Jesus is the Christ of God
Comments for Study 18
Memory Verse: 20
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I. You Give Them Something to Eat (10-17)
>1. Why did Jesus withdraw?
* Luke 9:10 "When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida,"
* The feeding of the 5,000 is also recorded in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, and John 6:1-15 as the chart to the right shows. Jesus' resurrection and the feeding of the five thousand are the only two miracles that all four gospels record jointly.
* John notes that this happened close to the Passover, probably one year before his death and resurrection. (John 6:4) Jesus died on the Passover, not this one. (Matthew 26:2, 17,18-19; Mark 14:1, 12, 14, 16; Luke 22:1, 7-15; John 11:55, 12:1, 13:1, 18:28. 39, 19:14)
* "When the apostles returned" -This is the first time other than when Jesus designated them as such that the Twelve are called apostles, meaning "sent". Jesus had sent out the apostles to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He had given them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.
* "they reported to Jesus what they had done" -This was the first time the apostles had done anything for Jesus, especially teaching. They must have been excited and joyous.
* "Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves" -Mark states that "because so many people were coming and going" they did not even have a chance to eat. Jesus wanted them to get some rest. (Mark 6:31) Also, it would have been easier to teach them if they were alone.
* "a town called Bethsaida" -Bethsaida was a fishing town on the northern shore of the see of Galilee. Bethsaida's neighbour, Capernaum was less than five miles to the west. Bethsaida was on the southern edge of the Plains of Bethsaida. Bethsaida is a possible site of the feeding of the multitudes. Mark 8:22-26 says that Jesus healed a blind man in this city and Matthew 14:22-23 says that Jesus walked on water at this sight. It is a site were many Jews lived in Jesus' time. Bethsaida was considered a part of the promised land by God as said to Moses and was in the land of the Kingdom of David. Jesus pronounced woes on it late in his Galilean ministry. (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13)
Philip, Andrew and Peter were originally from Bethsaida in Galilee. (John 1:44, 12:20-22) They must have moved to Capernaum, a few miles from Bethsaida. (Matthew 8:5, 8:14; Mark 1:22, 29)
* The picture to the right (upper) is the gates of Bethsaida as they are now. The picture beneath it is from a historic lecture booklet: "Chorazin and Bethsaida fell under the same woe (Matthew 11:21) and both were long lost to the student and traveller. And there is still a doubt as to the actual location of the latter. Many persons apply the name Bethsaida to a place a short way up the Jordan on the east side. Others place it on the west side of the Jordan. But near the shore of the Sea of Galilee this place is pointed out as Bethsaida. The name of Bethsaida signifies the house of fishing, and doubtless it derives its name from the occupation of fishing. It is more likely that the town was located on the shore and not several miles away." This is from "Visual Instruction Department Lantern Slides" OSU has a copy.
>Why did he find it impossible to be alone?
* Luke 9:11 "but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing."
* "the crowds learned about it and followed him" -The people were spiritually thirsty and knew where to get refreshment. People go to true shepherds. People went to Jesus. They had a great interest in him.
These people were like the man who found a pearl or the man who found a treasure in a field. (Matthew 13:44-46) The people were even willing to go to a solitary place. This place was probably a desert or at least a piece of land that had little or no inhabitance.
* The people came from the Capernaum, Gennesaret, Bethsaida, and the villages surrounding them. (Matthew 14:13) Capernaum and Bethsaida, which was on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, had populations of approx 3,000 respectfully. They were among the biggest cities in the region of Galilee. However, the whole area of the Sea of Galilee was populous because of the fertile soil, major travel routes and natural resources. Still a big part of the population of the area went to meet Jesus and the disciples on another shore of the lake. Most likely this was South of Bethsaida, on the north east shore.
* "crowds" -Jesus popularity was indeed growing. The crowd that left the towns were Jesus originated this journey grew as they walked around the lake. When people who lived along the way saw the people walking, they must have asked, "Where are you all going?" And the answer was, "To Jesus, the teacher and miracle worker." This would get anyone's attention, enough to join them on the journey to see Jesus. So the crowd grew as it made its way around the lake.
>What was Jesus' attitude toward the uninvited crowd?
* "He welcomed them" -No one needs to make an appointment to be with Jesus. He welcomes all who come to him. We can imitate Jesus.
* "spoke to them about the kingdom of God" -People came to Jesus for many reasons. The kingdom of God was what he often taught.
* "healed those who needed healing" -Jesus healed out of compassion. The miracles were testimony to who he was. Jesus did many miracles in Bethsaida, yet few from there would come to believe Jesus was the Messiah. At the end of his ministry he pronounced a woe on them because of this.
>What does this teach about Jesus?
* Jesus always welcomes anyone who comes to him. Jesus can never be interrupted with something more important than teaching people, even spending quiet time with his beloved apostles. Jesus didn't consider his life as private.
* Jesus valued the teaching of the kingdom of God very highly.
* Jesus taught the kingdom of God to those who were spiritually hungry.
* Jesus was always ready to serve others. Serving in Jesus' name is often continuous. A disciple life is continuous.
* Jesus didn't give them physical food until they were full of spiritual food, his word.
* Anyone can find their spiritual needs satisfy by Jesus.
* Matthew 14:14 and Mark 6:34 state that Jesus had compassion on them, a commentary that Luke chose not to include.
>2. When did the Twelve run out of patience with the crowd?
* Luke 9:12 "Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."
* "Late in the afternoon" -Time flew by quickly when people are in Jesus' presence. Perhaps no one realize how late it was until the sun was low in the sky.
Jesus and his disciple left in the early morning. When the crowd awoke, they left right away seeing the general direction Jesus was headed. After the less than half day's journey there was still time for Jesus to heal and teach till evening. This was another long day for Jesus and his disciples.
