Faithlife Sermons

Untitled Sermon (4)

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts

I. The prophecy of Jesus’ return. (16:28)

- Background:

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

- Background:
This is coming right on the heels of Jesus’ instruction about true discipleship.
says ““And Jesus was saying to them, ‘Truly I say to you, there are some of these who will no taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
‘truly I say to you’ is a revelatory phrase. Unlike the prophets who said ‘thus says the Lord’; Jesus word is the Word of truth so He doesn’t need that qualifier.
- Jesus is talking about those that are present.
* unlike the prophets who said ‘thus says the Lord’; Jesus word is the Word of truth.
- Jesus is talking about those that are present.
Understand that to make sense of this phrase, we must look at it through the eyes of this lens.
Dr. Tom Constable gives a helpful explanation for making sense of this verse: “This verse (v. 28) cannot mean that Jesus returned to set up the messianic kingdom during the lifetime of these disciples, since that did not happen. Neither does it mean that Jesus had already set up the kingdom when He spoke these words, as some writers have believed. What Jesus predicted would happen in the future rules this out. Some interpreters have taken Jesus' words as a reference to His resurrection and ascension. However, Jesus spoke of those events elsewhere as His "departure," not His "coming". Moreover, such a view interprets the kingdom in a heavenly sense, rather than in the earthly sense, in which the Old Testament writers consistently spoke of it.”
On account of the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, there has to be a literal reign of Jesus Christ over Israel in fulfilment of God’s promise.
- How does this fit into the passage?
- How does this fit into the passage?
* Jesus talked about the Son of Man coming in Glory with the holy angels, the 2nd coming.
* Jesus will suffer, be killed & resurrected before this happens. Also, there will be a time before Jesus comes back again, that true disciples should expect shame & harsh treatment (possible death).
* Before Jesus comes back again, true disciples should expect shame & harsh treatment (possible death).
* The encouragement for disciples is to fix their eyes on Jesus’ glorious 2nd coming.
- The tricky part is that some alive were told they would see this.
- The tricky part is that some alive were told they would see this.
If we didn’t have what follows in the next section, then we would be confused.
The purpose of making this announcement is that it will serve to be a reminder to Jesus’ future disciples about the coming reality.

II. The Transfiguration (17:1-13)

(1-2) Small Group Sees the coming change

And after 6 days Jesus took along Peter and James and John his brother and brought them up to the tall mountain with him privately.

- A special group is called to go on a short trip on the mountain.

These three men have a unique bond to Jesus because they are invited to certain things and are singled out as a sub group of the disciples.
The mountain is described as “tall”, which would be bigger than a big hill. The most likely place is Mount Hermon which has several peaks that are over 9,000 feet.
show picture

- A change occurs with Jesus

And he was changed before them and it was illumined before him as the sun, his clothes became white as light.

And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

- A change occurs with Jesus

The word “transfigured” comes from the Greek word μετεμορφώθη from where we get the word metamorphosis that speaks of changing or transforming in form.
It wasn’t his appearance that changed (as one goes from being unshaven and scruffy in appearance to being “well groomed”) but the form changed in front of them.
Specifically, the face of Jesus is so illuminated that it is like the brightness of the sun. In a similar vein, Jesus’ garments were the color of bright light, which isn’t just a type of white but a glow. (glow of light is different than light that is cast in a lamp)

- This brings to mind the picture of Exodus

In that passage, Moses went to Mt. Sinai to converse with God and he was changed by the shielded exposure to God’s glory.
“It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.”
Whereas Moses had a glow from being near God’s glory, Jesus radiates the glory of God and these men are able to see this for themselves.

- This is also a picture of the kingdom of God

has this imagery: “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.”
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.”
2 “For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
This is a picture of Messianic rule with the glory of God appear as light.
But the LORD will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
The Father is showing Jesus’ true glory that He possesses!
3 “Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

(3-4) Two more on the mountain

- Another amazing thing happens with the appearance of Moses and Elijah.

