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Matthew 17:2, 4-5 (NIV) 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Scholars struggle with the location of this mountain. They believed it was Mount Tabor until an archeological discovery showed that people lived on Tabor at that time. Remember, they were in Caesarea Philippi immediately preceding this. Many now believe it was Mount Hermon. The prophets, Moses and Elijah, talked with Jesus, and Jesus’ glory was revealed. Moses may be representing the Law and Elijah the prophets. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the prophets.
What they spoke of is a mystery. Peter, never at a loss for something to say, suggested he build three shelters for them so they could stay awhile. Mountain top experiences are short and powerful times of encouragement to strengthen us for the return to the valley. We aren’t meant to stay up there. Our work is down here among humanity. It is interesting that Jesus warned them of His death before He allowed them to see His glory.
The only other words recorded from this experience are that of Almighty God. God repeated what He had said at Jesus’ baptism, only He added one more sentence. “Listen to Him!” The Jews understood a cloud to be the presence of God. They had the story of the cloud on Mount Sinai. Notice the passage says, “while he was still speaking”. God interrupted Peter. Peter had nothing important to say, but Jesus does. This man, Jesus, is the Son of God. He is loved of God. His actions are pleasing to God. You better listen to Him! That is what Moses prophesied 1500 years earlier in Deuteronomy 18:15 (NIV) The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. God said it through Moses, and then He spoke directly to them. Listen to Jesus!
Consider: We often wish God would speak to us in an audible voice. I think if He did, you would hear the same message. He has been speaking it throughout the ages. “Listen to Jesus!” Take the time to hear Him today. Wayside Chapel
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