sound asleep, but woke up and saw Jesus in all his glory talking with Moses and Elijah about his death in Jerusalem.
As Moses and Elijah were about to leave, Peter didn’t really know what to say but as usual, he had to say something. He didn’t want anyone to leave, so he suggested they put up three tents—one for Jesus, one for Moses, and Elijah—likely a reference to the Feast of Tabernacles.
Before Peter finished speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them* (sounds like Shekinah glory) God spoke in an audible voice saying, “This is Son, my Chosen One in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.
*Sounds like the Shekinah glory such as Exodus 24:16-18; Exodus 40:34-38
Deuteronomy 18:15; 34:5-6
Moses finally “entered the good land (Deuteronomy 4:21)” God promised to Israel.
“The Lord [Yahweh] your God [Elohim] will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—“
5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.“
2 Kings 2:2-11
The prophet Elijah never died but went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
Jesus came to complete and fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
“And behold [suddenly], two men were talking with him [Jesus], Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory [glorious spendor] and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
5. Peter’s response
“Peter was an eyewitness of Jesus’ majestic glory—a preview of the second coming. He heard the audible voice of God declaring, ‘This is my Son, marked by my love, the focus of all my delight.'” (2 Peter 1:17 MSG)
This lesson in 2014 included questions not covered now. The following is the answer to a legacy question regarding Luke’s account of the transfiguration.
The word exodus—the literal translation of the word departure used in the NIV—reinforces why Moses was there. Moses was given the law—representing the first covenant—which had become so misused and abused. Jesus came to fulfill the original intent of the law and establish a new covenant.
Elijah is often considered the most important prophet. Together Moses and Elijah represent that the law and the prophets support Jesus in His messianic mission. (footnote in Spirit Filled Life Bible Copyright 1991)
Another point I found very interesting in Pulpit Commentary: Elijah never died. He was whisked away to heaven. “And as for Moses, God, his heavenly Friend, closed his eyes, and then hid his body from mortal sight, and, the mysterious words of Jude (ver. 9) would seem to tell us, from mortal corruption.”
The transfiguration, the heavenly visitors, the conversation, and the audible voice of God all served to strengthen Jesus in the days of agony to come and served to strengthen the three disciples for the remainder of their lives and mission.
According to Luke 9:31, Jesus, Moses, and Elijah “were speaking about his exodus which was going to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.” From Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Young’s Literal Translation employs the word outgoing. Several other versions use “departure.” Many others use “decease” or “death.”
This scene should have caused Peter to realize the validity of Jesus’ words concerning His coming crucifixion and resurrection.
John 1:14 — John connects the glory He saw the glory everyone will see when Jesus appears in the clouds. (Interesting that the text identifies the clouds of heaven.)
John 17:1–5 — John records the “Lord’s Prayer” to the Father. In it, He asks God to glorify Him so that He, Jesus, will glorify God. In this Jesus states the true purpose of His own glory. He knows that God sent Him into the world. He also knows that He has completed the work God sent Him to do. The glory seen in the transfiguration was the same glory Jesus shared with God pre-incarnation.
Acts 26:13–14 — Jesus again appeared in His glory—the blinding light—to Saul who He renamed Paul. Paul also heard an audible voice letting him know He was fighting against the Holy One sent by God. Jesus made Paul an eyewitness and called Him to witness to the Jews and the Gentiles. Paul became one of the first to mourn and repent when He saw Jesus in His glory.
Philippians 2:9–10 — This is very similar to Matthew 24:30 which speaks of every man on earth mourning when they finally realize Jesus is the Son of God.
Revelation 1:13–17 —
The bright light emanating from His face glowing like the sun is also mentioned in Matthew’s account. An awesome thought and memory to end this day! I will fall asleep tonight meditating on His glory.
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1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.
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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 18 Day 2