And behold Moses and Elijah became visible to them while talking with him.
4 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ· Κύριε, καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι· εἰ θέλεις, ποιήσω ὧδε τρεῖς σκηνάς, σοὶ μίαν καὶ Μωϋσεῖ μίαν καὶ Ἠλίᾳ μίαν.
Peter answered said to Jesus, Lord it is good for to be here. If you desire, I can make here three shelters, one to you and one to Moses and one to Elijah.

- Another amazing thing happens with the appearance of Moses and Elijah.

The emphatic “behold” is drawing attention to this as being unique (as we would expect it to be). We don’t know how the disciples recognized these men but Matthew doesn’t concern us with those details but rather that they were speaking with Jesus.
The significance of Elijah and Moses was that they represent two major periods of Israel’s history and their testimony pointed beyond themselves to someone greater (ultimately pointing to Jesus Christ, culminating in Him on the Day of The Lord)
> They represent two major periods of Israel’s history
> Their testimony pointed beyond themselves to someone greater
(ultimately pointing to Jesus Christ, culminating in Him on the Day of The Lord)
This is meant to be further validation of the glory of Jesus Christ.

- Peter’s enthusiasm is misplaced because of the desire to build.

Peter recognizes that this is a blessing to be able to experience this.
He asks the Lord’s permission (i.e. if it is in God’s will) that he should build some temporary structures so that the visit could last longer.
There is also the possibility that Peter may have expected Moses and Elijah to be part of the ushering in of God’s kingdom, which would be happening right away in Peter’s mind.

(5-6) God’s arrival

- The overwhelming mouth of Peter gets overwhelmed.

> They represent two major periods of Israel’s history
> Their testimony pointed beyond themselves to someone greater
(ultimately pointing to Jesus Christ, culminating in Him on the Day of The Lord)
> This is meant to be further validation of the glory of Jesus Christ
5 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος ἰδοὺ νεφέλη φωτεινὴ ἐπεσκίασεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα· Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα· ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.
While still speaking with him behold a radiant cloud overshadowed them. And behold a voice from the could said this is my beloved son, in whom I am pleased. Listen to him.
6 καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα.
And after his disciples heard they fell upon their face and they were greatly afraid.

- The overwhelming mouth of Peter gets overwhelmed.

While Peter was in the middle of talking about this a cloud full of brightness comes upon all of them. This vision would be so strange because clouds usually block the light rather than radiate light like the sun.
While a cloud is thought of as “overshadowing” people leaving them in darkness, here the brightness radiated upon everyone covering them in light. If you have ever been on a mountain that gets overshadowed by a cloud (or flying into a cloud), this would be the sensation. Only, it is brightness that covers everyone and makes it impossible to see.
The voice of God comes out of the cloud and interrupts Peter in a way that is overwhelming to all present.

- The words are similar but different.

Considering the reality of Moses being present, this brings to mind “The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.”
Here, the voice of God is for the benefit of Peter, James and John. It is affirming Jesus as the Son of God (as done in ) with the added words “listen to him”.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
These words are probably echoing the language found in “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”
If you add that to “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” It emphasizes that Jesus is the climax of Biblical revelation in person and words.
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

- The response to this is fear.

2 ain these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the fworld.
They have great fear in response to the nearness of God’s revealed glory. The posture is one found in worship and reverence for God. Yet, it we mustn’t lessen the picture by taking away the real sense of fear.
We can talk about a sense of fear for authority figures or parents that comes out of respect for them and reverence for the authority they have been given. However, this type of fear of God has no equal in making a comparison.
I have tried to draw a mental picture for the type of “fear” that also comes from being afraid but there is no one whom in presence and actuality could elicit the type of fear that God does in showing just a small sliver of His glory.
We see a similar reaction from God’s lesser display of His glory in . “All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”
19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

(7-8) A meaningful response

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

- Jesus approaches them first

Jesus approached them and while touching them said: arise and do not be afraid.
8 ἐπάραντες δὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν οὐδένα εἶδον εἰ μὴ αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον.
And lifting up their eyes they saw no one except Jesus alone.

