Would you explain Matt 17:1-13 about the Mount of Transfiguration. How does it relate to Moses, Elijah & Jesus? Where was it located? Did Moses see the promised land from there?

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Would you explain Matt 17:1-13 about the Mount of Transfiguration. How does it relate to Moses, Elijah & Jesus? Where was it located? Did Moses see the promised land from there? Empty Would you explain Matt 17:1-13 about the Mount of Transfiguration. How does it relate to Moses, Elijah & Jesus? Where was it located? Did Moses see the promised land from there?

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:38 am

The transfiguration of Jesus Christ is an amazing moment during His earthly life, yet only three of the four gospels tell the story (Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9). It contains God speaking about His Son, Jesus (along with Moses and Elijah) appearing in His glorified body, and three earthly witnesses—Peter, James and John—scared out of their minds. Here is Matthew’s account: After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shown like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist—Matthew 17:1-13. It is an important moment because the disciples were witness to two amazing things: (1) seeing Jesus literally in all His glory, and (2) hearing God’s testimony concerning His Son. In addition to that, Luke’s account details the conversation that Jesus had with Moses and Elijah; according to him, Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem—Luke 9:30-31. In a way, Moses and Elijah together represent the Old Testament, or the Old Covenant, the Old Testament scriptures that were being fulfilled in Christ. Moses represented the Law which, as Jesus said, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them—Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:17. Moses also made very specific reference to the coming Messiah, telling the nation of Israel, The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him—Deuteronomy 18:15. God Himself confirmed those words, telling Israel, I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers, and I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account—God speaking, Deuteronomy 18:18-19. Elijah represented the prophets—all those prophets and prophecies that did as the great prophet Isaiah was told by God: [P]repare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God—God speaking, Isaiah 40:3, pointing to the Christ, to His life and atoning, redeeming death. At the very end of the prophetic age, through the prophet Malachi, God again spoke, saying, See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes—God speaking, Malachi 4:5. Jesus understood that to be John the Baptist, not Elijah raised from the dead (even John denied that, John 1:21), but rather a man possessing the passionate, prophetic spirit of Elijah—which John certainly did. So much of what Moses and Elijah said and did pointed to this moment—the time of Christ on earth—that it was obviously divinely appropriate that they make an appearance with the Savior they had seen only at a distance. And, of course, in the end times, some people think it will be Moses and Elijah together again as the witnesses during the Tribulation, who oppose the Antichrist by evangelizing the world through the power of their words and works.
Where is the Mount of Transfiguration? There are three candidates that have been proposed. The traditional one is Mount Tabor, located about six miles east of Nazareth in Galilee (about 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee). However, it is more like a hill, rising to less than 2,000 feet of elevation. A likelier candidate is Mount Hermon. Not only is Mount Hermon mountain-like in height (9,100 feet) but it is also in the area of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his famous confession of Matthew 16:16 in response to Jesus’ pointed question to the disciples: “[W]hat about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”—Jesus Christ, Matthew 16:15. It was Peter’s response to that question that Christ declared would be the foundation of what He would call the church: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God—Peter, Matthew 16:16. Today Mount Hermon is located along the Lebanon-Syria border; it is the highest point in Syria, although the mountain itself extends into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. A third candidate is Mount Meron, located northwest of the Sea of Galilee; it is situated in what today is extreme northern Israel. Mount Meron is just under 4,000 in elevation and is the highest mountain in Israel today.
No—Moses did not see the Promised Land from the Mount of Transfiguration, regardless of which site is correct. The one thing all three sites have in common is that they were within the boundary of the Promised Land. By God’s command, Moses was never going to enter into the Promised Land in his lifetime—all because of one incredibly critical error in judgment: In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them”—Numbers 20:1-12. Several times Moses pleaded with the Lord to allow him the opportunity to cross the Jordan into the long-awaited Promised Land, but God turned him down every time. Finally, at the very end of his life, God gave him a moment of opportunity to see what the nation would in fact be experiencing: Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land—from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is—Deuteronomy 34:1-6. Mount Nebo is located in present-day Jordan, east of the Jordan River. It is approximately 2,700 feet high. On a clear day, a person can see Jerusalem from its summit. But it is located far from the probable site of Jesus’ transfiguration.
No—it is not thought that Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the Mount of Transfiguration following the resurrection. However, we read at the end of Matthew’s gospel: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go—Matthew 28:16. It is actually thought possible that the place, the mountain, where Jesus told them to go in Galilee was the same place where, at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus spoke what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount (Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them—Matthew 5:1-2). One reason that this is thought is that a number of commentaries and scholars have connected this moment with Paul’s mention of those who had witnessed the resurrected Christ: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep—Paul, I Corinthians 15:3-6. The area thought to be where the Sermon on the Mount occurred would certainly be a big enough area to accommodate that many people again. And speaking of mountains, it does appear that Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives, a rise of about 200 feet just east of Jerusalem and where, according to prophetic tradition, Jesus will first touch down when He returns to earth to establish His millennial kingdom.


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