Summary: Even though we have read the record of the Transfiguration many times, I feel we have not fully understood that it is a prophetic preview of the Second Coming of Jesus. The Transfiguration was actually a glimpse of Glory and a foretaste of the future.
James O. Davis is the founder and president of Second Billion (TM). You are invited to learn more about Second Billion by visiting www.billion.tv.
Even though we have read the record of the Transfiguration many times, I feel we have not fully understood that it is a prophetic preview of the Second Coming of Jesus. The Transfiguration was actually a glimpse of Glory and a foretaste of the future. Part of the reason is because of the chapter divisions of Matthew 16 and 17. Realize that the Scriptures are inspired, but the numbers are not. In fact, it was a long time before the chapter divisions were placed in the Bible. Some were not inserted correctly and have thus divided subjects and caused some confusion.
Jesus began to talk about His Second Coming right before the start of Matthew 17. Notice the two verses at the end of chapter 16, which seem to present a discrepancy, because Jesus had said, “Some of you who are standing here shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.”
Was Jesus right or wrong? He was not wrong. The Transfiguration was a microcosm of the Second Coming when you put the pieces of the entire picture together. It was a prophetic preview. It was a foretaste of the future. It was a picture that Matthew was recording for the saints concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. As we study this portion of Scripture, I want us to learn three primary lessons about the Transfiguration as it relates to the Second Coming.
FIRST, LEARN WHAT THIS PERIOD INDICATED
A) Notice the Duration -- Matthew 17:1 says, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart.” I want you to notice the duration. The Word says, “after six days.” This was nearly a week after Jesus had said that some of those that were standing there would see Him coming in His Kingdom.
The Old Testament prophets never saw the church age; they always saw Jesus Christ coming in His glory and power. They preached it like it was about to happen. In the New Testament, the disciples are also preaching the soon return of Jesus.
When Peter preached to the crowd on the Day of Pentecost, he first told the story from Joel. He then leaped over the church age and preached about the signs in the moon and stars and what was going to take place during the Tribulation. Then he says, “This same Jesus who left here is going to come back again.”
Understand that Matthew was sharing about the Second Coming of Jesus. If it was to be soon then, it is definitely soon now. I want you to see the duration, but also the division.
B) Notice the Division -- Peter, James and John were with Jesus. The rest of the disciples, and many other people, were also there on that occasion. They heard Jesus say that “some would not pass away before He would come in His glory and Kingdom.” Although many today are in the work of the Lord, or may be faithful to attend the house of the Lord, still some are not ready for His return. There will be a division as to who is ready when Jesus comes in His glory. I want you to see that there is a division, but that there also is a departure.