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Matthew 17:1-8

Headed in the Right Direction

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • October 20, 2019

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Headed in the Right Direction

Matthew 17:1-8

Illus. Try that one.

In Matthew chapter 16, Jesus began to reveal to the disciples the direction He was headed in, including the things that were to come. Peter had confessed that Jesus was the Savior, but, upon hearing the plan Jesus plotted out, Peter had a problem…It did not line up with the way he thought or wanted things to go.

Jesus said His followers would need to deny themselves and take up their own crosses in order to follow. Ultimately, following Jesus would place the disciples on the pathway to the promise, however, because death would not be the end of the story.

Matthew 16:27-28, For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Read: Matthew 17:1-8

In our lives, there is a great deal that remains concealed. The mystery of what tomorrow holds, or the way things will all unfold. While we get glimpses here and there, I think most can agree, there are situations that come which are more than we can bear.

The disciples head heard Jesus’ words and needed to know that there was more in store, that they were headed in the right direction. We too face situations that take away our very breath, yet like the disciples need reminders that there is glory beyond death. Jesus said trouble would come in this world, but He has overcome it all (John 16:33). We need to be continually reminded of that…There is a hope beyond.

I. Trust Jesus All The Way

Matthew 17:1-2

  • The transfiguration was six days after Jesus promised some would see, and six months before His death and resurrection.
  • The high mountain they are on remains unnamed, though some have been asserted Mt. Hermon, Mt. Tabor, or Mt. Meron which is between Caesarea Philippi and Capernaum.
  • While we don’t know exactly which mountain, we do know who was there and what took place.
  • Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on that high mountain, and it is there where they see Jesus, transfigured before them.
  • Transfigured speaks of transformation. The word here comes from the root word metamophoo (Meta morph fah Oh), which carries the meaning of changing into another form. It is the term from which we get metamorphosis.
  • Metamorphosis is a change on the outside that comes from within.

Illus. In biology, a caterpillar emerges from its cocoon as a butterfly due to metamorphosis. 

  • Up on that high mountain, Jesus revealed Himself for who He truly is.
  • Divine glory radiated from His face, His garments became white as light.
  • Mark tells us that His garments were “dazzling white”, whiter than anyone in the world could
  • bleach them. (Mark 9:3) This suggests supreme glory, purity, and holiness.
  • Peter, James, and John were seeing what Jesus will look like when He returns to bring His kingdom.

Illus. Glory? Isaiah 60:1-3, Revelation 1:9-18; 21:23.

John 1:14, We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

2 Peter 1:16-18, For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

  • Jesus was not merely reflecting God’s glory externally, He was radiating God’s glory from within. What was being seen on the outside was due to Jesus allowing who He was to be seen by these three disciples.

Hebrews 1:3, He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.

  • After Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 16:21 that He would suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, be killed and then raised up on the third day.
  • Peter began to rebuke Him, “God forbid it! This will never happen to you” (16:22).
  • And Jesus responded that Peter’s mind was set on man’s interests not God’s.
  • As Jesus told the disciples about what was to come, it seems as though all they could think of was that Jesus had said He was going to suffer and die.

Illus. Now I see!

  • When Jesus had told his disciples that He would be raised the third day, He was speaking of victory, His kingdom would come and those in Him would live forever in glory, now they get a glimpse.

Luke 9:30-31, And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

  • It is interesting that Moses and Elijah appear here with Jesus. One might wonder, why these two?
  • In the Old Testament, Moses represented the Law and Elijah most often represented the prophets. The two of them together, then, represented here, the entirety of the Old Testament.
  • Their presence with Jesus confirmed His mission, to fulfill the law and the prophets.
  • As Moses and Elijah speak with Jesus, we understand that Moses had lived on earth some 1400 years before; and Elijah some 900 years before…Yet here, they were alive in a resurrected, glorified state.
  • Glory is the end of the story for Jesus, Moses, Elijah, and those in Christ throughout history.

Colossians 3:4, When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

  • We get closer to that day each and every day. It is the destination of those who proclaim, “He is the way.”

Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

And again in…

2 Corinthians 3:18, And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory.

  • So, we are transformed when we renew our minds, walk in His will, and when we see the Lord! Transformed when we see Him, trusting Him all the way.

Philippians 3:20-21, For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory…

  • Yes, there are difficulties, hard times, peaks and valley, but the valley is not the finale, rather, glory is the outcome of our story.

Illus. Why are you smiling so much?

  1. Listen to Him alone

Matthew 17:3-5

  • Caught up in the moment, Peter begins expressing his thoughts about the situation.
  • Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here!”
  • He offered to make three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses, one for Elijah.
  • Jesus had spoken of suffering and death, this seemed much more suitable for Peter.
  • In Luke 9:33, we get the additional information that Peter spoke “not realizing what he was saying.”
  • Peter did not realize that he was putting Moses and Elijah on and equal level with Jesus…But Jesus was and is superior to both.
  • While Peter was still talking, God the Father interrupted Peter, and referring to Jesus declared, “this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!
  • The disciples needed to hear this from the Father.
  • There were so many different voices, saying so many different things in their day.
  • The religious leaders in that day had gone to great lengths in interpreting the Old Testament, particularly the law.
  • But here, alongside Moses and Elijah, the representation of the law and the prophets, the Father tells the disciples to listen to Jesus.
  • And it is these words that the story, my story, your story if you have given your life to Christ, is all about.

Hebrews 1:1-2, God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

  • The transfiguration, Moses, Elijah, and the voice of the Father are all there at once, and the response God wishes us to have in response to Jesus is faith’s obedience: “Listen to Him.”
  1. Place no one above Him

Matthew 17:7-8, When the disciples heard [the voice and words of the Father], they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

  • As they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus.
  • Jesus would climb down the Mount of Transfiguration with the disciples, and in six months, would climb up Mount Calvary to lay down His life, die on a cross, to make a way.

Illus. What if it were another? 

Illus. Who is it for you?

John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Acts 4:12, And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

2 Corinthians 3:12-13, [we] are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18, whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.

Matthew 17:1-8

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. 

 

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