[Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36]
Chronologically in the Bible, before the Transfiguration, we read that Peter recognizes Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16b NIV). After Peter’s identification of Jesus as the Christ, we read about the prophecy of the church – the well-known statement, “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.” Following this prophecy, Jesus speaks to the disciples about the crucifixion and resurrection. Then Jesus, with the Three, headed up to a high mountain.
The Three were Peter, James, and John. They were the first to hear the call of Jesus (Mark 1:16-19). They were present during the healing of the daughter of Jairus, though the others were excluded (Luke 8:51). The Three were invited to come along with Jesus when He went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:30-46, Mark 14:26-42, Luke 22:39-46).
High mountains are associated with closeness to God and a readiness to receive His Word. We do not know the exact mountain where the Transfiguration occurred; however, many scholars believe it might have been Mount Hermon. We read about God directing Moses to go up a mountain (Mount Sinai) for Him to give Him the Law (Exodus 24:12-18). We read about Elijah going to Mount Horeb where He encounters the presence of God (1 Kings 19:8-18).
God’s voice echoes the same words on the mountain as spoken during the baptism of Jesus. “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 NIV). “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5 NIV).
1) What is Peter’s focus when Moses and Elijah join Jesus?
2) When we see the glory of God, what should be our response?
3) What do Moses and Elijah represent?
4) Is John the Baptist Elijah?
5) Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to tell anyone about what they saw?
Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. They went against what the Lord commanded. They were deceived by the serpent and sin entered the world. Things were no longer the same. The serpent, who was “more crafty than any other,” got the couple to question, “Did God really say?” Suddenly they realized their nakedness and hid from the Lord.
With sin comes punishment. The Lord punished man, woman and the serpent. As we continue reading though, the Bible says that God made clothing for Adam and Eve. Despite what they had done, despite how they had disobeyed, God had mercy for them.
God is rich mercy. Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (2:4-7 ESV). He made garments of mercy for Adam and Eve long ago, and He continued to pour out His mercy by wrapping us in garments of mercy through Christ Jesus.
“And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” – Genesis 3:21 [ESV]
Last night I was giving my son some medicine and it was really interesting. I handed him the cup. He looked at it for a bit. Then he asked me what was in the cup. I informed him that it as medicine for his cough and stuffy nose. Then he took the medicine.
It reminded me of when Jesus was in the Garden praying. In Luke 22:42, Jesus said, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Your will be done.” It just reminded me of when we are handed cups in life. Perhaps God does not hand us the same cup that Jesus was dealt, but we are still handed cups.
God has a purpose for our lives and when we decide to ignore that, and we think we know something better…. When we read His Word and we decide we are going to disregard it… It’s sort of like we are refusing the cup over and over again.
Pretty much, you’re handed the cup and you look at it….
“What’s this going to do to me? I don’t know if I like it. Do I really want to do that? I don’t know.”
Then you find something else, and say that it is better than His plan. Even when your plan is falling apart, you still think that your plan has a chance.
God says, “Here’s the cup.” You think your friends or family know better.
God says, “Here’s the cup.” You don’t think it looks good. There has to be something better out there for you.
Sometimes, God says, “Here’s the cup.” You then partake but you want more. You are not satisfied.
When we are in obedience with God, it’s not a one time thing where we accept Jesus and then we are finished. Every day we need to be submitting. Our lives are like a puzzle in a box, with all of those many pieces. We are not submitting every piece of our life to God. Sometimes we hand Him our leftovers. We like to hold back pieces. Every day is a new day where we must submit each and every piece.
What we need to do is to be in full obedience and accept God’s will for our lives. It’s hard and it’s something that we must do daily, but there’s no better way!
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” – Luke 22:42 [NLT]