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Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:1-6
The Transfiguration of Jesus
1. Christ identified his church as his kingdom, and assured his apostles that some standing by would not die until they saw the Son of Man coming in his kingdom, Matt 16:18-19, 28 (Mk 9:1).
2. In the meantime, the Lord was preparing his disciples for the unprecedented events that would occur in Jerusalem (Matt 16:21).
3. Matt 17:1-13 – Transfiguration of Jesus would serve multiple purposes, including the strengthening of the apostles’ faith – and ours.
I. REVELATION AND CONFIRMATION OF HIS DIVINE NATURE, 17:1-2.
A. A Glimpse of His Divine Glory, 17:2.
1. Transfigured: Change of appearance.
a. His face, 17:2; cf. Lk 9:29; Rev 1:16.
b. His clothing, 17:2. White as light, cf. Mk 9:3.
2. The glory of his deity, Phil 2:5-8.
3. Jesus is the radiance / brilliance of God’s glory, Heb 1:3.
a. Dwells in unapproachable light, cf. 1 Tim 6:16.
b. Radiance of his purity, righteousness, majestic glory.
B. Eyewitnesses of His Majesty, 17:1; 2 Pet 1:16 (cf. Jno 1:14).
1. Isaiah saw his glory and spoke of him, Jno 12:41 (Isa 6:1-3).
2. Peter had stumbled at the cross (16:22-23); now he, James and John were given amazing assurance of his splendor and victory.
3. Transfiguration confirms their faith and ours, cf. 2 Pet 1:16, 19.
II. MOSES AND ELIJAH APPEARED AND TALKED WITH JESUS, 17:3.
A. They Talked of His Decease, Lk 9:31 (accomplish, Jno 10:18; 17:4).
1. In this moment of showing his transcendent glory they talked about his approaching humiliation, suffering and death.
2. Matt 16:21-22: When Jesus had told the apostles of his impending death and resurrection he was affirming himself to be the Messiah of whom the law and prophets had spoken. John 1:45; Luke 24:25-27
3. Moses and the prophets had spoken of Messiah’s redemptive work; now on the mount they talked with him about it. (What assurance to Peter, James and John.)
III. THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS ENDORSED BY THE FATHER, 17:4-9.
A. Peter’s Proposal, 17:4 (“not knowing what he said”, Lk 9:33; Mk 9:6).
-“Humble silence is better than presumptuous talk.” (Pulpit Commentary)
B. Moses and Elijah were Leaving, but Jesus Remained, Lk 9:33.
1. Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets (Matt 5:17).
2. He did by his life and by his death and resurrection. Lk 24:44-45
3. Authority of Christ abides, Deut 18:18 (Acts 3:22-23).
C. The Father’s Endorsement of the Son, 17:5; 2 Pet 1:17-18.
1. This is my beloved Son: Jesus of Nazareth.
2. In whom I am well pleased: Matt 3:17; Heb 10:7 (Isa 42:1).
3. Hear him: Give ear to, understand (Matt 13:9).
D. The Transfiguration (and the Authority of Christ) would be Announced after His Resurrection, 17:9; Rom 1:4.
1. If told now, the vision might incite envy and jealous rivalry between apostles or harden the hearts of others in unbelief.
2. After his resurrection they all would say “my Lord and my God”! (Jno 20:28)
IV. ELIJAH HAD COME ALREADY, Matt 17:10-13.
A. The Apostles Confused about Prophecy of Elijah Coming, 17:10; Mal 4:4-6.
1. Elijah who appeared with Jesus on mount is not Malachi’s Elijah.
2. Malachi’s “Elijah” came in the spirit and power of (the first) Elijah, Lk 1:16-17.
3. This “Elijah” would come before the Messiah came in judgment, Mal 4:5-6.
4. John the baptizer, Matt 17:11-12; 11:14.
a. Restore all things (set in order), Matt 3:2 (repent, kingdom near).
b. John was eventually rejected; the Son of Man would also be rejected, cf. Jno 5:33-35.
1. The power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is not a “cunningly devised fable”. It has been testified by eyewitnesses who saw his majesty and glory (2 Pet 1:16).
2. Hear him in all things, Acts 3:22-23.