This is My Beloved
Key Verse: “There was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.”
IN OUR PREVIOUS LESSON, Jesus had foretold of the suffering, reproach, and death which was to be his portion, and the portion of those who would be his followers.
About one week later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain where he was transfigured so that his countenance and garments became radiant and his face shone as bright as the sun. What an awe-inspiring experience this was for the three disciples who accompanied the Lord. The Bible also indicates that the figures of Moses and Elijah were seen talking with the Master. “After six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow. … And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.”—Mark 9:2-4
Peter assumed this was a fulfillment of the words spoken earlier (vs. l) that some of them would not taste death until they saw the glory and power of God’s kingdom. He proposed that three tabernacles be erected, possibly with the thought that the Israelities might later ascend the mountain and pay homage to the glorified Lord as the kingdom was inaugurated.—vss. 5,6
In our Key Verse, a voice from heaven came out of a cloud affirming that Jesus was God’s ‘beloved Son.’ Jesus told his disciples that what they had seen was a vision and they should not tell anyone about it until after the Lord was resurrected from the dead. “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.”—Matt. 17:9
Several years later, after receiving the Holy Spirit, the apostle recalled this event. “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”—II Pet. 1:16-21
Moses and Elijah had died well before Jesus came to earth and could not literally have been on the mountain with Christ. (Heb. 11:13,39,40) It may be that, in the vision, Moses represented the faithful of past ages and Elijah represented the Gospel Age members of the Christian church. The time for this glorious kingdom is still a future event. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”—Matt. 25:31
May each of us, who is desirous of sharing in blessing the human family, faithfully complete our vows of consecration, and thus assist in fulfilling God’s eternal purpose.