Matthew 17:1-9: A Vision Of Heaven
Posted by adventbiblestudy on March 24, 2012
Matthew 17:1-9 GNB Six days later Jesus took with him Peter and the brothers James and John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. (2) As they looked on, a change came over Jesus: his face was shining like the sun, and his clothes were dazzling white. (3) Then the three disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. (4) So Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how good it is that we are here! If you wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (5) While he was talking, a shining cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased—listen to him!” (6) When the disciples heard the voice, they were so terrified that they threw themselves face downward on the ground. (7) Jesus came to them and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid!” (8) So they looked up and saw no one there but Jesus. (9) As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from death.”
Jesus called His disciples together at the base of the mountain. While seated in the open field, they looked at Jesus positioned with a tall mountain in the back ground. He explained to them how He must take Peter, James, and John up the mountain while the rest waited below. They did not question Him, or ask for an explanation.
As they walked up the mountain, the field quickly turned into a cedar forest. They enjoyed the cool shade while admiring the tall majestic trees, and the smell of cedar in the air. The incline became steeper as the woods began to thin. As the elevation increased the air thinned and cooled, it became more difficult to trek up the side on the mountain, they hardly noticed the sparse grassland had turned to a landscape of rocks and stone.
After traveling through a narrow crevice, opening to a vast clearing, the disciples gazed at the tall granite cliffs surrounding them on all sides. Their attention was soon drawn to Jesus as a change came over Him. His face was shining like the sun, His clothes were a dazzling white. It took a moment for their eyes to adjust to the light, as they shaded them with their hands. When their vision cleared they saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. Each of them remembered the story of Moses when he was called by God to the mountain after he was told he would not enter into the promised land. Also the story of Elijah taken up into Heaven in a chariot of fire. They tried to listen to the conversation, which seemed to be in a language they had never heard. Finally Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how good it is that we are here! If you wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was talking, James and John looked up to see a cloud coming from above the cliffs and settling in over the clearing. The color of the cloud was unlike any they had seem. As they gazed up at it they thought of all the wonderful sunsets they had experienced, but nothing compared to this. The cloud was brighter than anything they had seen. The light and colors seemed to originate from inside the cloud, shining out in glory. The light was so bright it was difficult to look directly into it. Looking at the edges of the cloud they could see colors of pink, yellow, green, and bright blue.
As the cloud settled over Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, the disciples could see them looking straight up into the cloud. Then they heard a voice from the cloud saying, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased—listen to him!”
The voice took them by surprise as each of the disciples fell to the ground, hiding their faces from the light, and the voice which at first sounded like thunder. Peter realized, the voice was clear, and so was the message. As he thought to himself, this is how Israel reacted when God spoke from His mountain and gave them His commandments. He also remembered, God invited them to be a nation of priests, and they declined. Instead they appealed to Moses, “If you speak to us, we will listen; but we are afraid that if God speaks to us, we will die.” (Exodus 20:19 GNB). As Peter laid there with his face to the ground he thought of the opportunity Israel had failed to recognize. He thought of how things may have been if Israel accepted God’s invitation, followed His commandments, received His gifts, and became the example to the world God had intended them to be. Peter promised himself, if he was ever given the chance, he would never let Jesus down.
Jesus came to them, touched them and said, “Get up. Don’t be afraid!” They looked up at Jesus standing over them. His face and cloths still glowing. Not as bright as before, but a warm pleasant, inviting glow. Behind Him rose the granite cliffs, rising up hundreds of feet in an almost straight line. It appeared as if God had designed this place thousands of years ago just for this moment. The sun was barely visible, beginning to disappear beyond the edge of the opening. They looked around. Jesus was alone. He told them to, “get up, the journey is long, and it will be dark sooner than you think.”
As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from death.” Peter, James, and John wondered what He meant by His death. It was a subject they hesitated to question them on. Peter thought it was a shame he could not find the courage to question Jesus. He really wanted to know what Jesus meant by saying He will be raised from the dead. Was He referring to a physical, or spiritual resurrection?
This entry was posted on March 24, 2012 at 11:52 pm and is filed under Gospel Messages Matthew. Tagged: clothes were dazzling white, face was shining like the sun, Matthew 17:1-9: A Vision Of Heaven, Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus, Son of Man has been raised from death. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.