Summary: All of us know we need to have faith - but many of us have faith in the wrong thing. In this study Jesus reveals who He really is, and challenges us to trust in Him, not trust in faith.
A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at
On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school. Walking confidently
into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work.
When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.
Discipline was not a problem from that day forth!
(Courtesy Clean Laugh)
The point was that the students misunderstood what was really going on with the teacher – and the teacher has something fundamentally different about himself underneath the surface.
In a funny sort of way – that’s where we find the disciples today – misunderstanding Jesus, again – but seeing a revelation of Him in a way they have never seen before – and just like those students – it will blow them away.
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter 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."
5 While 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!"
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don’t be afraid." 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
Peter got a taste of heaven and didn’t want it to end. He forgot that Jesus had just told them that He was to suffer and die. We sometimes get a small glimpse of what God is doing in us – maybe its peace or answered prayer or healing – something that gives us that feeling that God is really here and working. Of course we don’t want it to end – but like Jesus we must realize that suffering will come but that eventually it’ll be like that day on the mountain everyday.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."
10 The disciples asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
This question came from Malachi 4:5-6 (the end of the Old Testament)
5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
The scribes believed that Elijah would come to usher in the Messianic age. It was a fair question.
11 Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
John the Baptist wasn’t the literal Elijah but was a prophet like Elijah that fulfilled all of Malachi’s prophecies of preparing the way for Messiah. Elijah himself, however, will return before the Lord’s second coming. The disciples didn’t yet understand Jesus’ first coming – and He’s certainly not ready to talk about the fact that He’s going to return.
Next comes a remarkable story that teaches us a lot about faith – but has also been largely misappropriated.
14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 "Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him."