Final Post on the Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-9.

It is significant that the three disciples who were there immediately recognized Moses and Elijah.

Their identities and personalities were not obliterated by death or removal from the earth. We, too, will be recognizable.  We of course will know Jesus instantly, because He will be supreme above all others. We can look at I Cor. 13:12 and I John 3:2 for assurance that we will know one another.  I get excited thinking about all the wonderful men and women of God that I’ll be meeting for the first time, characters in stories I love, stars of books of the Bible that have held their places in history for centuries!  All our questions will be answered, all our arguments settled, all our theology straightened out.  That in itself will make heaven wonderful.

There is more that could be said about this passage.  I can’t encourage you enough to study it out on your own, to glean everything you can from this event, until you fully understand how important it was and still is.  Just be careful about your sources.  There are many different interpretations of this passage that are not consistent with the rest of the book of Matthew, or with prophecies of the end times and Jesus’ return. Always read and study with discernment.

The next few verses carry on the theme of Elijah’s presence and purpose.  We’ll be looking at that next week.

Reviewing the Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-9.

Rather than re-type all those verses, I’ll just assume that you’ve already read them–or that you soon will 🙂  Today I want to go back and recap, tying up any loose ends I may have left.

You can also read about the Transfiguration in Mark and Luke. All three accounts that we have differ from each other in some way; that is easily explained by the fact that three different men, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote the story from their own perspectives.

In Luke, for instance, we read that as Jesus prayed, the look of His face became different; His clothing turned white and effulgent (radiant, shining brightly). In Matthew’s account, we learn something which is reported only there; namely, that His face shone as the sun. The way to get the full picture is to read the three accounts side by side.

We should look at Peter’s own testimony of this great event;  II Peter 1:16-20. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts; Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. “

Peter had certainly done some growing and maturing between the time Jesus walked the earth and his own death on a cross.  His eloquence in this passage is moving to me:  excellent glory, day star rising in our hearts, cunningly devised fables. It was a whole new vocabulary for the burly, impetuous fisherman we know in the gospels.

We learn from Peter’s words that the Transfiguration, interpreted not by man but by the Holy Spirit, is the pattern of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The entire Old Testament prophetic word speaks of this great event, and the Transfiguration is a confirmation of those prophecies and their fulfillment.  This interpretation is in complete agreement with the final  verse of Chapter 16. Jesus had said, “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.”

Just a few days after that statement, He took Peter, James and John with Him to witness what that would look like. 

The number six,  used in Matthew, is man’s number. the number showing the days of work–after six days–after work and the man’s day is run out, the day of the Lord will come. Truly every word in the Bible is important.

More on this topic tomorrow. There is still much to learn.