Jesus taught and healed for about four hours. Assuming Jesus and the disciples left Capernaum by 10:00 a.m. and the trip took three hours our less, then they probably landed at around 1:00 p.m. The gospel writers tells us that it was late in the afternoon when the disciples approached Jesus asking him to send them away. (Luke 9:12). This is taking into account for the people to eat, the disciples to collect the leftovers, and Jesus to dismiss the crowds (one to three hours). Therefore, Jesus probably taught from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Jesus taught them in parables as he had usually done. The gospel writers did not record the teachings. We can assume that what Jesus taught at this time was nothing that we don't have already somewhere else.
* "the Twelve came to him" -They didn't feel hindered in approaching Jesus about this. They had left the people in order to get away with Jesus. That plan was interrupted. Yet, they waited as Jesus taught. Now, their patience was at its end.
* The disciples had left with Jesus because they could not eat. Now, again they could not eat.
* The disciples did not take action on their own. They went to Jesus. Still their suggestion for action would not be what Jesus had in mind. Often we have ideas and plans and we even go to God with them. But going to God does not make them the right plans. God may have different plans. In the Bible God came to people with his plans and it was up to them to conform to his plan. He does not tells us all the details. Yet we are to conform. Consider Noah; God came to Noah with his plan of a worldwide flood. Consider Abram; God came to Abram with his plan to start a nation through him. Consider Moses; God came to Moses with his plan to lead Israel out of Egypt to the Promise Land. Consider Simon Peter; Jesus came to Simon Peter with his plan to make him a fisher of men. Consider Saul who became Paul; God came to Saul with his plan to use him to carry the name of Jesus before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.
>Was their suggestion reasonable?
* "Send the crowd away" -They had not interacted with the crowd. They saw themselves as separate from the crowd.
This was a logical idea for several reasons. First, it was a good days work. Second, it was a remote place. Also, it appeared that there was no place to get food. And perhaps it was also logical because the people were being healed and responding to Jesus enough to accept him as Messiah, Saviour, and Lord. Finally, the disciples had expected a rest and from their point of view so did Jesus which was broken by the people. Finally, the days proceeding this event were greatly packed with a lot of hard work. So in human terms the disciples request was logical, but in Jesus' point of view it was not.
In short the disciples had a, "there not my problem" attitude. This was not a good shepherd attitude.Yet, compared to how they were before Jesus called them, like Levi the tax collector, the disciples showed growth in that they went to Jesus.
* "so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging" -The disciples made it sound like they were concerned for the health and welfare of the people; perhaps they were sincere. They must have realized that the crowd was like them and had not prepared for an all day teaching. Neither the crowd or the disciples had prepared food.
* "because we are in a remote place here." -They were near Bethsaida, not in it. Little vegetation grows in the area of Bethsaida, especially this time of year. John notes that this happened as the Passover was approaching. (John 6:4) Passover is in the early spring near the barley harvest, making eatable vegetation non-existent in a remote place.
* Taking a close look at the disciples request it wasn't that logical. First of all, some of the nearest villages were Gentile villages. Being Gentile they would serve some foods considered unlawful by the Law. The area cities were not big enough to serve the near ten thousand crowd. Not only that, but how many towns are willing to feed that many people late in the evening?
* Recently trials and trouble has come overwhelmingly in my life. After a period of unemployment my family had to relocate because of a new job for the second time in two years, a co-worker at the new job continually harasses me because he believes I'm there to take his job, my son's college roommate is suing to get out of an apartment lease, and my wife just announced she wanted a divorce. I've shared these with some Christians I know. A woman who had been a Christian for quite sometime always repeats, pshaw me away with her hand, "You two need counselling. I've told you wife that several times." She says this because she doesn't want to get involved. She is like the disciples who said, "Send them away Jesus. Let them find help for themselves. We don't want to be bothered by them any more." Who wants to get involved with people who are having trouble? "Don't we have enough problems of our own?" is what we say. We are no different than the disciples. Jesus needs to teach us his compassion and faith.
* The disciples were telling Jesus to do something that they didn't want to do themselves.
>How did Jesus answer his disciples' request? (13a)
* Luke 9:13a "He replied, "You give them something to eat."
* Jesus' love and training for his disciples is seen in this simple instruction.
* This was a command, not a suggestion.
>Why was his command seemingly unreasonable? (14a)
* Luke 9:14a "(About five thousand men were there.)"
* This was not an easy challenge for the disciples to understand and to keep for there were five thousand men, not including women and children. With these words Jesus was saying that the disciples had not exhausted all their options.
* Jesus challenged the disciple to think and help beyond human reason. Jesus taught to have even a little faith could move a mountain. (Matthew 17:20) Jesus here gave them a mountain to move.
* Jesus would not dismiss the crowd of people hungry. Nor would he detain them longer without meat. Nor would he put them upon the trouble and charge of buying meat for themselves. Jesus would feed them. And through the miracle, Jesus taught his disciples.
Jesus would teach them that a disciple should serve people. And a disciple should care about the needs of the flock of sheep. He wanted them to have compassion for people. Finally, a disciple of Jesus needs to always have a learning mind. We as Jesus' disciples should go beyond human expectations in serving others by faith.
Jesus teaches all disciples to teach and help disciples have compassion for people. He shows us to teach faith in God and that God will provide. He shows us to teach practically, not just in words. Finally disciples need to see others as Jesus sees them and how they can grow to be, not just as they are now.
It is important to note that Jesus didn't say, "You give them everything." We as humans cannot do everything. But we can do something by faith that Jesus will do everything. "What is impossible with man is possible with God," Jesus taught us. God does not expect us to do everything for he can do everything. But God does want us to do something by faith. We should do great things for God, and expect great things from God.
>What was he seeking to teach his disciples?
* Jesus was teaching several things.
1) a shepherd's heart for others
2) faith in God to provide for all needs
3) hospitality without bitterness
4) responsibility for the physical needs of others after the spiritual need had been meet
5) to go beyond human understanding when doing God's will, even in practical every day events.
