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Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:
A TRANSFIGURED SON AND AN EMPTY POCKET

[“Glory and Taxes”]
(Key word: “Listen!”)

Matthew 17:1-9 – Transfiguration Vision

|| Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36

MT17:1 Now after six days[1] Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John[2] (the brother of James) and ascended with them to a very secluded place on a tall mountain.[3] MT17:2 And right before them Jesus was metamorphosed[4] – his face illuminated like the sun[5] and his cloak as white light.[6] MT17:3 And, look! they could see Moses and Elijah[7] speaking with Jesus. MT17:4 Peter responded and said to Jesus, “Master, if you wish I shall make three tents[8] – one for you and Moses and Elijah.” MT17:5 Yet while Peter was talking, look! a shining cloud rested over them, and, look! a Voice came from the cloud,[9] saying, “This is my beloved Son whom I approve[10] – listen to him.”[11] MT17:6 Now, hearing this the disciples were frightened and fell on their faces. MT17:7 Jesus approached the disciples and touching them, he said, “Rise and do not be afraid.” MT17:8 But, when the disciples looked up they saw nothing but Jesus himself. MT17:9 Now while descending the mountain Jesus charged[12] the three disciples: “Tell no one[13] about the vision[14] until the Son of Humankind[15] is raised from among those dead.”[16]

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[1] After six days: Mark 9:2 agrees though Luke 9:28 says, “But it happened about eight days after…” Some see the transfiguration as the fulfillment of what the Nazarene said earlier (Matthew 16:28). It ought to be observed that there is nothing in the “vision” which speaks of the arrival of Jesus’ kingdom in power.

[2] Peter, James, and John: Are these the primary foundation stones of the Congregation? Note in Mark 13:3 Andrew is added to a select group among the apostles.

[3] A very secluded place on a tall mountain: Or, KJV: into an high mountain apart; KNX: where they were along; LB: a high and lonely hill. Some believe this is that 9,000-foot mountain nearest Caesar Philippi, Mount Hermon.

[4] Jesus was metamorphosed: The Greek is METAMORPHOTHE. Or, KJV: transfigured; RHM: transformed; WMS: his appearance was changed; PME: his whole appearance changed before their eyes. Note a form of the word at Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18. According to Luke 9:29 this occurred “as he was praying.”

[5] Face illuminated like the sun: Or KJV: his faced did shine as the sun. Compare Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43; Revelation 1:14. Note, Exodus 34:29: “Moses did not know that the skin of his face emitted rays.” (NW) It is impossible not to include as a cross reference 2 Corinthians 3:7, 10, 15, 18 and the relationship with the “new covenant.”

[6] His cloak as white light: Or, ASV: garment became white as the light; RIEU: white as light itself. Mark 9:3 adds: “… far whiter than any clothes cleaner on earth could whiten them.” (Revelation 1:16)

[7] Moses and Elijah: Some see these two as representing the Law and the Prophets pointing to Messiah. The three are called “prophets.” The three all fast for 40 days. All three hear the Voice of God. All three are associated with the Name of God. All three are involved in the saving acts of God. Compare Malachi 4:4, 5. See notes on Revelation 11:5, 6.

[8] I shall make three tents: We note the spontaneity of Peter. Perhaps he expects these three to remain during the chilly night. He may create an evening bivouac from boughs and limbs of trees.

[9] Voice came from the cloud: This is the second of three cases where the Voice of God is heard, all in the presence of Jesus (Matthew 3:17; John 12:28). Peter gives his own inspired interpretation of this event at 2 Peter 1:16-18. The Voice is “God the Father.” The main point is the revelation of the “power and presence (PAROUSIA)” of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some wish to make this the second coming or that Parousia future from the days of Jesus and the disciples. (Matthew 24:3; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8; James 5:7, 8; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 John 2:28) Others see the parousia here as that first coming of the Nazarene.

[10] This is my beloved Son whom I approve: These are the words heard by John the Baptist and the Nazarene at his baptism (see notes at Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). Peter records the Voice at 2 Peter 1:17. The phrase is similar to a conflate of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1. Peter is to quote the context of Psalm 2:7 later at Acts 4:24; and, Paul Psalm 2:7 exactly at Acts 13:33, 34. Both apply Psalm 2 to that period upon the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to heaven as envisioned by Daniel 7:13. It is curious that this is witnessed only by three of the apostles and these are later told not to tell anyone (the other apostles?) of the vision (Matthew 17:9).

[11] Listen to him: Here is the main point of the whole episodic vision: to charge these three apostles to hear or listen in obedience to the Son (Note Hebrews 1:1). Matthew was not present on this occasion so must have learned the details from Peter, James, or John; and this after the resurrection of the Son of Humankind. “Listen” is a word occurring often in the Gospels: Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 18, 43; 15:10; Mark 4:3, 9, 20, 23, 33; 7:14; Luke 8:8, 18; 14:35; John 10:3, 16, 27.

[12] Jesus charged: Or, ASV: commanded; KNX: ward; MOF: ordered.

