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                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                    They Beheld His Majesty (17:1-9)


1. What a blessing it must have been, spending time with Christ during
   His earthly ministry...
   a. To hear His teaching, spoken with the voice of authority - Mt 7:
   b. To witness His miracles, which manifested His glory - Jn 2:11

2. Among those blessed to be with Jesus, three men especially so:
   Peter, James and John...
   a. They accompanied Jesus on the mount of transfiguration - Mt 17:
   b. Peter would later write of that experience on the mount - 2Pe 1:
      1) He says they were "eyewitnesses of His majesty"
      2) That Jesus received "honor and glory" from God the Father
   -- What an experience this must have been for these three fishermen
      from Galilee!

3. The setting that led up to this event was as follows...
   a. Jesus had just made two amazing statements:
      1) He would come in glory and reward each one according to his
         works - Mt 16:27
      2) As supporting evidence, some would not taste death before they
         a) "the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" - Mt 16:28
         b) "the kingdom of God come with power" - Mk 9:1
         c) "the kingdom of God" - Lk 9:27
   b. The gospel writers then connect these sayings with the event
      about to occur:
      1) Matthew and Mark record "and after six days..." - Mk 17:1;
         Mk 9:2
      2) Luke writes "about eight days" ("the Jewish equivalent of
         `about a week later'." - Wiersbe) - Lk 9:28
      3) Luke adds "after these sayings", clearly tying the event to
         what had just been said

[What happened on the mount?  Simply put, "They Beheld His Majesty".
What was the significance of this event?  To answer this question, 
let's take a closer look and note first of all..]


      1. He was "transfigured" - Mt 17:2; Mk 9:2
         a. Gr.., metamorphoo, met-am-or-fo'-o
         b. Meaning to change, transfigure, transform
      2. This change affected His face and clothing
         a. His face shone like the sun - Mt 17:2 (Luke says the 
            appearance of His face was altered - Lk 9:29)
         b. His clothes became as white as the light - Mt 17:2
            1) Shining, exceedingly white, like snow, more than any
               launderer can whiten them - Mk 9:3
            2) White and glistening - Lk 9:29
      -- Peter later wrote that what he saw was His "majesty" (2Pe 1:
         16); the effulgence of His glory likely represented His 
         deity as the Son of God - cf. He 1:1-3

      1. They were talking with Jesus - Mt 17:3; Mk 9:4
         a. They also appeared in glory - Lk 9:31a
         b. Discussing with Jesus about His coming death in Jerusalem 
            - Lk 9:31b
         c. Peter, James, and John had been sleeping, but awoke to see
            Jesus in His glory, and talking with Moses and Elijah - Lk
         d. Moses and Elijah then began to depart - Lk 9:33
      2. That Moses and Elijah would appear with Jesus was not lost on
         Peter - Mt 17:4
         a. Moses and Elijah were the epitome of the Law and the
         b. Peter wanted to build three tabernacles, one each for 
            Jesus, Moses and Elijah
      -- Jesus had evidently been elevated to the same level as Moses
         and Elijah in Peter's mind!

[But Peter was soon to learn that Jesus was above Moses and Elijah,
especially in regards to His authority!  As we continue, therefore, we
note that...]


      1. While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed
         them - Mt 17:5
      2. Peter, James, and John, fearfully entered the cloud - Lk 9:34
      3. A voice came out of the cloud:  "This is My beloved Son, in
         whom I am well pleased, Hear Him!" - Mt 17:5; cf. 3:16-17
         a. This terrified the disciples - Mt 17:6
         b. Jesus then sought to comfort them - Mt 17:7
      4. The command, "Hear Him!"...
         a. Implies that God would begin to speak through His Son, not
            the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) - cf. He 1:1-2
         b. That the rule and reign of God would be exercised through
            His Son, as He would be given all authority in heaven and
            earth - cf. Mt 28:18
      5. Of course, this rule and reign (i.e., Christ's kingdom) would
         begin after Christ suffered (i.e., His death) and entered into
         glory (i.e., His ascension) - cf. Lk 24:26
         a. Which explains why He told them to tell no one the vision
            until after His resurrection - Mt 17:9
         b. What they had witnessed was a foretaste, a foreshadowing of
            His coming glory and rule in His kingdom!

      1. After hearing the voice, and lifting up their eyes, only Jesus
         was present - Mt 17:8; Mk 9:8
      2. Perhaps symbolizing what the voice clearly declared:  that
         Jesus was the one they were to hear, not Moses and Elijah who
         likely represented the Law and the Prophets


1. Truly "They Beheld His Majesty"...
   a. They beheld the majesty of His person
      1) Transfigured before them
      2) Exalted even above Moses and Elijah
   b. They beheld the majesty of His coming kingdom
      1) Acknowledged from heaven as God's beloved Son
      2) The One whom all should heed, for all authority would be given
         to Him

2. What is the significance of this event?
   a. It may be the fulfillment Jesus' statement recorded in Mt 16:28;
      Mk 9:1; Lk 9:27
      1) That some would see the Son of Man "coming" in His kingdom
      2) That some would see the kingdom of God "present" with power
      3) That some would see the kingdom of God (i.e., His rule or 
   b. If such is the case, what they saw was a foretaste of His kingdom
      or rule...
      1) Which would not be fully exercised until after His death and
         resurrection - cf. Ep 1:20-23; 1Pe 3:22
      2) Which would include that day in which He will judge the world!
         - cf. Ac 17:30-31; Mt 16:27

3. In any case, all of the events at the mount contributed to giving
   Jesus what Peter later described as "honor" and "glory" from the
   Father - 2Pe 1:17
   a. The glorious transfiguration of Christ
   b. The presence (and their subsequent absence) of Moses and Elijah
   c. The voice from heaven, acknowledging Christ as God's Son

4. What does God desire of us today?  
   a. Not tabernacles or temples erected in the memory of His Son
   b. But for us to simply obey what God said at the mount: "Hear Him!"

If we desire to add to the honor and glory that Jesus so richly 
deserves, and to one day behold His majesty in heaven, then let be
careful to heed what He himself said regarding His authority:

   "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go
   therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them
   in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
   teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
   and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." 
                                                      - Mt 28:18-20
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