* Each disciple, each congregation is responsible for their generation, especially those within our area.
* Jesus challenge of faith is no different than the Lord telling Abraham to sacrifice his son, than Moses to go to Pharaoh and say, "Let my people go."
* 1 Corinthians 13:2 "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."
>3. What does their response to Jesus reveal about the twelve? (13b)
* Luke 9:13b "They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish--unless we go and buy food for all this crowd."
* "We have only" -The disciples didn't see their findings as useful.
* They did make an effort to obey Jesus' direction. They didn't understand what their effort would do to solve the problem. Yet they did obey. Understanding what is about happen is not needed to obey here and now. The same happened with Israel at the Red Sea. God didn't reveal to them that he would split the Red Sea for they could walk to the other side when he said, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14)
* "unless we go and buy food for all this crowd" -They didn't want to do that. They did have a collection of money, but saw it was only for their own needs. (John 12:6)
* "five loaves of bread and two fish" -John 6:9 reveals that this was from a small boy. The fish would have been dried fish. The bread would have been without yeast.
* Doubt as to what so little could can be heard in their words.
* They didn't see Jesus' power in feeding the large crowd even though they had see do so many miracles already and they themselves experienced when Jesus sent them out.
>How did Jesus respond? (14b)
* Luke 9:14b "But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each."
* Jesus accepted their efforts even though it was mixed with doubt.
>Why have them sit down in orderly groups?
* God wants us to work in orderly environments. He wants us to be organized.
* The disciples would be given the responsibility to disperse the food. This could be done easier if the people were organized.
* Finding the five loaves and two fish wasn't enough. They now needed to obey something else in order for the miracle to happen.
* The disciples were to participate in the implementing of the miracle. God works through obedient actions that come from faith in him.
* The people could have started a riot and rushed to where the food was at.
See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.
>Why might this have been a little difficult?
* Luke 9:15 "The disciples did so, and everybody sat down."
* "The disciples did so" -There were 5,000 men plus women and children. The task would have been great, not easy at all.
* "everybody sat down" -No one knew what Jesus was about to do. They may have had questions. Some may have voice their questions. Yet they followed the direction of the people.
* The disciples learned something here that they could and would never learn as fishermen. They practically learned how to manage large groups of people.
>4. What did Jesus do? (16)
* Luke 9:16 "Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people."
* "Taking the five loaves and the two fish" -Jesus will accept even a meagre offering when done in obedience and faith in him.
* "looking up to heaven" -Heaven is often depicted as up. Heaven in the Bible may refer to the sky (Ezekiel 8:3), the place of stars and planets (Genesis 15:5; Deuteronomy 4:19), and the place where God dwells (Revelation 4:1, 11:12). Jesus is here praying to God and so looks to heaven. The earth spins on an axis, so no matter what time of day when one looks up it is always to heaven. When we look down it is to the earth and the grave. (Genesis 37:35, 42:38, 44:29, 31; Numbers 16:30; and 1 Samuel 2:6; Job 7:9, 21:13; Psalm 55:15; Isaiah 51:6)
>How did the disciples participate?
* "Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people."
* This is the third act that Jesus gave the disciples in this miracle.
* Jesus didn't tell them that it would be enough to feed the group.
* The disciples would have to work together in order to obey this command.
>What should have they learned?
* Though obeying Jesus in this way was not not a glamorous as being sent out with power and authority it was still obeying and serving.
* All Jesus' disciples can participate in the work of the kingdom of God together for the good of others when we obey and live by faith in Jesus.
* Having a miracle take place may take several steps of faith without knowing what God will do when we obey and trust him.
* Participating in God's will and work takes faith and obedience.
* Offer five loaves and two fish to Jesus when he gives us a command.
* Answer to a command often involves making an environment for God to display his power and love.
>What was the result?
* Luke 9:17 "They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketful of broken pieces that were left over."
* Some modern "experts in the Bible" (including a professor at the University of Toledo whose class I attended in the mid-1980s) try to take this miracle away by saying that the people saw the generosity of the little boy and brought forth the food they had hidden from others and began eating it. But that is now how the passage reads in all four gospels. Tyndale New Testament Commentary on Luke reads, "This is the one miracle, apart from the resurrection, recounted in all four Gospels. Clearly it made a special appeal to the early church. But some in more recent times have found difficulty with it. They have suggested that perhaps the 'miracle' took place in people's hearts. When Jesus' disciples prepared to share all they had, others were ashamed and produced the food they had with them but had not wanted to share. When they did so there proved to be more than enough. Others think of a token meal, like Holy Communion, and point to the similarity of language with that used of that sacrament. The trouble with such views is that they are far to subjective. If there was no more to it than this, it is hard to see how the story could have left such a mark on both the Biblical traditions and the art of the early church (cf. the motif of the loaves and fishes in Christian art). This is not what any of the Evangelists is saying: they all describe a miracle. 'It is impossible to reduce the event to ordinary human dimensions' (Melinsky). This does not mean that it was not symbolic. John's references to it as a 'sign' should be taken with full seriousness. The meal brought home the truth that God in Christ can supply any need. We may even accept that view that there was something sacramental about the meal. It was perhaps an anticipation of the Messianic banquet, the feast of Messiah with his people. There may also be something of a 'farewell to fellowship' aspect to it, as Jesus realized that he would not be able to move freely for much longer in Galilee. But such ideas should not be held in such a way as to obscure the miraculous."
* The disciples rather quickly realized that something miraculous was happening.
* We should accept the gifts of God when given.
* "picked up twelve basketful of broken pieces that were left over" -More than enough was created.
>What does this event teach about Jesus' power and love?
* No limit to Jesus' power is known or experienced. He is almighty God, producing something out of nothing.
* He works with his people to help others.
* He cares for people spiritually and physically.