[13] Tell no one: We may assume this included the other nine apostles. What an awesome charge to confidence – a lesson for many an elder to keep confidentiality. On this matter compare Paul’s own at 2 Corinthians 12:4.

[14] The vision: The appearance of “Moses” and “Elijah” were visionary not the real persons alive. One may ask how these men recognized Moses and Elijah?

[15] Son of Humankind: Search or Find Son of Man or Son of Humankind.

[16] Raised from among those dead: Or, KJV: risen again from the dead; MON: raised from the dead. The dead themselves are not to be raised until, a) the Parousia of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:23); and, b) the end of the Thousand Years (1 Corinthians 15:24; Revelation 20:5).

 

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Preceding

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

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Related

  1. “Listen to Him!”
  2. Matthew 17 – The Mount of Transfiguration
  3. Matthew 17:1-8 The Terrifying Transfiguration
  4. Tip of the Day, September 19 Lessons of the Transfiguration
  5. Monday Motivation: The Revealing of Glory
  6. On a high mountain
  7. On the Mountain
  8. What Happened On The Mountain; Learning Under Jesus
  9. Transfiguration
  10. The Transfiguration
  11. The Transfiguration the Feast of the Transfiguration,
  12. Here We Read About The Wonderful Transfiguration Of Jesus!
  13. The Transfiguration of Our Lord
  14. Divine Glory and Sacrificial Love
  15. God’s Voice is Heard at the Transfiguration
  16. The Glory of Jesus Christ is Revealed at the Transfiguration
  17. They Saw No One but Jesus Only
  18. Does the Father affirm Jesus the Messiah is his Son?
  19. She Reads Truth | Matthew 17 & 18
  20. Transfiguration – Divinization and the Transmigration of Souls
  21. Transfiguring Humanity—Reflections on the Transfiguration of Christ
  22. Moses, Elijah and Jesus (Plus Four) Meet on a Mountain: The Feast of the Transfiguration
  23. The Transfiguration of Christ
  24. The Transfiguration of the Lord
  25. 4. Witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus
  26. Elijah & Elisha
  27. How Not to Be Terrified
  28. Acknowledge the Glory In You
  29. The Disciples’ Response to the Transfiguration

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
PARABLES ON KINGDOM MYSTERIES

Today we start looking at Jesus presenting some parables to those who were around him. In these times coming closer to the end times we do find lots of people who claim that they do not have to do any works any more because they are saved. For them it is clear that we do not have to do anything any more because (according to them) by the death of Christ all sins are forgiven, so it does not matter any more if we do some sins.

This thirteenth chapter for some Americans  bearing a number that brings misfortune, may bring bad luck in the end of their life, because they did not want to see that they still had to do a lot of work to make sure to go through the small gate of the Kingdom of God.

The followers and disciples of the Nazarene master teacher wondered why this eloquent rabbi so many times told stories which where not always so clear or were in a form of a parable. When the talmidim asked their master why he used stories to teach the people and spoke to them in parables, Jesus answered,

“You have been chosen [L It has been granted/given to you] to know [understand] the secrets [mysteries] about the kingdom of heaven, but others cannot know these secrets [L it has not been given/granted to those others].

With such a remark you may question who might be chosen to get to know those secrets Jesus was talking about. We must know that Jesus was sent by his heavenly Father to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God. That Only One True God gave the whole world His son. He was not for just a few. But it is up to all people to come to recognise the sent one from God and to accept him as the sent one from God and as the son of God. Depending on what people want to believe and who they want to follow they shall either be able to receive insight and come to understanding, or as Jesus warns those around him, when they prefer to hold fast on human traditions and human teachings instead of Scriptural teachings they will not be able to see clear, because first of all those human dogma‘s make it often very confusing for people or trick them in the wrong teachings. The apostle Matthew tells us in the previous and this chapter that we should open our ears and eyes and come to see the one who God has sent, so that by listening to the words of the master (instead of those of so called theologians) God shall see the heart of each individual and let His calling ripen so that understanding will be given more, and they will have all they need [an abundance]. But those who keep doubting or do not accept that Jesus is the sent one from God shall have more difficulties to understand what is said. Those who close their heart for God and His sent one shall receive not so much understanding. We are even warned it can be worse, namely that even the knowledge or understanding they have will be taken away from them. This is why Jeshua (Jesus Christ) uses stories to teach the people [L speak in parables]: because we might see a lot of people who look, but do not really want to see and to perceive.

Today we do find lots of godless people, but also lots of people who call themselves Christian, but do not adhere the teachings of Jesus Christ, neither do they worship the God of this Nazarene master teacher from the tribe of David. Jeshua, being born in a devout Jewish family (Essene family) worshipped the Only One True God Who is One and not three. He also wanted people around him to come to know that One God of Israel. He too could see that lots of people loved human traditions and preferred to keep to the words of philosophers and people who worked in the temples, but had introduced own findings in their teachings instead of keeping to the Torah.

Those people who liked those in charge of the temple and loved what they wanted to hear instead of loving what the Torah really said are exactly the same as the ones who today hang on the lips of the clergy but do not read the Bible or Word of God. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand. So we can see how the things Isaiah said in his prophecy were already fulfilled in Christ’s days, but still count for today too.

