Master to Messiah Day 19

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Week 4 >> Day 4

>> READ

Matthew 17:1-13
The Transfiguration
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.

Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.

As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Then his disciples asked him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?”

Jesus replied, “Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn’t recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer.” Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.

>> CONSIDER

Leaving the other disciples behind, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John, his ‘inner circle’ of disciples, up to a high mountain. There He is transfigured before them. The word transfigured refers to a transformation that is not merely manifested outwardly. The word comes from the same word that we get “metamorphosis”, and denotes a change of inmost nature. The transformation is so dramatic that Jesus’ face shines like the sun and His clothes become a brilliant blinding white!

Moses and Elijah then show up with Jesus on the mountain. The three of them speak together. In Luke’s gospel, we learn that they talk about His upcoming death in Jerusalem.

Seeing the three of them together, Peter impetuously suggests that they make three shelters or booths, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. But a voice from a bright cloud interrupts him and makes it clear that the focus and attention should be on Jesus. “Hear Him!” The bright light and the booming voice from the cloud frighten the three disciples, and they fall covering their faces. Jesus gently comes and touches them and tells them to not be afraid. When they look up, Elijah and Moses are gone and only Jesus remains. They are forced to focus on Him. Too often, we have spiritual events in our lives where Jesus is revealed more clearly to us. However, once the event is over, it is over. Our eyes do not remain on Jesus, but on the event itself. We lose a proper focus.

The disciples must be completely in awe after the experience of Jesus’ transfiguration. Coming down the mountain, Jesus warns them not to say anything about it until after His resurrection. They seem to miss that statement because they do not ask Jesus about it. Instead they focus on what the teachers of the law were teaching about Elijah.

>> PRAY

Ask God to open your heart and mind and show you more of Himself. Reflect on a powerful time in your life when God has revealed Himself to you. Thank Him for that, and ask Him to help you grow even more.

>> APPLY

  • Have you ever had a “mountaintop experience” that was so powerful that you never wanted to leave that moment or go back to your day to day life?
  • What specific things can you do to keep your focus on Jesus following a spiritual breakthrough?
  • Pray that as you conclude this devotional season, you will continue to know Jesus more intimately, follow Him more closely, and understand more clearly His rightful place as Messiah.

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