27 Nov 2014 by Solomon Wiser-
There was a spectacular scene only three disciples experienced with Jesus, but not the other nine disciples. In Matthew 17, we read about how Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John and brought them up to a high mountain.
This particular incident was so astonishing, breath-taking, and dramatic that Jesus was transfigured before them, changing into a glorious person of what He was and is and is to come; His face shone like a sun and His clothes emitted light.
Suddenly, they saw Moses and Elijah appearing before them, where they had a chat with Jesus. What was even more amazing is that they could recognized the people who appeared were Moses and Elijah. We know that Moses represents the law and Elijah, the prophets. You need to understand the background of these disciples; they were Jews who practiced and followed the law. For the law and the instructions of the prophets, the Jews have been practicing for about 1300 years. In just a chapter before this, in Matthew 16:12, Jesus warned his disciples to be on guard against the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were likened to yeast in bread, which is a catalyst to spread and expand. What are these teachings? They were all about the law and the instructions of the prophets.
Now, Peter in his naivety and enthusiasm suggested to build three tabernacles for all three of them, which were Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. If you read in Matthew 16:16, we know that Peter knew Jesus was the Son of the living God, which means Jesus is God Himself but He came in a form of human flesh. Somehow, Peter in his flesh wanted to put Jesus on par with Moses and Elijah by building the three tabernacles. Again in the chapter before this in Matthew 16:21, Jesus for the first time spoke about his death. The death of Jesus is the redemption of sin and the salvation of mankind. Only the blood of Jesus which is sinless can be sacrificed and can lead us to salvation. John 3:16 speaks about the grace of God, for God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but have eternal life.
Suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them and they were all in fear and trembling with their faces to the ground. In the olden times, whenever a cloud of God appeared, which was a dark cloud, and if you were not clean, you will probably die on the spot. This time a voice came from the bright cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)
God the Father didn’t say listen to Moses or listen to Elijah or listen to them!
God the Father only said only listen to him.
Listen to Jesus.
In other words, listen to the grace and do not listen to the law.
In fact, beware of the law because they were the yeast of the Pharisees. Then you asked: Didn’t Jesus said that He came not to abolish the law or the prophets? Yes he did. In Matthew 5:17, He came to fulfill them. His death with His sinless blood was shed for us. And He lived a life on earth in human flesh but was blameless and without blemished.
What man cannot fulfill in the law, Jesus fulfilled it. The Jews could not fulfill it as they still needed to offer bulls and rams as sin offering. David, the man who was after God’s heart, could not fulfill it but he knew the grace of God.
Listen to grace and you know you are listening to Jesus.
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