Revealed | Matthew 17:1-13 | Jason Williams
Topic: New Testament Passage: Matthew 17:1–13
Revealed // Matthew 17:1-13 // 7.10.22 //
Good Morning! It is so good to be with you!
My name is Jason Williams – I am the lead Pastor of Harvest Community Church in Selah, WA – just north of Yakima. If you are ever on the east side of the Cascades, please come and visit us. I have lived in the Yakima Valley since 1998, when my wife and I moved from Michigan to the Northwest. I served at a church in Yakima for 11 years and then became their second church-planting pastor. My wife Christy and I have 5 kids, 3 girls and 2 boys and our oldest will be getting married this summer.
We got married when we were 10 – that is why my wife looks so youthful. In 2009 we planted the church and they have been fruitful and difficult years. You see – when you set out to follow Jesus, the opponent… the evil one takes notice of you to a greater degree. These past years have been good and they have been challenging and that is why Pastors and churches have been encouraging this idea of Sabbatical.
I have been praying for your church and I have been praying for your pastor. Praying for both Pastor Chris and Tara as well as the church – because both the church and the Pastor must work through this time of Sabbatical. In 2019, I was able to enjoy a great time of Sabbatical. It was challenging because as a Pastor your heart is for your people and yet you know that the best thing we can do is to entrust our people to the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
While I was on Sabbatical – I went back east because much of our family is still in Michigan and I wanted my kids who have been born and raised on the West Coast to see the other side of the nation… the east coast.
We went on a road trip to Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City…. Some much history to be seen but I have to tell you. One of my favorite sites to visit was in New York. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
To witness those massive feet, standing on that pedestal, I had heard of her beauty but to truly see her revealed in all that splendor was amazing.
You know you can see her on a movie, on a postcard and in books… but to witness the colossus in person was a little overwhelming.
The sermon today is called “Revealed” and we are meant to see – truly get our hearts and minds gazing on the Savior Jesus Christ – the King of Heaven.
If you have a Bible, would you take it out? We are Bible people here at Mercy Fellowship. We will be in the second half of your Bible – find the book of Matthew and turn to chapter 17.
To help us understand what the Lord wants to reveal to us today, we actually must back up and read in chapter 16.
In Matthew chapter 16 – Jesus has revealed as the Messiah to his disciples. It began with a question who do people say that I am? Several opinion were thrown out by the disciples and then Jesus made it very personal. He said, who do YOU say I am?
This is the most important question of your lifetime. How you answer this question, determines not only how you will live but how you will spend eternity.
Peter answered – You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Jesus then revealed that he must suffer and die and Peter confronts Jesus and wants no part of this negative talk of suffering and dying. Jesus wants to talk of conquering and winning. Now it Jesus’ turn to confront Peter and he says get behind me Satan because it is clear Peter had agenda that was in opposition to Christ’s agenda and reeks of Satan.
Jesus then spoke of God’s agenda and his agenda is one of submission and salvation – Yes, but it is also one of suffering. Ultimately, there will be victory and glory.
READ Matthew 16:27-28
Jesus is speaking prophetically and it seems like it is a long way off until he states, there are some standing here who not taste death until they see the Son of Man (Jesus) coming in his kingdom.
This chapter division in Matthew is an unfortunate break in the flow of this biblical passage. Jesus had just said that some standing with Him would not die before they saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom
READ Matthew 17:1
There are some of you who will not taste death until they see the Song of Man coming in his kingdom… AND after six days. (Note here: the Gospel of Luke says eight days and that easily reconciled as Luke is a stickler for details – he will include the day that Jesus says this and the day after due to how eastern people calculate time. I mention this because – people have thrown away their faith for less.
Now let’s with fresh eyes see Jesus revealed in his Glory in front of us.
READ Matthew 17:1-13
I want to share with you four observations that are revealed to us regarding Jesus that we must hold onto. These points are not original to me in fact they are from a Pastor and teacher Warren Wiersbe who I had the pleasure meeting in my 20’s and who is witnessing the glory of Jesus as he is in heaven now with his Savior.
- REVEALED: The Glory of His Person
The radiance of His glory was evidenced in His face and in His garments that became as white as the light. Moses and Elijah appeared from heaven in some visible form and talked with Jesus (thus demonstrating that conscious existence follows death). Luke wrote that Moses and Elijah talked with Jesus about His coming death (Luke 9:31).