II. The Christ of God (18-27)
* The picture to the right is of a sacred precinct that has the Cave of Pan (an idol, a ancient false god) in the background and the temple remains of Pan and of Zeus in the foreground. This is near Caesarea Philippi, the general area that this exchange of words took place. (Matthew 16:13; Mark 8:27) All that remains of the temples of Jesus' time are the foundations. Perhaps in this lovely area watered by the cold rushing streams with a rock cliff, sacred cave, cult niches, and pagan temples as a backdrop, Jesus closely questioned his disciples as to what people thought of him and his mission. Because the Cave of Pan seemed to reach into the very depths of the earth, it came to be regarded as the entrance to the underworld, the abode of Hades (or Pluto), the god of the lower regions, and home to the disembodied spirits of the dead. Up until recent time the Jordan River's head flowed out the of cave.
>5. What questions did Jesus asked? (18, 20a)
* Luke 9:18 "Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"
* Luke 9:20a "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
* Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ is also recorded in Matthew 16:13-28 and Mark 8:27-9:1. John does not record this event.
* "Once" -Luke jumps ahead in time. He does not record events between the feeding of five thousand and this confession that Mark, Matthew and John record including a trip to Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24,31), a trip into the Decapolis (Matthew 15:29; Mark 7:31), and the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew 15:38; Mark 8:9). See chart at the top right in section I.
* "when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him" -Jesus often prayed in private, a great example for us to follow. Jesus might have prayed about his disciples; that they might know him for who he was, their faith in him, and for God to reveal to them who he was and what it meant that he was the Christ.
* Jesus asked these questions because he wanted them to see how they were different from others when it came to understanding who he was. At the same time Jesus wanted them to examine their relationship with him. Jesus wasn't asking because he didn't know, he always knows what we think. (Matthew 16:8, 12:25)
* We should examine ourself to see what we believe about Jesus. We need to ask ourselves these questions. We also need to examine those around us. How do they answer these questions; this is especially true if we teach and preach the kingdom of God.
* "I am" -The original Greek here is "me einai". Luke and Mark does not include two words that Matthew does here. In the original Greek Matthew 16:13 reads "me huios anthropos einai" which the King James correctly has as "I the Son of Man am". The NIV only has in Matthew "the Son of Man is".
* "private" -Sometimes in the most unexpected places and times God reveals himself and his plans to us. Sometimes what he reveals to us is meant for us alone.
* "praying in private and his disciples were with him" -Jesus, of course stopped praying to rejoin his disciples. We can assume they began walking to their next destination, the one Jesus chose, Mount Herman.
>How were they similar and different?
* Both questions would give an answer based on a personal opinion about who Jesus was. The answers would be conclusive.
* One question would be examining others, while the other would be examining themselves.
* The first question would be answered by a consensus, the second would be answered personally and concise.
>What is the different views of Jesus?
* Luke 9:19 "They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
* "John the Baptist" -Herod believed this. (Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:14)
* "Elijah" -Considered by many to be the greatest prophet because of all the miracles he performed. His life is recorded from 1 Kings 17:1 to 1 Kings 21:29 and 2 Kings 1:1 to 2 Kings 2:18. Elijah was to come before the Messiah, the Lord. (Malachi 4:5-6) Some people thought that Jesus was the forerunner of the Messiah (Christ).
* "one of the prophets of long ago" -Either meaning there were many opinions one which prophet had come back to life or most didn't want to give a specific example.
* "has come back to life" -Some people must have had a problem believing that a prophet could be raise up in there own time. Most Jews at this time believed in the resurrection of the dead.
* Deuteronomy 18:15-22 records Moses telling the people shortly before he died, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire any-more, or we will die." The Lord said to me: "What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; 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. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."
* The prophets were to bring the word of God, the Lord, to the Israelites. The last prophetic book for Israel and Judah is Malachi. Malachi lived over four hundred years before Jesus.
* The average person only speculated about Jesus from afar. This is similar throughout the ages and today. If a person doesn't seek God with a desire to know him personally, his answers about God and Jesus will be impersonal and incorrect. The truth about a person will not and cannot be revealed to someone who refuses to have a deep personal relationship with them. This is true between human and human, and between human and God.
>What does it mean that Jesus is the Christ? (20b, 22)
* Luke 9:20b "Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
* Luke 9:22 "And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
* "Peter answered" -Peter was often the person who spoke up. He was one of the older of the group. He was a brash fisherman. He was one of the twelve apostles and one of the three of Jesus' inner circle. Acts records him as being the main speaker of the church in Jerusalem.
* The disciples had come to know Jesus personally. We should know Jesus personally. Jesus will reveal himself to those who seek him. God blesses the heart that is committed to him.
* God used Peter's mouth since in his heart Peter had accepted that Jesus was the Christ.
* "The Christ of God" -The original Greek is "Christos Theos".
* "Christ" -Christ is Greek for the Hebrew "Messiah". Both mean "the Anointed One." In ancient times when kings and priest were set apart to their offices they were anointed with oil. (Lev. 4:3, 4:20; Ex 28:41, 26:7; and 1 Sam 9:16, 15:1, and 2 Sam. 23:1) The anointing with oil was supposed to be symbolic of the influences of the Holy Spirit.
* Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."
* Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
* Isaiah 11:10 "In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious."
* Matthew 1:21 "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
* Other verses include but are not limited to Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 2:2, 45:6-7; Malachi 3:1.
* Christ appears five hundred and one times in the New Testament, each time referring only to Jesus. Christ refers to Jesus' kingship. Today many people believe that Jesus’ sir name is Christ. It is not. People having sir names only started a few hundred years ago. Before that people had only one word for a name. However, sometimes when referring to a person, people would say that he was the son of someone. For example, James was called the son of Zebedee to distinguish him from James the son of Alphaeus (Matt. 10:2-3). In other cases a person's title and/or position was added to their name (i.e. King Herod, Tiberius Caesar, etc.). These practices did not mean that those men had sir names (although in some cultures centuries later this did happen). Thus, it is the same with Jesus.