In these present times we also see lots of people who have taken them their own idols and gods and who are drifting about from one sort idea or hype to an other. They might sometimes listen with half an ear or go from one group to an other to listen and to keep on hearing or listen intently, but they will not understand.

We should listen to Jesus carefully and take care that we shall not become some one he could see around him who was looking but not seeing. Let us make sure that we look intently and have ears for what Jesus as son of God and authorised person of God has to tell us. Let us make sure that we come to hear, see and learn to perceive and comprehend.

We should not mind what others do find about our belief. Believing in only One God shall not be liked by many. Those who follow Jesus as their brother and not as their god shall receive a lot of opposition. Many shall try to thwart those who accept Jesus as the son and do not take him as their god. For the minds [hearts] of these people have become stubborn [dull; calloused; hardened] and we should know that they do not [hardly] hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears. They might really understand in their minds [with their hearts] and come back [turn; return] to Jesus and be healed, because the God of Israel is a God of order and God of clarity, loving His children and prepared to receive them back, when they where gone. But the world shall have to know that good and evil shall become separated. It is totally wrong to think that all people would come into heaven or into the Kingdom of God. Therefore Jesus gives us all those stories or parables so that we shall come to see and understand that we should be working at ourselves and have to be building ourself up in good soil, so that we can grow properly and become fruitful.

In Mark and Luke (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37) we learn that people were astonished at Jesus his teaching because his message had authority. We may not forget that this authority came from his heavenly Father, Jehovah God. Those who were given to him to listen to him he told about the Law (Matthew 5:17-20) of which Jesus did not come to abolish this or the Prophets, like those who say we do not need to do works believe. They forget that Jesus came to fulfil those writings and to make clear what we should or should not. In the fifteenth chapter we shall come to hear Jesus talking about purity and hear his warning against false teachings. In chapter 18 comes then the parable of the person who cannot forgive. Luke gives us the parable of the good Samaritan and is not afraid to show how Jesus criticises the religious leaders and tells the story of the rich fool, like we may encounter many (Luke 12:13-21).

Too many people do forget that they have to prepare themselves for the return of Christ (Luke 12:35-48). Too many people do forget what it means to walk on the right path, which is only a narrow road and that all people shall have to make their own choice and should make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because Jesus tells us that many will try to enter and won’t be able. And that is a recurring idea in the teachings of Christ.  (Luke 13:22-30)

It is not because Matthew does not tell about the parable of the lost coin, showing the importance to repent (a work to be done) (Luke 15:8-10) or the lost son (Luke 15:11-32) (to return to the Father) or about the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1-18) that we must not pay attention to the stories and warnings not told by Matthew.

To come to know the secret of the kingdom of God which has been given to the apostles we should learn from all those parables, not forgetting to look for willing to understand and to perceive.

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Preceding

True God giving His Word for getting wisdom

Daily portion of heavenly food

From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Sharing the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge

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Additional reading

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. Blindness in the Christian world
  3. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  4. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  5. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  6. the Bible – God’s guide for life #9 Gospels not only place to find ‘the mind which was in Christ’
  7. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  8. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  9. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  10. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  11. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  12. Hearing words to accept
  13. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8Missional hermeneutics 2/5What is a Christian?
  15. Only six of ten commandments of God still important to British Christians
  16. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  17. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  18. Two states of existence before God
  19. Sanctification and How To Pursue It
  20. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters
  21. Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more
  22. Today’s thought “Blessed people …” (July 27)
  23. Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth
  24. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  25. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  26. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  27. At the end of your life

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Related reading
  1. Jesus Didn’t Tell Parables for the Reason You Think
  2. Are You Teaching Your Kids About the Parables of Jesus?
  3. Of Sheep and Parables
  4. It stopped with them Only Listening
  5. Deceiving Yourself
  6. Kingdom of God
  7. ​ Which one are you?
  8. “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?” ~Jesus
  9. What Jesus Said
  10. “Thou Lovest Righteousness and Hatest Wickedness”
  11. what we see often depends on how we look
  12. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” ~Jesus
  13. Unlearning to Learn
  14. Fruitful Living
  15. The Kingdom of God is like a Farmer Growing Crops
  16. Four Prayers Based on the Parable of the Soil-Sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8)
  17. “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them.” ~Jesus
  18. Matthew 13丨C. H. Spurgeon
  19. Matthew 13丨John Calvin
  20. When God is Important to Us, We Find Joy
  21. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: No Cost Too Great
  22. Choose the Giver over the gift.
  23. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: Wheat and Weeds (pt. 1)
  24. Listen
  25. Don’t Be Surprised By Gospel Rejection
  26. AW Pink (1886-1952): The Prophetic Parables (p1)
  27. Cultivating Your Heart for a Spiritual Harvest
  28. God’s Kingdom: the Word
  29. Matthew 15: Watch your mouth
  30. Understanding Parables
  31. Trained By The Rabbi
  32. Matthew 25:1-13 ESVThe World as the Field

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