The Transfiguration: several brief thoughts

The Transfiguration by Raphael

Image is The Transfiguration by Raphael

JP: Occasionally I comment on something Kathee and I have read in the Bible. Here’s another one of those!

We have finished the Old Testament and are now in the New. Last night we read Matthew 17 and 18.

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.” 10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:1-13)

Comments:

  • Believers will someday have glorified bodies like the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 8:17,29,30; 1 Corinthians 15:49-55)
  • I find the disciples’ question in vs 10 unusual – “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”. Why? because Jesus previously stated, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead” (vs 9). Jesus had previously informed the disciples about his death and resurrection (Matthew 16:21-23). In Matthew 17:22,23; Jesus again testified of His future death and resurrection and the disciples did not seem to appreciate the significance or fact of this. I would think that with that state of mind they would have asked about his resurrection as a response to Christ’s statement in verse 9!
  • 17:5, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” is what scholars call a bath qol, a “voice from heaven”. Also seen at Christ’s baptism (Matthew 3:17, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”).
  • Lessons from that voice:
    • It is a heavenly testimony to the Messiahship of our Lord!
    • The Son was actively doing the will of His Father and it pleased God the Father.
    • A message for mankind: “Hear Him!”
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