- Jesus approaches them first

The three men are on their faces and not looking up as Jesus comes to them. In reality, the men’s eyes would be closed if the light was so bright that they couldn’t see anyone else.
Jesus touches them and brings reassurance to them in a form of comfort. We know that the touch was to calm them down because Jesus’ words are to stand up and to not be afraid.
In a nutshell this is what the Gospel does for a believer: We recognize ourselves for being inadequate because of our sin; we recognize the magnificence of God in all His glory; it produces a type of fear that makes one afraid of the judgment of God; and in one’s helpless state of condemnation for sin, Jesus work of atonement on the cross and resurrection comes to the repentant sinner and he/she trusts in Jesus alone.

- Jesus’ presence alone is affirmation of His greatness

When the men look up at Jesus Christ, Moses and Elijah are gone.
What is implicit in that statement is that the cloud of divine glory has dissipated because they are able to look around and see no one else.
The presence of Jesus alone points to the focus that all of Israel’s history and all of the history of mankind point to Him as being the center point for making all things new.
Here, is what 16:28 was talking about. The type of glory shown here is what these three disciples get to view.

(9) Warning to be silent

- They are warned to not speak about this vision.

And when they came down from the mountain Jesus instructed them saying no one tell the vision until the son of man is raised from death.

- They are warned to not speak about this vision.

As they are coming down from the mountain, Jesus gave specific instructions to wait to talk about this vision.
He tells them after His resurrection that they could share what they experienced on that mountain.
The fact that Jesus spoke to these men about resurrection and connecting it with the vision should make them see the connection to God’s Kingdom.

- The reason for silence is the problem of the wrong perceptions of Jesus.

So much of the misunderstanding about Jesus being the messiah is focused upon national politics.
What the disciples saw and experienced would only serve as fuel to the fire for those wanting a messiah that would lead Israel to war against Rome. (talk about missing the boat.

(10-13) Making sense of Prophecy

- After seeing Elijah in the vision, they ask Jesus about him.

And the disciples asked him saying therefore what did the Scribes say that it is necessary for Elijah to come first?

- After seeing Elijah in the vision, they ask Jesus about him.

According to it says“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2 Teaching the Way of the Cross (Matthew 17:9–13, 22–3)

Bit by bit, this idea of the coming of Elijah gathered detail, until the Jews came to believe that not only would Elijah come, but he would restore all things before the Messiah came; that he would, we might put it, make the world fit for the Messiah to enter into. The idea was that Elijah would be a great and terrible reformer, who would walk throughout the world destroying all evil and setting things to rights. The result was that both the forerunner and the Messiah were thought of in terms of power.

They wonder about Jesus coming before Elijah and they wonder about this idea of suffering when it appears restoration was to occur with this prophecy.

- Jesus affirms that prophecy involving a prophet like Elijah is true

Instead of setting aside the prophetic voice of Malachi, Jesus does affirm Elijah coming and that He does to restore everything.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
The further explanation by Jesus Christ is that He had already come and that the people at large did not recognize this man. Especially, the religious leaders that held influence over the people because of the opposition that Jesus experienced.
This prophet didn’t receive the response expected but the reaction was to respond harshly. As Leon Morris states “They ill-treated him, and this is described in the words did to him whatever they wanted (“worked their will upon him,” NEB). Whatever they wanted indicates that they acted toward him as though there was nothing to be considered but their own will. They did not realize that they were answerable to God for their mistreatment of God’s own messenger to them.”
The ill treatment of this prophet is also indicative of the type of suffering that would occur with the Messiah as well.

- It was at this point that the disciples knew it was John the Baptist.

11 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· Ἠλίας μὲν ἔρχεται καὶ ἀποκαταστήσει πάντα·
and he answering he said on the one hand Elijah comes and he will restore everything.
12 λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι Ἠλίας ἤδη ἦλθεν, καὶ οὐκ ἐπέγνωσαν αὐτὸν ἀλλὰ ἐποίησαν ἐν αὐτῷ ὅσα ἠθέλησαν· οὕτως καὶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου μέλλει πάσχειν ὑπʼ αὐτῶν.
And he said to them that Elijah already came and they didn’t recognize him but they do whatever they want in him thus alsot he son of man remains to suffer under them.
Then the disciples understood that concerning John the Baptist said to them.
[1] Holmes, M. W. (2011–2013). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (). Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature.
Related Media
Related Sermons