On The Mountain With Jesus

Preached At Riverview Baptist The Evening Of May 14, 2017
798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN

1

Matthew 17:1-9  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  [2]  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  [3]  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him.  [4]  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.  [5]  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  [6]  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  [7]  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.   [8]  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.  [9]  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 

Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a high mountain with Him.

Why didn’t Jesus take all the disciples with Him?

Because He was grooming LEADERS.

Peter Is The Chief APOSTLE

James will be the PASTOR of the Church at Jerusalem

John would write the majority of the New Testament for Christ

God’s Leaders Must Be With Jesus

God’s Leaders must focus on Jesus. God wants you to be a leader, a world changer, but your focus must always be Jesus. The Apostle wrote:

Hebrews 2:9-10 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. [10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

We see Jesus. We follow Jesus. We follow Him through the storm. We keep our eyes on Him. We are His followers – not followers of the world or of popular opinion, but of Jesus.

Jesus Is The Leader, We The Followers

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus TAKETH Peter

Six days prior to this event Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that He was going to the Cross. Jesus told Peter, “Get thee behind Me, Satan, for you do not savor the things that be of God”. Peter failed Jesus, but still when Jesus starts to take a road trip up the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus still takes Peter with Him.

God knows there are going to be times when we fail, but God wants us to keep on trying. After Jesus called Peter “Satan” Peter could have walked away mad. Peter didn’t. He received the rebuke and, though he may not have understood it, he continued to lovingly follow Jesus.

Those who want to be blessed must be willing to lovingly follow Jesus.

Jesus knew that there would be times we would fail. The Bible says that:

1 John 3:20 (KJV) … if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

God knows all things. Jesus knew that King David – a man after His own heart – would fail Him with Bathsheba. God knew that Moses would strike the Rock, that Elijah would run in terror from Jezebel, that Samson would get a bad haircut from Delilah, and that Peter would betray Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.

Isaiah 46:9-11 (KJV) … I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Psalm 139:1-6 (ESV) O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

God never gave up on Peter, and He will never give up on you. Peter is mentioned FIRST not LAST. We also read:

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  

Jesus TAKETH Peter, James, and John. Christ takes us to the mountain. We have no power to go into the mountain of God by ourselves. We have no ability to get there but by Christ, but by God.

God must take us by the hand and lead us.

Psalm 3:3 NASB But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

Psalms 40:1-2 …. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. [2] He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

Habakkuk 3:18-19 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION. [19] The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Those people who are God’s people are to learn to wait upon the Lord. To listen for His Voice. To heed His direction. Jesus did not MAKE Peter, James, and John come with Him. He bid them come, and they heard His Voice. Peter, James and John did not lead Jesus up the Mount of Transfiguration. He called, and they answered. He led, and they followed.

Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalms 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

Waiting on the Lord does NOT mean to lay down and do nothing. It means to seek His face. It means to follow Him and listen to His Voice. It means to let Him lead your hearts as you submit to His Word and His love.

Jesus Is Manifest To Us When We Follow Him

The casual or nominal believer may be saved, but there is no deep blessing for them. To be deeply blessed of Christ you must follow Christ. Peter, James, and John were taken by Jesus up a mountain. We read:

Matthew 17:2 {Jesus} was TRANSFIGURED before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 

Did Jesus change, or were their eyes opened?

The word “transfigured” is the Greek μεταμορφόω metamorphoō, which means “to undergo metamorphosis, to change into that which you will be”. When Christ walked among men He seemed as a man, just like us. But it was on the mountaintop of obedience that Christ was revealed as Who He is. This same word is used in:

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  [2]  And be not conformed to this world: but BE YE TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, …

Be ye TRANSFORMED” is also the Greek μεταμορφόω metamorphoō. Did Jesus change, or did the disciples change? I believe that Jesus was always Jesus, but as they followed Him in obedience they began to see Jesus as He is.

His face did shine as the sun. Jesus Christ is the manifest Shekinah glory of God, the Dawn from on High Who visits us” as we are told in Luke 1:78.