Christ is not Jesus sir name; it is his title. “Christ” refers to Jesus kingly position. Christ is a Greek word with the same meaning as the Hebrew word Messiah. Jesus being the Messiah refers to his kingly linage stemming back to King David and at the same time looks to his future reigning as King of Israel and the world. When the Bible states Jesus is the Messiah; that is the Christ, it means that Jesus is the King, God's anointed one.
Throughout human history only two types of people were anointed with oil; kings and priests. (Exodus 29:29, 40:15, Lev. 7:36, and 1 Samuel 2:10, 35, 10:1, 15:17, 15:13) Oil poured over their head was a symbol of the Holy Spirit coming over them. Jesus, the Christ, is God's special anointed one. (Ps. 2:2, Dan. 9:25) Jesus was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit as king and priest. (Luke 4:16-24, Acts 10:38)
* Jesus is the King of all; Jew and Gentile. Romans 15:12-13 states, “And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Jesse is the father of David, the boy who became the second king of Israel. David is Jesus ancestor. Jesus is of kingly descent. Jesus is no ordinary king for he will rule over the nations, Jew and Gentile. Jesus full rule is not experienced now because most do not accept his rule. However, someday his full rule will be experienced. Jesus' bride, both Jew and Gentile, hope in his eventual world rule.
* The anointed one implies that the Christ is the:
1) Great Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Isaiah 55:4,; Luke 24:19; Acts 3:22, 7:37)
2) Only High Priest (Psalms 110:4; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 6:20, 7:24, 9:24)
3) Eternal King or Lord.(Psalms 2:6; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5, 28:18; Luke 1:33; John 10:28; Ephesians 1:20-23; Revelation 11:15, 12:10,11, 17:14, 19:6)
4) Savior.(Duet. 32:15; 2 Samuel 22:3, 47; and 1 Chronicles 16:35; Isaiah 43:3,11,15)
5) True Shepherd (Genesis 48:15, 49:24; Psalm 23:1, 80:1; Zechariah 13:7)
* "The Son of Man" -Jesus often called himself the Son of Man. (Luke 5:24, 6:5, 22; Matthew 13:37, 12:40, 12:32, etc.) Dan 3:25, 7:13, 10:5-6 all refer to the Messiah as the Son of Man. Jesus was indeed man, fully flesh undergoing all the aspects of humanity.
* "must suffer many things" -Jesus is speaking in the absolute. His suffering must happen, there was no doubt in his mind.
* "and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law" -The religious leaders were a great symbol of Judaism to all Jews, even Jesus' disciples. Jesus' prophecy here was so shocking to his disciples that they just put it out of their mind.
* "and he must be killed" -Jesus predicted his murder many times. The fact that Jesus knew he was going to be crucified and yet spoke of it as "must" happening shows his determination to obey his Father and reveal the depths of his love for his people.
* "and on the third day be raised to life." -Jesus often predicted his resurrection in many ways. No one, not even his closest disciples accepted his prophecy at face value.
* Jesus only gave them the facts of the events to come, not the reason they would happen.
* Christ's work was suffering. (Isaiah 53)
>Why did Jesus warn them not to tell anyone?
* Luke 9:21 "Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone."
* There are several reasons:
1) The average Jew had a misunderstand of the life and ministry of the Messiah. This is seen clearly in the Essenes writing and the response of the people after the feeding of the five thousand. (John 6:25-71) Later they would crucify him because of this misunderstanding.
2) The people needed to come to this revelation on their own as God inspired them (as God had inspired Peter) because they were committed and were in love with him.
3) God's time for mass revelation was yet to come. Once the Jewish leaders asked him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:24-30)
>6. What does it mean to "deny" himself, to "take up his cross", to "come after me"?
* Luke 9:23 "Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
* "must" -No exceptions.
* "deny" -Deny means to not do what we want to do, but do what God wants us to do. Deny means to yield our ambitions and desires to God's will. Deny means to resist the sinful nature.
* "take up his cross" -Taking up one's cross is to endure suffering and pain for the benefit of others in love, not self. Jesus' cross was for the salvation of others.
* "his" -Everyone has their own cross. No two persons will carry the same cross. When the resurrected Jesus was walking with Peter on the beach and told him the nature of his coming cross Peter looked back and John and said, "What about him?" Jesus said, "What is it to you? You must follow me." (John 21:21-22) We shouldn't compare our mission to others.
* "come after me" -A disciples of Jesus must come after Jesus, that is to follow him. When he called the Twelve he said this very same thing. To come after Jesus is to learn of him and from him, it is to imitate his life style.
* "follow me" -Following Jesus is not an imitation denial, its a Christlike denial; its not a worldly cross, its a Christlike cross.
* The wood engraving to the right is by Osiander, Andreas (1498-1552) of Jesus discusses the cost of discipleship with two individuals.
>What does the word "daily" imply?
* "daily" -We don't carry our cross for only one day, one week, one month, one year, or one decade. We carry it the whole time while we are in this world. We should carry it one day at a time. Jesus said, "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)
* Jesus is our example.
* These things do not come naturally to fallen man. The life of a disciples is hard for we constantly need to fight our sinful nature. Jesus' disciples life a life as Jesus did. Study the gospels and so we can learn from him.
* The wood engraving to the right is by Weigel, Christoph (1654-1725) of Jesus discusses the cost of discipleship with two individuals. Images of the bird and fox illustrate his point that while wildlife have places to dwell, his disciples will not.
>What does Jesus mean by "save" and "lose"?
* Luke 9:24-25 "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"
* "whoever wants" -Wanting is not the same as having.
* "save his life" -Jesus means save our physical life in this world, the finite here and now while ignoring the spiritual and eternal.
* "will lose it" -Jesus means when the physical life ends, what remains will go to hell, apart from Jesus the author of life.
* "whoever loses his life for me will save it" -Jesus means the opposite of what he just said. Losing one's life in this world will inherit eternal life.
