The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 81

Yeshua’s Preparation of the Emissaries for the End ~ Part 3

In our last post, we examined Yeshua’s Preparation of the Emissaries for the End, including suffering foretold, taking up our cross, and Kingdom within a lifetime. In this post, we examine His Transfiguration.

Yeshua’s Transfiguration

I have always been fascinated with His Transfiguration. It means a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state. Not only that, but how did His three talmidim know that the two people with Him were Moshe and Eliyahu?

Six days later, Yeshua took Kefa, Ya’akov, and his brother Yochanan and led them up a high mountain privately. As they watched, He began to change form – His face shone like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light. Then they looked and saw Moshe and Eliyahu speaking with Him.

Yeshua’s face shone like the sun, and his clothing became white as light. Why? So that his glory would not be less than that of Moshe and Eliyahu, who was speaking with Him. According to Jewish tradition, when God sent an angel at the end of Moshe’s life to fetch his soul, he “saw Moshe sitting and writing down the Unutterable Name of God, and how the radiance of his appearance was like that of the sun.” This is an aggadic (Text recited at the Seder on the first two nights of the Jewish Passover) extension of what the Tanakh itself says about him, “that the skin of his face shone” (Exodus 34:29–35).

Kefa said to Yeshua, “It’s good that we’re here, Lord. I’ll put up three shelters if you want – one for you, one for Moshe, and one for Eliyahu.” 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 whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the talmidim heard this, they were so frightened that they fell face down on the ground. But Yeshua came and touched them. Get up!” He said, “Don’t be afraid.” So they opened their eyes, looked up, and saw only Yeshua by himself.

As they came down the mountain, Yeshua ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

The Transfiguration confirmed Yeshua’s“coming in his kingdom” (Mattityahu 16:28) to these three talmidim. Still, without the more public confirmation which followed His resurrection, the testimony would have been of little value in proving Yeshua’s identity. It would have raised more questions than it answered. Hence Yeshua advised keeping quiet about what they had experienced for the time being.

10 The talmidim asked Him, “Then why do the Torah-teachers say that Eliyahu must come first?”

The Torah-teachers say Eliyahu must come first. This teaching is based on Malachi 3:1 and 3:23–24, and it is kept alive in Judaism every Pesach, at the Seder meal, when an extra place is set for Eliyahu HaNavi (“Elijah the prophet”). The door is opened to welcome him, should he be there.

Three points: (1) Yochanan the Immerser, “if you are willing to accept it,” was Eliyahu (Mattityahu 11:10–14), and (2) Eliyahu himself had, in fact, “come first” by appearing there on the mountain (v. 3), and (3) Eliyahu may yet appear before Yeshua’s second coming (see Revelation 11:3–6).

11 He answered, “On the one hand, Eliyahu is coming and will restore all things; 12 on the other hand, I tell you that Eliyahu has come already, and people did not recognize him but did whatever they pleased to him. In the same way, the Son of Man too is about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the talmidim understood that he was talking to them about Yochanan the Immerser. [1]

In our last post, we continued to examine our topic on Yeshua’s Preparation of the Emissaries for the End. In our next post, we will examine Yeshua’s Preparation of the Emissaries for the End by looking at Yeshua Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Mattityahu 17:1–13 (see also Mark 9:2-13 & Luke 9:28-36b).

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