The *disciples see Jesus as he is in *heaven

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 6 - Who is Jesus? - Part 5

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

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Matthew 17:1-13

In Matthew 16, Peter said that Jesus was the Christ [that is, the *Messiah].

Jesus appears in a new way

Six days after Peter said this about Jesus, Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain. (It was probably Mount Hermon, which is near Caesarea Philippi.) This event is called the 'transfiguration'. On the mountain, Jesus appeared to them in a new way. His clothes became white and shone brightly. Jesus' face shone like the sun.

Many years afterwards, God allowed John to see Jesus as he is in *heaven (Revelation 1:13-16). On this mountain, the three *disciples saw something that was like that.

Moses and Elijah

Then Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus. They spoke about the death of Jesus, which would happen at Jerusalem. Then Peter offered to make shelters for each of them. (Peter's words were stupid. He did not think about his words before he spoke. Perhaps he was too excited when he saw this wonderful event.)

Then a cloud covered them. The cloud was a sign that God was there. God spoke to them, but they could only hear his voice. They could not see him. He said this:

This is my Son, whom I love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!’ (Matthew 17:5.)

The disciples were afraid and they fell to the ground. Jesus touched them. When they looked up, Jesus was there alone.

Lessons from this event

This event shows several things:

·  Moses and the *prophets recognised Jesus. Jesus was doing all that they had said. After he became alive again, Jesus would teach his *disciples more about this (Luke 24:25, Luke 24:45-49).

·  Jesus would die on the *cross. This was the way that he would go back to *heaven. It was also the way that he would bring people to God.

·  Jesus is the one and only Son of God. Everyone should listen carefully to his words.

The experience of the *disciples on the mountain showed them what would happen in the future. Jesus would have great *glory in *heaven. The *disciples would be with him there.

But Jesus told them not to tell anyone about this experience at that time. The time would come for them to tell about him. First, Jesus would die. Then, he would come alive again. The time to tell people would be after those events.

The *prophet's words about Elijah

One point worried the *disciples. They were sure that Jesus was the promised *Messiah. But a *prophet had said that Elijah would come before the *Messiah.

Malachi 4:5-6: See, the great day of the *Lord will come. Before that, I will send the *prophet Elijah to you. He will help fathers to love their children. And he will help children to love their fathers. If not, I will come. I will bring bad things to the land.

‘Where was Elijah’? the *disciples asked. Jesus replied that John the Baptist had made the *prophet’s words true. But, Jesus added, the people did not recognise John's importance. Now Herod had killed John. Similarly, Jesus himself would soon suffer. Evil people would kill Jesus.

Malachi's words had come true by John the Baptist. And the words of other *prophets who wrote about the *Messiah's death would soon come true as well.

 

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