* Saving our life means seeking only comfort and avoiding pain and sorrow at any cost. Its a life philosophy of humanism and selfishness as the expense of others. Materialism certainly fits into saving one's life.
* Philippians 3:7-11 "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
* Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) and Lot (Genesis) are example of people of God who sought to save their lives.
* The wood engraving to the right is from a book by Wesley, Samuel (1662-1735). Jesus calls disciples to take up their crosses and follow him. Engraved by John Sturt (1658–1730).
>7. What does it mean to be ashamed of Jesus and his word?
* Luke 9:26 "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
* Being ashamed of Jesus is to not speak to others about him. It is to hide our faith in him and our convictions about him. It means to not make a stand for truth.
* Jesus' lifestyle goes against the ways of man, the ways of the world. Salvation by grace alone through faith, loving God and others over self, and following Jesus' example go against the teachings of men.
* We should ask ourselves every day, "Who do I want to please? Who will I serve? Who will I obey? Who do I love?"
* "when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angles"
* The opposite is implied in this verse. Jesus will not be ashamed of those who are not ashamed of him.
* A day of reckoning is coming for those who claimed the name of Jesus. We all will stand before the Bema Seat.
* The engraving to the right is from a book by Luther, Martin (1483-1546). Jesus calls disciples to take up their crosses and follow Him. Engraving by Martin Bernigeroth (1670-1733) after the design of Samuel Bottschild (1641-1707).
>What promise does Jesus give to his disciples? (27)
* Luke 9:27 "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."
* "some who are standing here" -Normally in Jewish society at the time the teacher and his followers would be seated. Since Jesus and his disciples were on the move, going to Mount Hermon they must have stopped on the road and he began speaking with them.
* "taste death" -die
>What does it mean?
* "they see the kingdom of God" -Jesus is the king of the kingdom of God. He is the heart of his kingdom. His glory was hidden at this time. In just a short while he would take three of his disciples and reveal to them his glory.
* Jesus talked about his coming cross and then his coming glory. He promises the same for those who take up their cross.
III. Jesus' Transfiguration (28-36)
>8. What happened while Jesus was praying?
* Luke 9:28-29 "About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning."
* Jesus' transfiguration is also recorded in Matthew 17:1-13 and Mark 9:2-13. John does not record this event.
* "About eight days after Jesus said this" -"This" is Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ and Jesus explaining what that meant. So counting the confession as day one, then six days where nothing is recorded, and the present being the seventh per Matthew 17:1 and Mark 9:2, then it was "about" eight days after; not quite eight days. Or simply Luke indicates he was not sure of the count.
* "he took Peter, John and James with him" -Possible reasons Jesus only choose these three are:
1) They were the top disciples. Those he chose to be the leaders. They would later be called pillars of the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9).
2) The law requires "...out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every work be established." (Deut. 19:15)
3) Jesus needed his Father's intervention to plant his words in his disciples hearts. The disciples had their own strong ideas about what it meant to follow Jesus and who he was. After his transfiguration they really had to think how great Jesus was. Revelation 1:17 records that when John saw the resurrected Jesus in his glory the next time, he fell as though dead.
4) They were one fourth of the twelve. Similarly, only one fourth of the four soils produced fruit in the parable of the sower (Matthew 4:1-20).
5) Jesus set up a hierarchy of: three among the twelve, twelve among the seventy-two, seventy-two among all the rest of the followers.
* Jesus loved all of the disciples. However, because of God's calling and will he chose only three to reveal his pre-incarnate glory.
* "up onto a mountain" -Mount Hermon ("devoted mountain") has three summits, about 1/4 mile (1/2km) from each other. Its huge mass 11,000 feet (3 350m) high and 5 miles (8km) wide and 16 to 20 miles (26 to 32km) from north to south is visible for miles around. The upper slopes remain snowcapped virtually all year, as indicated by the Amorite name for the mountain, Senir (or Shenir), meaning "snow mountain." It was known as 'Sirion' among the Phoenicians and the Arabs call it Jebel el-Sheikh, the "grey haired mountain," or Jebel el-Thalj, the "mountain of the snow." Its Hebrew name, "Chermown" ("sanctuary"), may allude to the fact that since ancient times it has been a sacred mountain. The mountain was also called "Baal-Hermon" (Judges 3:3) in the time of Joshua and the Judges, indicating a local Baal was worshiped there (as was the case with many high places).
Mount Hermon has been described as a giant sponge with many scattered cavities (dolinas) that collect huge volumes of snow. They are the last areas to melt in the spring and they emerge at the base of the mountain in a series of abundant springs that form the three main sources of the Jordan River. These springs also feed the Litani River as well as the Oasis of Damascus. In clear weather, Mount Hermon is visible from great distances. It dominates the landscape. From the Mediterranean coast to the Jordan Valley, the snow-capped mass forms the one permanent feature on the northern horizon of Israel. In biblical times the slopes were apparently covered in thick forests. While in exile, David reflected on the depths of the Jordan and the heights of Hermon. They were for him symbols of the source and extent of God's blessing, His love and protection (Psalm 42:5-11; Psalm 133:3).
* The picture to the right is of the Hula Valley with Mount Herman in the background.
* "As he was praying" -Luke is the only one who mentions that Jesus was praying when he was transfigured. Jesus often went into quiet and solitude places to pray. Jesus' prayer times and places are an example to us.
* Jesus' life mission had been full of hard work, dealing with great crowds who wanted healing both physical and spiritual, wanted food, and wanted to hear him teach. Taking up ones cross was not easy for Jesus, being human as much as God. Prayer was to him a necessity to commune with God, his Father. Through personal time with God in prayer he found refreshment, strength, and direction.
* Prayers in secret sanctify us. Sanctification because of prayer is no secret.
>What is the significance of the change in Jesus' appearance?
* "his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning."
* Jesus' transfiguration reveals:
1) His glory before he became flesh
2) The glory he would have after his resurrection
3) The glory that comes after bearing the cross
4) He is right, his teachings are true, and should be paid attention to
5) The spiritual world.
* Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2 use the Greek word "metamorpho" meaning transfigured. The substance of his body remained the same, but the appearance of it was greatly altered. I've heard and read people saying that his glory was always in his body, but now it shown through his body. The word transfigured does not allow for that understanding. The Greek word is "metamorphoo", the word we get metamorphosis from. So, the word "transfigured" can also be translated "metamorphosed". The apostles later wrote that we will be like him, and we will all be changed. (Romans 6:5; and 1 John 3:2; and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
* The glory came from within him, not a light shining on him. That which was hidden was revealed as a curtain was drawn open and the light from within was let out. (29)
* He was not turned into a spirit, but his body, which had appeared in weakness and dishonour, now appeared in power and glory.
* "God is light." (1 John 1:5), "dwells in light" (1 Tim. 6:16), and "wraps himself in light" (Ps. 104:2).
* The face of Moses shown as the moon, a mere reflection. But Jesus shown like the sun.
* Moses shine was not powerful so that a veil could hid it, But Jesus shined so much that even "his clothes became as white as the light."
* I wrote more about Jesus' glory in the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.
>Why did Jesus want his disciples to see this glorious sight?
* Jesus' normal appearance is described in Isaiah 53:2-3 states, "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
"Tender shoot" means it was as if he could be broken easily. He looked frail. "A root out of dry ground" means he was scrawny and wrinkled.
Jesus was poor, so he was probably skinny. He got little sleep and people were always coming to him. He was outdoors a lot so his face was probably sun and wind burned, probably course looking.
Jesus normally was just like them is appearance. He wore clothes that were travelled in. He was dusty from the trips they took.
* Jesus had told them about his near future as the Messiah; his crucifixion, death and resurrection. They didn't fully understand this teaching, responding humanly. Now these three were going to see Jesus, the Messiah in his normal appearance as described in the Old Testament. At the same time the Father was going to rebuke them for their human thinking and laxer attention to Jesus' teachings.
* God was revealing Jesus' identity and the nature of those who are of the kingdom of God.
* Exodus 40:34-35 records that Moses was not to enter the tent of meeting because the glory of the Lord had entered it. Jesus is the Lord of glory who had entered the tent.
* 2 Chronicles 5:14 records that the priest could not enter the newly dedicated temple in Jerusalem because the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God. Jesus is the Lord of glory who had entered the temple.
* Jesus' identity and normal appearance goes against the modern day concept that good looks marks a person as great. Beauty is skin deep.
* John recorded Jesus' appearance after Jesus' resurrection in Revelation 1:12-16, "I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."
* The disciples' future would see shame and suffering on account of Jesus' name. In those times they could look back to Jesus' transfiguration to remember they have nothing to be ashamed of.
* 2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
* This is our first glimpse of the glorious future of Jesus and the glorious future of his believers, his bride. This is the first glimpse of a resurrection body, for Jesus is the first to have one. That is why he is called the firstborn. (Rom. 8:29, Col. 1:15-18, Heb. 1:6, 11:29, 12:23, Rev. 1:5) Like him, Jesus' bride will have a resurrected body. Jesus bride is not now as we will be for we will be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)
* The engraving to the right is from a book by Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Julius (1794-1872). Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld's (1794-1872) depiction of the transfiguration of Jesus with Elijah and Moses on either side of him and Peter, James, and John resting below.
>9. Who were Moses and Elijah?
* Luke 9:30-31a "Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. "
* "Two men" -Those who fall asleep in Christ will not perish, but are alive.
* "Two men" -None of the patriarchs, kings, nor anyone else who contributed to the Old Testament was there.
* "Moses" -Moses is a humble man of God. Moses was the deliverer for the Israelites from the slavery in Egypt. Through Moses God gave the ten commandments, as well as the other laws recorded in the first five books of the Bible. Moses prayed for the Israelites many times, sometimes even saving them from God's wrath through humble prayer. Moses asked that he would receive the punishment instead of them. He meet God face to face in the tent of meeting.
Deuteronomy 34:5-7 records Moses' departure from earth, "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. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone."
* "Elijah" -Elijah was a persecuted man of God who represents the prophets and their books. Elijah was the prophet of God during the time when the Israelites were turning to Baal worship. He challenged the people and their leaders to repent and turn from idols and worship God. He prayed and the rain stopped for three years. He prayed again and it rained. He prayed by faith and fire came down from heaven which was God's testimony that he is the one and only true God. He meet God in a cave.
2 Kings 2:11-12 records Elijah's departure from earth, "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart."
* The Law, the first five books and the prophets' books tell all about Jesus. (Luke 24:44; John 1:45) Click here for a list of prophecies Jesus fulfilled.
>Why might they have been the ones chosen for this meeting with Jesus?
* Jews in Jesus' day and even today refer to the Old Testament as "The Law and the Prophets". Jesus' identity and position as the Messiah is well defined in the Old Testament. Jesus had only a few days earlier discussed with his disciples what others thought and they had believe who he was. Others were wrong. Peter confessed correctly Jesus was the Messiah. When the disciples looked at Jesus they must have wondered why the Messiah would look so unremarkable, nothing like men of honor and prestige. Perhaps they questioned how the Messiah could be this way. These three disciples was seeing that Jesus' true appearance was hidden. Yet the transfiguration of his appearance was only part of the message. The fact that Moses and Elijah was there was to reveal to the disciples that the Old Testament agrees with Peter's confession that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the Messiah.
* Matthew 5:17 records Jesus teaching, "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."
* The last verses of the Old Testament are Malachi 4:4-6 "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
* Click here for a list of prophecies Jesus fulfilled.
* The painting to the right is of Jesus' transfiguration, author unknown.
* They fasted forty days and nights as Jesus did.
