This morning we will be studying Matthew’s account of the transfiguration of Jesus (17v1-13). This was truly an awesome experience for Peter, James and John as they glimpsed something of the glory of the Lord. Let me highlight two, perhaps subsidiary, aspects to this remarkable event:
- Jesus’ temptation – John Stott has pointed out that, if Jesus’ transfigured body was effectively His resurrected, glorious body, then presumably He could have stepped straight back into glory with His Father, without pressing on to the cross to die. But He didn’t! We can also note that He didn’t listen either to Peter’s blurted out suggestion to remain on the mountain top in one of his DIY shelters. Jesus wouldn’t be delayed or diverted from the road to Calvary. He resisted any temptation to choose the easy road, to go His own way. This indeed is an element of His glory demonstrated in His transfiguration. Do you not worship and love Him and want to follow in His footsteps?
- Jesus’ touch – the 3 disciples fall facedown to the ground, terrified, when they hear the Father’s voice from the bright cloud (v5,6). It’s easy to miss – and, in fact, only Matthew mentions this – that Jesus came to Peter, James and John “and touched them”, saying, “Get up. Don’t be afraid.” How often Jesus said such words! How reassuring His touch must have been – especially to Peter, who a few days earlier had been sternly rebuked by Jesus (“Get behind Me, Satan!” (16v23)). He comes in the same way to us today: perhaps we are fearful, perhaps we have fallen on our faces and He extends His hand and says “Get up. Don’t be afraid.”
Peace and Grace