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    August 9    Scripture

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    A Bright Cloud Overshadowed Them Matthew 17:5-7 - While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. The cloud that overshadowed them was the glory of God, the same cloud that smote the Egyptians, that led the children of Israel through the Red Sea, that defeated the chariots of Pharaoh, that appeared above the Tabernacle, and in the Holy of Holies. The same cloud which led Israel into the promised land. When Moses was on the Holy Mountain there was a thick cloud and Moses entered into the cloud and heard the voice of God (Ex 19:9). This bright cloud that overshadowed the disciples was terrifying to them for when they saw it and heard the voice that came out of the cloud they fell on their faces and were shaking in horror.

    Background of the Transfiguration After Jesus had done many miracles in the Galilee region he went into the surrounding territories and over to the cities of Tyre and Sidon along the coast. He also journeyed over to the cities of the Decapolis and finally up to Caesarea Philippi in the far north near Mount Hermon. He then asked his disciples who they thought he was and as they were guessing Peter said "Thou art the Christ (Messiah) son of the living God. Around six days after Jesus revealed to his disciples that he was "The Christ, the son of the living God" he took Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain to pray and was transfigured before them. They were heavy with sleep but when they woke up they saw His face shining like the sun, and his garments white as snow. They also saw Moses and Elijah talking with him and they became filled with fear, and as the two men were parting from them Peter spoke, "Master it is good for us to be here, let us make 3 tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." As he was speaking a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice spoke out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." When the disciples heard this they were terrified and fell on their faces, and Jesus came and touched them and the vision went away and they saw only Jesus. As they were coming down from the mountain Jesus said to them, "Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

    Definition of the Transfiguration Jesus, whose glory was veiled in flesh, became unveiled to those 3 disciples and they beheld his glory. The Greek word Metamorphao means to transform or transfigure. Both Matthew and Mark use the same word metamorphao in Matt 17:2 and Mark 9:2). Luke did not mention the word transfiguration but he said that the appearance of his face changed (Luke 9:29). Matthew said that his face shined as the sun (Matt 17:2), and Mark said that his clothing became as light, exceeding white as snow (Mark 9:3). What had actually happened was that Jesus, whose glory was veiled in flesh, became unveiled to the 3 disciples and they beheld his glory, the same glory that will be seen when he returns to set up his kingdom which will never pass away.

    Jesus Face Shining Like the Sun Matthew 17:2 - He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light. Matthew describing the Transfiguration said that the face of Jesus shone like the sun. Luke makes a note that while Jesus was praying "the appearance of his face was altered" (Luke 9:29). This is no doubt a description of the glory that belongs to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit could be visibly seen shining through the body of Jesus. Even Peter mentions this later in his life when he said we were eyewitnesses of his Majesty.

    Jesus Garments Became White As Light Matthew 17:2 - He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light. While describing the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ Matthew said that his "garments became as white as the light." The glory of God was shining through Jesus Christ so that his clothing was so bright that it could only be described as light or as a flash of lightning (Luke 9:29). In the gospel of Mark he said that his clothing was glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them (Mark 9:3). They saw the glory of Jesus Christ that will be revealed when he returns to this earth.

    Location of the Transfiguration Matthew 17:1 - After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. In the 4th century AD a tradition was established that Mount Tabor was the scene of the transfiguration and it was referred to as the Mount of Transfiguration, and over the next couple centuries there were three churches built on Mount Tabor. Modern scholarship has changed its opinion regarding Mount Tabor because of recent archaeological excavations. There were buildings and a city on top of Mount Tabor during the time of Jesus, which would interrupt the solitude mentioned in the gospel accounts. The more probable location would be Mount Hermon, which is relatively close to Caesarea Philippi where Jesus revealed who he was to his disciples.

    Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration Luke 9:30-31 - And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. When the 3 disciples were fully awake they were terrified by the dazzling brightness of the glory of God shining through Christ, and suddenly they saw Moses and Elijah appearing in glory and speaking with Jesus about his upcoming decease in Jerusalem. Moses and Elijah were the representatives of the Law and the Prophets. In the Jewish culture the Law and the Prophets meant the sum total of Gods Scriptures from beginning to end. In other words Moses and Elijah were witnesses to the glory of Christ, and what was about to happen soon in Jerusalem that would change the world. Everything was in fulfillment of the promises given in the Scriptures. Jesus was preparing his disciples to continue his work after he dies and is raised from the dead, and seeing these two witnesses testifying to who Jesus was and what Jesus was about to accomplish in Jerusalem would strengthen them when they see him die, and also strengthen them for their great mission of spreading the good news to the world. Note: The word decease or departure is Greek from the Hebrew Exodus and is reminiscent of the Exodus in Egypt when Moses instructed the Hebrews to slay the unblemished Lamb and strike or sprinkle the blood on their lintel and doorposts of their homes and death would Pass Over them. They were to do it in haste for they were departing that night from the land of Egypt and the glory cloud would lead the way to the promised land. The Passover Lamb was a type of Jesus who was slain for the sins of the world, and anyone who applies HIS blood will escape the real death, the second death, eternal death, which will pass over them, the real Exodus. The promised land is a type of heaven which the Bible calls The New Jerusalem when God will create a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness will dwell for eternity.

    Peter Reminisces Back to this Event 2 Peter 1:16-18 - For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

    The Shekinah Glory Exodus 40:34-35 - Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and The LORDs glory filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud stayed on it, and The glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. This is the same Shekinah glory that appeared in the tabernacle above the mercy seat and between the cherubim. It is certain that this is what Stephen saw when he was being stoned (Acts 7:55-56), and what Paul the apostle saw when he (Saul of Tarsus) was on the road that led to Damascus and saw the glory of Jesus Christ and fell from his horse blinded (Acts 9), and what John the disciple saw on the Isle of Patmos (Revelation 1:16).This same Jesus will be manifested in great glory when he returns again to the earth to set up his kingdom (Matthew 24:30). It is interesting that in the prayer of Jesus he was praying to the father and mentioned the glory I had with you before the world began (John 17:5). It is a true statement that the glory of Christ was veiled in flesh, and just as the Ark of the Covenant in all of its glory was covered with an unbecoming badger skin (Num 4:5), so the glory of Christ was covered with the outward appearance of an average Jewish man. John 1:14 - The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

    The Voice of God Spoke The voice of God said, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him. Just like Moses and Elijah representing the body of the Scriptures were witnesses to the glory and work of Jesus, so the Father is testifying to the person and message of Jesus Christ. Its interesting that the words that God spoke from the cloud This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased were clearly reinforcing the words spoken by God in the Old Testament about His Servant, the Messiah: Isaiah 42:1 - Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth. When God spoke he also said Hear ye him which was also reinforcing the Old Testament in the word spoken by God to Moses in a prophecy about the Messiah in Deuteronomy 18:18-20: Deuteronomy 18:18-19 - I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

    Transfiguration Scripture in Mark Mark 9:2 - And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

    Transfiguration Scripture in Matthew Matthew 17:2 - And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

    Transformation of the Believer Paul also uses this word metamorphao to describe the transformation of the believer in Christ (Rom 12:2 and 2 Cor 3:18). Paul also said that the body of the Christian is the Temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells inside (1 Cor 6:19).