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Mountaintop Experiences

(Matthew 17:1-13)

Lesson 12 -- first quarter 2010
February 21, 2010

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2010

Transformed up high

I don't know how well acquainted Peter, James, and John were with the writings of Daniel. It may well be that this transfiguration became (or would later become) the conclusive proof of Jesus' true identity. Their Master was Jehovah, the Ancient of days (Daniel 7:9)!

Perhaps in part because of this experience, John would later decisively identify the Lord. On the mount, John saw Him, "and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." In his vision of heaven, John again saw Him -- "His head and his hairs were white like wool...and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength" (Revelation 1:14,16).

Transfigured. What does that mean to you? To me it means that Jesus was so changed in appearance that, had they not witnessed this event, they would not have recognized Him. The difference was as dramatic as the difference between the pre-cocoon wooly worm and the post-cocoon butterfly.

Transfigured. What does that mean for you? That is what happened when you surrendered your life unconditionally to the Lord. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26). But that isn't all!

To be transfigured is to be transformed. The writers who used transfigured to describe Jesus in the Gospels and transformed to describe us in Romans 12:2 used the same Greek word! So this radical metamorphosis which happened to Jesus and happens to butterflies is to happen also in our minds! A change so pronounced and so out of character with what we used to be that it renders us unrecognizable!

How does this happen to me and you? This happens as we allow God unconditional free course in our lives. This comes about as we expose ourselves to the Lord's glory, the Lord's Word, and the Lord's Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). This happens only to those who walk faithfully in the Way, obey the Truth and live in the Light.

Do not ever underestimate or despise God's purposes for you as His image bearer among men. Long before your great-grandparents were even born, long before the world ever was, God knew you. If He knew you as His child, then Romans 8:29 is for you to never forget -- "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

You have to come down!

I like life's highs (even though sometimes I find myself dreading the lows that I know are sure to come).

"Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here..." (Matthew 17:4).

Apparently good ole Peter wanted to prolong the experience.

I would have also, I'm sure.

But we have to come down.

Jesus went with them.

I'm glad He goes with me as well.

This concludes my comments based on the passage for the International Bible Study. To read my comments on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications, click here: Perils of the Endtime.

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