Translate

Sunday, March 16, 2014

beloved Son



Matthew 17:1-9
 1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli'jah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah." 5 He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear." 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.

Exhortations
 Are you prepared to see the glory of the Lord and to share in his glory as well? God made a promise to Abraham that he would make him a channel of great blessing not only to his own family and future descendants but to all the families of the earth as well!

The condition for the fulfillment of this promise was simple and straightforward - "Go from your family and country to the land that I will show you" . Abraham not only believed in God's promise, he promptly obeyed and did as the Lord commanded him.

 God chose Abraham as his instrument of blessing - that through him and his descendants would come the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ who would reveal the glory and blessing of God's kingdom and bring salvation for all who would call upon his name.

 The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises made to Abraham and to his spiritual descendants. In all that Jesus did and said he sought to please his Father in heaven and to bring him glory. Like Abraham, he was ready to part with anything that might stand in the way of doing the will of God.

 He knew that the success of his mission would depend on his willingness to embrace his Father's will no matter what it might cost him personally. Jesus on three occasions told his disciples that he would undergo suffering and death on a cross to fulfill the mission the Father gave him.

As the time draws near for Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross, he takes three of his beloved disciples to the top of a high mountain. Just as Moses and Elijah were led to the mountain of God to discern their ultimate call and mission, so Jesus now appears with Moses and Elijah on the highest mountain overlooking the summit of the promised land.

 Matthew's Gospel tells us that Jesus was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light . Why did Jesus appear in dazzling light with Moses and Elijah? The book of Exodus tells us that when Moses had met with God on Mount Sinai the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God .

 Paul the Apostle wrote that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness. After Elijah, the geatest of the prophets, had destroyed all the priests and idols of Baal in the land, he took refuge on the mountain of God at Sinai. There God showed Elijah his glory in great thunder, whirlwind, and fire, and then spoke with him in a still quiet voice.

 God questioned Elijah, "What are you doing here?" And then directed him to go and fulfill the mission given him by God. Jesus, likewise, appears in glory with Moses and Elijah, as if to confirm with them that he, too, is ready to fulfill the mission which the Father has sent him to accomplish.

 Jesus went to the mountain knowing full well what awaited him in Jerusalem - betrayal, rejection, and crucifixion. Jesus very likely discussed this momentous decision to go to the cross with Moses and Elijah.

God the Father also spoke with Jesus and gave his approval: This is my beloved Son; listen to him. The Father glorified his son because he was faithful and willing to obey him in everything.

 The cloud which overshadowed Jesus and his apostles fulfilled the dream of the Jews that when the Messiah came the cloud of God's presence would fill the temple again.

No comments: