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Matthew 17:1-13

Talks for Growing Christians

The Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-13

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Lesson Number 44

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Transfiguration was a preview of the coming kingdom.
  2. Elijah will restore all things before the coming kingdom.

Practical Application

  1. Let your zeal be guarded and guided by good theology.

Questions

  1. How was the prediction of Matthew 16:28 fulfilled here?
  2. What was the cloud that overshadowed them?
  3. What is the next event on God’s calendar of end-time events?
  4. Why did the Lord command His disciples not to tell anyone about what they had seen?
  5. Why was Peter wrong in wanting to make three tabernacles for Elijah, Moses, and Christ?

Answers

  1. In today’s passage Jesus took His inner circle of disciples up on a mountain where they saw a preview of the coming kingdom in our Lord’s resurrection glory when He was transfigured before them.
  2. This was the glory cloud, known in the Old Testament as the “Shekinah glory”. It was evidence of God’s presence.
  3. The Rapture of the Church. See I Corinthians 15 and I Thessalonians 4.
  4. The Lord did not want the Jewish people to make Him a political King; He wanted true followers who would accept Him as Savior.
  5. He was lowering Christ to the level of a mere man, making Him equal with two other good men.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Review the calendar of end-time events. The Rapture will be immediately followed by the seven-year Tribulation described in Revelation 4-19. Then the Lord will return with His saints (us!) to establish His one thousand year reign on this earth (see Revelation 20). We will reign with Christ in this glorious kingdom. Review how the Transfiguration is a preview of this coming kingdom.
  2. Read Malachi 4:5-6. The fulfillment of this prophecy is a difficult matter. Discuss how it relates to Matthew 17:10-13. The Elijah prophecy is a dependant-fulfillment type of prophecy. If the people of Israel had received the Lord Jesus as their Messiah, then John the Baptist would have fulfilled the Elijah prophecy of Malachi 4. John the Baptist had come in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:16-17). Refer also to Matthew 11:13-14, noticing the “if” clause. But Israel rejected her King and His offer of the kingdom. Therefore the fulfillment of the Elijah prophecy is postponed and will be fulfilled before the Second Coming of Christ. (Many theologians think this prophecy will be fulfilled in the two witness of Revelation 11.)

Challenge

  1. Read Malachi 4:5-6. The fulfillment of this prophecy is a difficult matter. Discuss how it relates to Matthew 17:10-13. The Elijah prophecy is a dependant-fulfillment type of prophecy. If the people of Israel had received the Lord Jesus as their Messiah, then John the Baptist would have fulfilled the Elijah prophecy of Malachi 4. John the Baptist had come in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:16-17). Refer also to Matthew 11:13-14, noticing the “if” clause. But Israel rejected her King and His offer of the kingdom. Therefore the fulfillment of the Elijah prophecy is postponed and will be fulfilled before the Second Coming of Christ. (Many theologians think this prophecy will be fulfilled in the two witness of Revelation 11.)

Key Verses

  • “He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:2
  • “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” Matthew 17:5
  • “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.” Matthew 17:11

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