* They did miracles as Jesus did.
* They were leaders of the people of Israel.
* They preached the word of God but not many accepted their message, that is their hearers rebelled against it.
* They were men of God; suffering servants, men who carried their cross and are now glorified.
* Moses and Elijah talked with God on a mountain.
* Moses and Elijah wrote God's words down.
* They worked to turn the people to God, they taught the word of God.
* They lived sacrificially.
>What did they talk about with Jesus?
* Luke 9:31b "They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem."
* "They spoke" -Moses and Elijah were not some formless energy force. They had physical substance that could generate physical communication.
* "his departure" -Jesus' resurrection and ascension.
* "which he was about to" -Jesus' trial, death, and resurrection were less than a year away.
* "bring to fulfillment" -Moses and Elijah knew what Jesus was going to do. Jesus' mission was no secret in heaven nor in the Old Testament.
* "at Jerusalem" -Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension needed to take place at Jerusalem according to Scripture.
* Luke is the only gospel writer to tell us that the three of them talked about Jesus' departure. Jesus would soon go through much suffering. Moses and Elijah were encouraging him, reminding him of the end result and his returning to heaven.
* We should encourage those who are about to or are going through sufferings and hardships.
* 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."
* 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 "He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.'
>10. Why did Peter react as he did? (32-33)
* Luke 9:32-33 "Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.)"
* "Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake" -Several times I've heard a man speaking on this that many hold in high regard. He said that the disciples were sleeping. Yet this verse doesn't say that the disciples slept. Rather, just that they were very sleepy.
* "they saw his glory" -The original Greek for glory is "doxa" here.
* "Master" -The original Greek word here is "epistates" which can also be translated as Lord.
* "It is good for us to be here" -Peter liked the experience greatly. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to stay there long enough so that shelters were needed.
* "Let us put up three shelters" -The mountain was cold and perhaps windy. Peter wanted to try to keep warm.
* The higher one goes up a mountain the colder and windier it gets. We don't know how long they talked, but perhaps it was long enough for it to be to cold for Peter.
* "shelters" -Peter's words were a little ignorant for what need did Elijah and Moses have for a shelter. From what should they be sheltered from.
* "one for Moses and one for Elijah" -The disciple know it was Moses and Elijah by either:
1) the two's conversation with Jesus
2) by talking to Moses and Elijah themselves
3) Jesus told them it was Moses and Elijah.
* Jesus had just taught them seven days ago that he was going to suffer and be killed. Why then would he need to build a shelter to stay there?
* Moses and Elijah was encouraging Jesus about going to Jerusalem. Peter wanted Jesus to stay away from Jerusalem. Though he did not know it, Peter was encouraging Jesus to not fulfill the Scriptures. Jesus' death and resurrection had to be in Jerusalem during the next soon to come Passover and Feast of the Sheaf Wave.
* Peter was not accepting Moses and Elijah talking about going to Jerusalem.
>What did God teach?
* Luke 9:34-36 "While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."
* "a cloud" -The original Greek is "nephele".
* Matthew described the experience as "a bright cloud enveloped them." (Matthew 17:5) The bright cloud hides the presence of God. When God descends he descends on clouds as if they were his chariot or car. God come down in a cloud so he is hidden from us. We are to sinful to gaze upon him. If we did we would feel like dying.
* "When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple." (1 Kings 8:10,11) "The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: 'He is good; his love endures forever.' Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud." (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)
* "Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him." (Ex. 19:18-19)
* "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." (Ex. 40:34-35)
* "Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again." (Num. 11:25)
* Deuteronomy 29:29 states God is a God of mystery. "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."
* "and they were afraid as they entered the cloud" -Fear of God is fear of his righteous judgement and it is a good thing. Fear of God is a gift of God to those who stubbornly hold onto their own sinful ways and ideas. The Fear of God can lead to repentance.
* Just as Adam and Eve were terrified when they heard God in the Garden and hid after they had sinned.
* God came down the mountain in a display of power so that the Israelites would obey the law and not sin. (Exodus 19:16-25)
* Hebrews 12:28-29 states, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
* "this is my Son" -God the Father spoke.
* Jesus is, was, will always be God's One and Only Son. We have been adopted into God's family through Jesus, the Son.
* The virgin birth is confirmed with the statement, "this is my Son."
* The Holy Spirit testifies to us who Jesus is. (John 16:8-11, 14:26)
>Why did he tell them to "listen to him"?
* "listen to him" -The disciples had not accepted when Jesus told them about what was going to happen in Jerusalem after Peter's confession. They were not listening to Jesus.
* "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; 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 speakers in my name, I myself will call him to account." (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)
* Hearing is not the same as accepting and listening.
* James 1:21-22 "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
* Their spiritual future depending on them listening to Jesus.
* For us today "listening to Jesus" is studying the Bible and prayer.
* Sometimes we need God's rebuke.
* God's rebuke can wake us up.
* God was saying give up your own ideas on who Jesus was and what the Messiah is suppose to do and understand the Scriptures and listen to Jesus.
* Many today are like the disciples. They follow Jesus without listening to him. They hold onto their own ideas. They do not read, study, accept and obey the Bible.
>How did this event end and with what effect? (2 Peter 1:16-19)
* Luke 9:36 "When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen."
* "they found that Jesus was alone" -The Law and the Prophets will disappear, but Jesus always remains.
* Jesus is the fulfillment of the law an prophets. In the end his word prevails. In the end he is all that matters. In the end it is all about him.
* "The disciples kept this to themselves" -Luke did not include why they kept this to themselves. Matthew 17:9 and Mark 9:9 state that Jesus told them to. Jesus didn't tell them to lie, just to keep what they had seen and heard until the time was right to expose the truth. They needed to keep it a secret because the people needed to believe by faith.
* The disciples remembered this and used it to encourage others to accept Jesus, his words and his way.
* 2 Peter 1:16-19 "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For 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. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts."
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