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Matthew 17:1-13

Glory

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • March 17, 2019

God wants us to know about true glory, His glory as revealed through His Son, Jesus Christ. In Matthew 17, we will see the glory of Jesus revealed in a way that it gives us a glimpse into His person, work, and kingdom. We will also discover how God wants to change our lives through Jesus so that we may share His glory forever.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Glory

Matthew 17:1-13

Introduction

1.Glory. Deep down, each human soul craves glory. Our “15 minutes of fame”! To be “Number One”!

ILLUS – “Who is Number One?”

2.But King Solomon declared the pursuit of such glory is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

3.And the Apostle Paul warned against such fleshly pursuits in his letter to the church at Galatia.

Galatians 5:26, Let us not be desirous of vain glory (KJV)

4.Yet, God wants us to know about true glory, His glory as revealed through His Son, Jesus Christ.

5.Tonight, we will see the glory of Jesus revealed in a way that it gives us a glimpse into His person, work, and kingdom.

6.We will also discover how God wants to change our lives through Jesus so that we may share His glory forever.

Matthew 17:1-13

Context

1.Jesus traveled with His disciples about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee to Caesarea Philippi after He fed the 4,000 and healed many Gentiles in a region called the Decapolis.

2.There, Jesus asked His disciples the one question that everyone must answer, “But who do you say that I am?” (15)

3.Peter declared, “You the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (16)

4.Jesus commended Peter for his answer and declared that upon Peter’s confession He would build His church. (17-19)

5.Then Jesus showed His disciples that He, the Son of Man, would “suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.” (21)

6.Peter didn’t approve of what Jesus said so he rebuked Jesus and said, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” (22)

7.Jesus did not entertain Peter’s words for a moment. In fact, as soon as the words left Peter’s mouth, Jesus turned His back to Peter, and rebuked him with the strongest possible rebuke, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (23)

8.Then Jesus called His disciples to Himself and shared what it means to be His disciple, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (24)

9. Jesus concluded by promising, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (28)

Transition – What did Jesus mean by this promise in verse 28? It can be summed up with one word, “Transfiguration”!

I. The Transfiguration is Jesus’ Glory Unveiled

  • According to Matthew 17:1, Peter, James, and John only had to wait six days for the fulfillment of Jesus’ words from Matthew 16:28.
  • Remember, that to the north of Caesarea Philippi, is the majestic Mount Hermon, with a peak over 9,000 feet. Likely, Jesus took the three disciples there. 
  • According to verse 2, Jesus “was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.”
  • This transfiguration revealed important truths about Jesus’ person, work, and kingdom.

A. The glory of His person

1.Our English word metamorphosis comes from the word translated transfigured.

2.A metamorphosis is a change on the outside which starts on the inside.

ILLUS – A caterpillar emerges from its cocoon as a butterfly due to a process called metamorphosis.

3.It’s important to note that when Jesus was transfigured, He was not merely reflecting God’s glory externally.

4.Rather, He was radiating His glory from within, meaning, the visible change on the outside came from within as Jesus allowed His divine nature to shine.

Hebrews 1:3, And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature

5.Jesus has two natures. He is fully God and fully man.

6.The joining of His two natures is called the hypostatic union. The relationship between His two natures is best seen in Philippians 2:5-7.

Philippians 2:5-7, Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

7.The word for emptied in the Greek is kenosis and so this doctrine is called the kenosis of Jesus.

ILLUS – When we think of the word emptied, we tend to think of something poured out, like emptying a glass of water, we pour out what was in the glass.

8.Yet, this passage says that when Jesus emptied Himself, He took on the form of a bondservant.

a.He emptied not by subtraction, but by addition.

b.Therefore, Jesus did not lose any of the attributes of God when He became man.

c.He set aside certain prerogatives (rights or privileges) of deity and took on the limitations of being fully human. The Infinite took on the finite.

9.This explains Jesus’ prayer to the Father before He was betrayed, scourged, and crucified.

John 17:5, Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

APPL – Here we see the greatness of our Savior’s love for us, that He would go to such great lengths to redeem sinners like us!

