The Word This Week

Matt 17:1…

The story told here by Matthew is one of the most amazing in the entire Bible.

After having Himself positively identified by His disciples - spoken forth most prominently by the apostle Peter – and then confirming that bold statement of faith by affirming it to be true by its source being The Father Who is in heaven – Jesus then informed them of His suffering and death, which they could not possibly have imagined given His obvious Divine power over humanity.

Their only thoughts were of the kingdom He was about to usher in, as were the thoughts of all the Jews pertaining to Messiah when He comes.

But He nonetheless told them He was about to suffer to and die. We saw a different expression from Peter given this revelation. “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

It shall. It must.

In order to underscore the Devine plan being enacted and unfolding in their presence, Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the top of the mountain. (Known of now as ‘the Mount of Transfiguration,’ this was most likely Mount Hermon, in far northeast Israel.)

In other words, Jesus wanted it clearly understood by these three witnesses His suffering and death would NOT be as a result of His weakness, but of His awesome power yielded to His creation.

And so, atop that high mountain, after an exhausting climb to its summit, Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes. In a moment, they saw Jesus in His Holiness and His Divinity. And not only that, two witnesses appeared from heaven which were identified as Moses and Elijah.

To say His disciples were dumbfounded would be an understatement. If there was ever a time to be with Jesus in His earthly ministry, this would have been it.

Peter, in his own inimitable bumbling way sought to help out somehow with what was going on before His very eyes.

This elicited that very glorious proclamation from the cloud which suddenly surrounded them: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Jesus’ suffering and death would never be construed as a sign of weakness, but of His divine power.

Pastor Bill