As far as the record is concerned, this is the only time Jesus revealed His glory in this way while He was on the earth. The word translated transfigured gives us our English word “metamorphosis.” A metamorphosis is a change on the outside that comes from the inside. When a caterpillar builds a cocoon and later emerges as a butterfly, it is due to the process of metamorphosis.
Our Lord’s glory was not reflected but radiated from within. There was a change on the outside that came from within as He allowed His essential glory to shine forth (Heb. 1:3).
Certainly this event would strengthen the faith of the disciples, particularly Peter who had so recently confessed Jesus to be the Son of God. Had Peter made his confession after the Transfiguration, it would not have been so meaningful. Peter believed, confessed his faith, and then received assurance (see John 11:40; Heb. 11:6).
Many years later, John recalled this event as the Spirit guided him to write:
READ John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth
We are people who love to have mysteries revealed. Where the Titanic was on the bottom of the Ocean, what it looks like on the surface of the moon, and the gender reveal of a baby.
Here is Jesus being revealed in his glory. The clothes are brilliant, his face shone like the sun, it should make you think of Moses – who had to cover his face because it reflected the glory of God. Here is Jesus – radiating glory, not reflecting it.
Artists over time have tried to capture it – but no truly can. We don’t have the right pallet of colors and light.
Bruges - The Transfiguration of the Lord by D. Nollet (1694) in st. Jacobs church (Jakobskerk)
See Jesus for who he truly is – You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God
- REVEALED: The Glory of His Kingdom
Why were Moses and Elijah, of all Old Testament people, present on this occasion?
Perhaps these two men and the disciples suggest all the categories of people who will be in Jesus’ coming kingdom. The disciples represent individuals who will be present in physical bodies. Moses represents saved individuals who have died or will die. Elijah represents saved individuals who will not experience death, but will be caught up to heaven alive (1 Thes. 4:17).
These three groups will be present when Christ institutes His kingdom on earth. Furthermore the Lord will be in His glory as He was at the transfiguration, and the kingdom will take place on earth, as this obviously did. The disciples were thus enjoying a foretaste of the kingdom the Lord promised.
- REVEALED: The Glory of His Cross
READ Luke 9:30-31
And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem
Moses and Elijah talked with Jesus about His “exodus” that He would accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). His suffering and death would not be an accident, but an accomplishment. Peter used the word exodus in describing his own impending death (2 Peter 1:15). For the believer, death is not a one-way street into oblivion. It is an exodus—a release—from the bondage of this life into the glorious liberty of the life in heaven.
- REVEALED: The Glory of His Submission
Peter could not understand why the Son of God would submit to evil men and willingly suffer. The Transfiguration was God’s way of teaching Peter that Jesus is glorified when we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. The world’s philosophy is “Save yourself!” but the Christian’s philosophy is “Yield yourself to God!” As He stood there in glory, Jesus proved to the three disciples that surrender always leads to glory. First the suffering, then the glory; first the cross, then the crown.
Peter seemed to sense the significance of the event for he suggested that he erect three shelters, for Jesus, Moses, and … Elijah. He saw in this event the fulfillment of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles which looked two ways: backward to the wanderings in the wilderness for 40 years, and forward to Israel’s full enjoyment of God’s blessings when He would gather His people to the land. Peter was correct in his understanding of what was taking place (he saw the kingdom) but he was wrong in his timing.
Why is this last point so important for us? Here in the West, in America – we do not prize or value submission. Last weekend we celebrated that we threw off the shackles of tyranny and that we would not listen to the King. #Merica
Listen to these words again.
READ Matthew 17:5-6
Didn’t fall on their faces when Jesus was transfigured in Glory, didn’t fall on their faces when Moses and Elijah were right there. But when the Father spoke these words of Love and affirmation… they hit the deck.
If you are a Christian – I want you to hear these words spoken over you because of the work of Jesus. The Father in Heaven says of you – You ARE Loved – some of us desperately need to hear these words today. You are MY Son. You are MY daughter. With YOU I am well Pleased.
Jesus has been revealed before us in scripture today.
The Holy Spirit is speaking to you today. See him for who he is. Listen, to what he says of you.
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