SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 17:1-5
Jesus went up a mountain with Peter, James, and John. Jesus was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Jesus. Peter offers to build three shelters for them — one for each of them. Then, a bright cloud enveloped all of them and God spoke, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 2: Matthew 17:1-5
3a) They saw Jesus’s face that shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Jesus.
b) Peter says he was an eyewitness of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God when God spoke at the Transfiguration.
4) Both Moses and Elijah were dead, so this shows God’s power to raise the dead. This shows how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecy, and it’s where Jesus can shine his glory, too.
5) Peter offers to build three shelters for them — one for each of them. This is a culture where hospitality rules, so Peter probably thought Moses and Elijah might stay awhile and would need a comfortable place to sit and talk.
6a) This moment was not about meeting earthly needs, like shelter, but instead was about shining God’s glory on and through Jesus. God did not want Peter to distract anyone or taper the message at all.
b) Listen to Jesus’s calling on my life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 2: Matthew 17:1-5
I wonder why Jesus chose only these three disciples to go with him. This would be something I wouldn’t want to miss!
Love this book with this lesson! God calls us to listen to Jesus; Jesus listens to us!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 2: Matthew 17:1-5
The Transfiguration takes place approximately three years into Jesus’s three and a half years of ministry. It is about one week after Jesus first tells his disciples he will be killed. The whole point is to reinforce to these three disciples who he really is. Transfiguration comes from the Latin “trans,” which means across and “figura,” which means shape or form. Thus, a change in shape.
Why did Jesus only take these three disciples? No one knows, as we are not told. Some say Jesus only took three because he wanted the Transfiguration to remain a secret (Matthew 17:9). Others say he only needed a few witnesses.
No one knows which mountain the Transfiguration took place on. There are guesses:
- Mount Tabor
- Mount Hermon
- Mount Miron
Jesus was transformed both inside and outside. Many Bible scholars point out that the real miracle was that Jesus appeared an ordinary man for so long and hid his glory from all. The disciples see Jesus’s true glory.
Moses and Elijah
Moses was the first great lawgiver, and Elijah was the first great prophet. In addition, Moses had been dead 1400 years and Elijah 900 years.
Here, we have the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) represent the Old Testament at this moment. They appeared in order to show the two institutions that Jesus had come to fulfill.
They spoke of the cross. How cool!
The Greek word for departure is “exodos,” where we get Exodus from. Thus, Jesus delivers as he departs. Cool!
Peter (of course) is the one to speak. The problem is he didn’t know what he was saying (Mark 9:6 and Luke 9:33 His words put Jesus at an equal level as Moses and Elijah — not good.
God appears in a cloud to save Peter from himself essentially. This is the same cloud of Glory God appears in in the Old Testament known as shekinah. As you know, no one can see God’s face and live, so this is fitting since the disciples are there.
Here, we clearly see Jesus above all else and everyone else.
Listen to Jesus! The one voice that matters.
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