[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?
As I was driving through Virginia, I saw so many beautiful mountains. Though I have seen many breathtaking mountains in various countries, God continues to amaze me. The radio was on and as if God had waved His conductor’s wand to use the music to work together with the beautiful sight before me, David Crowder sang, “You make everything glorious.” I could do nothing else but worship the Lord as I thought of the beautiful sights that He created from nothing. The beautiful colors. The beautiful scenery. No one has a paintbrush like God.
We get so busy with our day-to-day list to accomplish that we often do not take a moment to look at some of the beauty around us. Today, be sure to take a moment to look around with eyes opened, seeing some of the things God has created. He truly makes everything glorious whether we open our eyes or not, but we are much more blessed when we share it with Him.
“All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” – Psalm 66:4