Matthew 17:1-8 NIV
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.”
I must confess, that I was inspired to write on this subject from a post that Lynn Abbot recent published. If you get a chance, take a look at it here. She is one talented lady.
Having read through Matthew 17:1-8, I want you to put yourself in the place of James or John.
Jesus has asked the two of you, and Peter, to accompany Him up into a high mountain to pray and you’re been following behind Him, working up the side of the mountain. The two of you and Peter have reached the spot that Jesus has selected to pray and the three of you are taking a little nap when suddenly, you become aware that the area Jesus was praying in, has become illuminated with an amazing white light and you see Jesus transfigured before you with His face shining like the sun and His clothes as white as the light itself. And you’re relatively close because you can hear Peter saying to Jesus about that it’s good that you’re all here together and Peter asks Jesus if he should put up a shelter or booth, one for Jesus, one for Moses and another for Elijah, who have also suddenly appeared and are talking with Jesus about what will shortly transpire.
If you were James or John, what do you think would be flashing through your mind?
But it doesn’t end there. As you hear Peter nervously speaking these words, a bright white cloud overshadows all of you and you hear a voice from the cloud saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
“When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.”
This kind of reminds me of the phrase you hear being said from time to time, “you’d have to be there!”
Can you imagine? Can you grasp the looks on their faces, there hearts racing and their minds trying to comprehend and absorb the significance and wonder of what their eyes and ears are actually seeing and hearing?
“And they fell facedown to the ground ……”, their view to Jesus in His glory, Moses representing the Law and Elijah, representing the Prophets and the actual voice of God our Heavenly Father, now no longer in sight. “But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.“
2 Corinthians 13:1 NIV “This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Here we see the Apostle Paul reiterating the Biblical principle that everything related to testimony must be accompanied by at least two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15 NIV)
Moses, Elijah, and God the Father witnessing of Jesus plus Peter, James and John confirming what they saw and heard. And Matthew, Mark and Luke confirming once again what Peter, James and John saw and heard through their accounts in the Gospels.
This is God’s Testimony.
Undoubtedly, the purpose of the transfiguration of Christ into at least a part of His heavenly glory was so that the “inner circle” of His disciples could gain a greater understanding of who Jesus was. Christ underwent a dramatic change in appearance in order that the disciples could behold Him in His glory. The disciples, who had only known Him in His human body, now had a greater realization of the deity of Christ, though they could not fully comprehend it. That gave them the reassurance they needed after hearing the shocking news of His coming death.
And symbolically, the appearance of Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets. But God’s voice from heaven – “Listen to Him!” – clearly showed that the Law and the Prophets must give way to Jesus. The One who is the new and living way is replacing the old – He is the fulfillment of the Law and the countless prophecies in the Old Testament. Also, in His glorified form they saw a preview of His coming glorification and enthronement as King of kings and Lord of lords.
And then there are these following Scripture verses from the Apostle John and the Apostle Peter that grab my attention:
“We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only” (John 1:14).
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).
This is the eye witness testimony that we have been given.
This is the testimony of the Transfiguration, along with Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy including His foretold death and Resurrection, and so many other accounts of Christ’s teaching and miracles that forever solidifies the reality of who Jesus is. The eye witness testimony of God our Heavenly Father confirming, yet once again, the absolute obedience and righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the Old Testament, the only begotten Son of the Most High God, in God’s unfolding revelation of our separation from Him and His plan of redemption, as provided in His Holy Word, the Bible.
No, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t there when He created this orderly and fine tuned universe, I wasn’t there when He created our planet earth and created life on it, against all odds, I wasn’t there to see life begin, in all of it’s unfathomable complexity and wonder. Just like I wasn’t there to see the Transfiguration, or see Jesus resurrected, but I believe the testimony of those who did.
John 20:29 NIV “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
That’s you and that’s me!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!