Hebrews 12:1-2, Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

B.The glory of His kingdom

1.In verse 3, we’re told that “Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.”

2.Why Moses and Elijah did appear with Jesus?

a.Moses represented the Law.

b.Elijah represented the Prophets.

3.The Law and Prophets point to Jesus and are fulfilled in Jesus!

a.Not one word of the Old Testament would be left unfulfilled!

b.This is what two disciples learned from Jesus after His resurrection while traveling on the road to Emmaus.

Luke 24:27, Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

APPL – So, the transfiguration was a “sneak preview” of Christ’s glorious coming kingdom!

  • This must have been a comfort to the disciples because Peter had just confessed that Jesus is the “Christ, the Son of the living God.”
  • But Jesus declared that He would be killed by Israel’s supreme ruling council, the Sanhedrin, and instead of the kingdom, Jesus would build His church!
  • Would there still be a kingdom of heaven? Yes. It was delayed due to Israel’s rejection of Jesus, but it will come after the Church Age with all the glory of her King!

Daniel 7:13-14, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.

C. The glory of His cross

1. Luke gave us insight into the nature of Jesus’ conversation with Moses and Elijah.

Luke 9:30-31, And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

2. The word departure is like the word exodus. So, they were talking about Jesus’ death, His exodus from earth.

3. Jesus’ suffering and death was not an accident. It was an accomplishment, a fulfillment of the Father’s will.

Isaiah 53:5, But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;
the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

4. Suffering and glory go together. Before the crown, there is the cross because our greatest enemy is not a tyrannical government but our own sin.

Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

APPL – Dr. G. Campbell Morgan noted that on three occasions Peter, James, and John were alone with Jesus and that each instance involved death.

  • When Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead. (Mark 5:37-43)
  • When Jesus submitted to the will of the Father regarding His death in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Mark 14:32-42)
  • When Jesus was transfigured, it revealed that Jesus would be glorified through His death!

APPL – What was Jesus teaching them and us by application? Through the cross, Jesus is our Victor over sin and death!

1 Corinthians 15:54-57, O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

II. God’s Will is to Transform Us

  • After being rebuked by Jesus, one would think that Peter might take a break from offering suggestions.
  • True to form, Peter tried to take control and said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (4)
  • Luke gave us insight into what Peter was thinking.

Luke 9:33, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying.

  • Peter didn’t realize he was equating Jesus with Moses and Elijah. But Jesus is superior to both!
  • Once again, Peter was rebuked, but this time by the Father! While Peter was still talking, the Father interrupted Peter and declared, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (5)
  • When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. (6-8) 
  • This event forever changed all three of these men and over time each of them learned how to “listen”to Jesus.

A.God transformed Peter, James, and John 

1.When Jesus called Peter, James, and John, they were business partners, fishermen.

Luke 5:10, James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”

2.James was the first apostle to be executed for his faith in Jesus. (Acts 12:1-2)

Acts 12:1-2, Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.

3.John would be the last apostle to die. He suffered greatly for his faith and was exiled until his death on the Isle of Patmos.

4.It was not by accident that John would emphasize the deity of Jesus in his Gospel for his life was transformed by His glorious Lord.

John 1:1-2, 14, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

6.Finally, there was Peter. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit mightily used Peter and three thousand were converted to Christ! (Acts 2:41)

7.Peter’s view of suffering changed as he “listened” to Jesus.

1 Peter 4:12-14, Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

B. We are transformed by God’s Spirit 

1.It is God’s will for you to be transformed.

2.In Romans 12:1-2, the Apostle Paul used the same word that was used of Christ’s transfiguration, metamorphosis, to tell us how we can be transformed.

Romans 12:1-2, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

APPL – As we surrender to God, He will “transform” our minds. When we yield to the Holy Spirit, He will change us from glory to glory! It’s God’s will!

2 Corinthians 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Conclusion

APPL – On that mountain, the Father commanded us to “Listen to Him.” Why? Jesus is God’s final word!

  • Hope is found in no one else!
  • Glory is found in no one else!

Colossians 1:27, Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Matthew 17:1-13    NASB

1 Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”10 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things;12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.

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