His rainment (clothing) was as white as the light. Jesus Christ is holy, righteous, and pure. This is no mere Man, but God become Man. The Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake {God the Father} made {Christ} to be sin who knew no sin, so that in {Christ} we might become the righteousness of God.

(Hebrews 7:26 ESV) … high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

Jesus Christ is revealed on the Mountain as Who He is. He is God manifest. He shines. And as He stands on the Mountain, two of His Generals appear by His side:

Matthew 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them MOSES AND ELIJAH TALKING WITH HIM.

The Law And The Prophets Are Fulfilled In Christ

Jesus is shining. His clothing – a common one piece robe made probably by His mother – is transformed into a brilliant light such as no one has ever seen. This is highly symbolic. When the common touches the uncommon Christ, it too becomes uncommon. His clothing shines. Then Elijah and Moses show up. Are they shining too? No, the text doesn’t tell us this.

Only Jesus is shining – like He is spotlighted …

and Elijah and Moses are talking with Jesus!!!

They are not commanding Jesus.

They are CONSULTING Jesus.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The Jews called their Old Testament “The Law and the Prophets”. Elijah represents the Prophets because he was the greatest Old Testament Prophet. When the Jews celebrated the Passover Meal they always set a place for Elijah, for Elijah never died. The Elders taught that the end of time would not be until Elijah came.

Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus is a picture of the Law and the Prophets talking to Jesus. The Law and the Prophets were submitted to Jesus. Jesus is spotlighted, but the Law and the Prophets are not.

The Law and the Prophets pointed to Jesus. All of Scripture points to Jesus. But it is Jesus Who takes us to the mountaintop, to the place where we can hear God. Jesus said:

Luke 16:16 The LAW AND THE PROPHETS were until John {the Baptist}: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

The Law and the Prophets spoke of Christ. When Jesus went on that mountaintop the Apostle Paul wrote:

Romans 3:20-25 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the LAW AND THE PROPHETS; [22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

When Jesus stood on that mountaintop the mountain did not glow, but Jesus did.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

He is the One that these Two Witnesses testified of.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Jesus is the Subject. Jesus is the Son. Jesus is the Christ that the Law and the Prophets witnessed. God drives this point home through the impetuousness of Peter.

Matthew 17:4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

Peter is like many of us who do not know when to stop talking. There are times when we just need to listen to God. The Law and the Prophets are two witnesses, testifying to the uniqueness of Christ. Peter, James, and John are on the mountain:

not for a business meeting,

not for a church social,

not to fellowship with one another,

nor to be entertained.

They are to SEE JESUS.

Do you know why people come to Church?

On March 9-29 of 2017 the Gallup Organization asked people why they attend Church. People come for a variety of reasons, but the number one overwhelming reason was to hear the Word of God and apply it to their lives.

Matthew_17_1t13_On_The_Mountain

not to get involved in drama,

nor to listen to disruption from unruly members,

nor even to see the cute baby!

People come to see Jesus. They come to hear from God. This is what we all need in this desperate, sin ravaged world. People need the guidance that only Jesus can give through His Word. The top reasons are, and this is directly from Gallup:

Peter said “Jesus, let’s make THREE TABERNACLES”. He didn’t know what he was saying. The Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) was important, but Christ is the most important. The Law and the Prophets testify of Christ. The Scripture points to Christ.

And the seeking world wants to hear of Jesus.

Almost before Peter stops speaking Another Witness speaks up.

We read:

Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

The Law and the Prophets cannot be understood apart from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Father’s Beloved Son. He is the One we come here to hear about. Jesus is the Messiah, THE Messiah. He is the One that the Law and Prophets foretold. He is the One Savior that God promised He would send.

It’s all about Jesus!

Not the Jesus of your imagination, but the Jesus of Scripture, the Jesus Who defines Scripture.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The Gift of God is Jesus Christ. To be saved is to receive Jesus as He is. To be redeemed is to love the Redeemer. To worship the Father you must come through the Son. To be well pleasing to God, you must love and obey the Well Pleasing Jesus.

Do you know Him?

Oh that everyone who reads or hears this would receive Him, for only through Him can you be on the Mountain with God!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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