Witnessed by Disciples
Key Verse: “[Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”
FOLLOWING THE EVENTS of the previous lesson, six days later, our Lord took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain.—Matt. 17:1
Our Key Verse indicates he was transfigured before these three disciples. This meant that his appearance changed as his face shone brightly and his garments became white like light.
In a vision, Moses and Elijah seemed to be engaged in conversation with the transfigured Jesus. Furthermore, Peter inquired of the Master whether three tabernacles should be built, one for the Lord, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.—vss. 3,4
“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. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” (vss. 5,6) Jesus comforted his three disciples, telling them not to be fearful but to arise, and not to reveal to anyone what they had seen until he was risen from the grave.—vss. 7-9
Many years later, Peter declared that this vision was a corroboration of God’s promised kingdom which was prophesied would occur following Christ’s Second Advent. (II Pet. 1:16-21) Since Moses and Elijah had long passed away at the time of the transfiguration scene, these prophets may well symbolize two distinct classes that will be associated with Christ in the forthcoming glorious kingdom.
Moses may be illustrative of faithful Old Testament personalities who will serve as God’s visible earthly representatives that will guide mankind in learning righteousness during the kingdom.—Luke 13:28
In the vision, Elijah seems to represent the faithful elect, heavenly, Gospel Age church that will reign with Christ Jesus for a thousand years to bless the human family. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”—Rev. 20:6, Heb. 3:1
Following the transfiguration scene, when Jesus and his disciples had descended to the foot of the mountain, they encountered a man who made a plea for healing on behalf of his son.—Matt. 17:14,15
Presently, there is a great work to be accomplished by believers in spreading forth the kingdom message to all who have a hearing ear, that they may be spiritually enlightened now and qualify as members of the bride of Christ. If faithful now, they will be empowered to help bring to fruition those conditions that have been spoken of by the prophets of old.
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert… And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; … And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”—Isa. 35:5,6,8,10
What a time of rejoicing that will be!