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Lesson # Matt. 17:5-6
Study Material - Matt. 17:5-6
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
5 While he [autos] yet [eti] spake [laleo] , behold [idou] , a bright [photeinos] cloud [nephele] overshadowed [episkiazo] them [autos] : and [kai] behold [idou] a voice [phone] out of [ek] the cloud [nephele] , which said [lego] , This [houtos] is [esti] my [mou] beloved [agapetos] Son [huios] , in [en] whom [hos] I am well pleased [eudokeo] ; hear ye [akouo] him [autos] .
6 And [kai] when the disciples [mathetes] heard [akouo] it, they fell [pipto] on [epi] their [autos] face [prosopon] , and [kai] were sore [sphodra] afraid [phobeo] . KJV-Interlinear
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!' 6 And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. NAS
Poor Peter. His mouth is running away from him and he doesn't even know what he is saying. In that respect he doesn't comprehend the nature of his own suggestion. To build little dwellings to commemorate this occasion, when those little dwellings represent the very task in which Jesus is about to undertake in Jerusalem. Peter has missed the whole point of the Feast of the Tabernacles, also of the meeting of the Law and the Prophets (Moses and Elijah) together with Christ, of whom the entire scriptures speak.
Standing before the three disciples is the manifested glory of Christ which is to be. This is a future glory, not a present glory. This means that there is a definite and predetermined future, without uncertainty. The future is secure because it is God who controls history - not man.
We have all probably heard of the recent problems with Iraq. While Iraq plays its little game, and the international community squabbles over what to do, we have an opportunity to see just how God will sort it all out. And we should be secure in the knowledge that God will do whatever is compatible with His Plan for human history, and not what the UN desires (or anyone else for that matter).
Remember that there are but seven key events in history around which all of history revolves. 1. The fall of man started it all. If man had not fallen from grace, then human history as we know it would not have taken place, 2. The saving work of Christ o the Cross - required to save us all and to give us all an opportunity for a continuation of history, 3. The formation of the family of God - to replace those fallen angels (my opinion), 4. The establishment of the Royal family of God - to replace the leadership of angels lost in the fall (again my opinion), 5. The establishment of Gods Kingdom (Second Advent - Gods dominion and rulership over all, not that of evil), 6. The last judgment (Gods Justice and authority over all, not sin and chaos), 7. And the eternal state (the blessings of having a relationship with God, the ultimate freedom and happiness).
Now that said, none of us have the opportunity to sit up on the clouds and watch all of history unfold. We have to get up every morning, go to work, come home, go to bed, and do it all over again day after day throughout our life. We have to deal with the stresses of life, bills to pay, family to take care of and so forth, and when the world seems to be heading down the drain there is an impact, either directly or indirectly, on our daily lives. Even if it is only having to deal with higher prices. Much of it, we have no control over. So we look to God, the only one from whom we can make sense of it all, and the only one who can make it all work out right.
All of history is filled with all of the details that fill in the blanks of history between the events mentioned above. Currently we are in the formation of the Royal Family part. This will end with the Rapture, and simultaneously with our formation, God is placing the world of nations into the positions they will be in at the time of the Rapture. Their profile for entry into the Tribulation.
Often times terrorists and others try to define history on their own terms. God uses their existence to make His own alignments of the nations, to bring discipline or judgment to peoples who need it, or to bring peoples attention to their need for God in their lives. Either way, the bad guys will never have their way, or at least not in the way that they intend.
Iraq and others would like to see the world fall beneath their feet. Peter wanted to build little houses for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Good intentions or evil intentions makes no matter. God has a plan, and history will and is following that plan in perfect order.
Now here is Peter speaking and without thinking, seemingly not noticing the departure of Moses and Elijah, nor the forming of the cloud immediately above. Caught off guard, God the Father interrupts Peter ('Be quiet Peter, and listen.'). God didn't say that, I inserted it because it is implied. Man has his ideas, but until man get some wisdom drilled into their little brains, it is sometimes best to remain silent and listen. This is exactly what God the Father says, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!' A little emphasis on 'This is my Son' and 'Listen to Him.' Listen don't talk.
Ever known someone whose mouth was always going but there didn't seem to be any foundation of thought behind the mouth? You just want them to be quiet.
Here is now the cloud above, a covering. And under that covering is Jesus Christ, and beneath Christ are the three disciples, and below them all (down the mountain) is everyone else.
During the exodus, a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night led and guided the Israelites. In Isaiah came the prediction that, 'when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy.' This is a covering under which all that is important will be protected.
The Father gives yet another confirmation as to Jesus' identity. Jesus Christ is His Son. This is a son of the same essence and nature as that of the Father. Jesus is God. We are often called the family of God, but this reference to us as sons, is one of adult adopted sons. Or those who are of another nature, but are brought into the heavenly family through the miracle of Gods effort.
'In whom I am well pleased,' gives confirmation as to the continuity of the plan of the Father and the execution of that plan by the Son. There is no other person in this universe with whom God makes this statement. There is no other person in this universe through whom we may have access to God. Mans plans mean nothing and have no impact on Gods plan. We cannot alter it or change it in any way.
'Listen to Him,' is just what we are doing - studying the Word of God, the written word, and presumably listening to His word, rather than superimposing our own selective ideas into our life.
Peter and the others fell down by the sheer awesomeness of the presence and voice of the Father. Here is contrasted the absolute perfection of God with the total sinful nature and worthlessness of mankind. Peter is the most vocal of the group, but now he is silenced by the presence of God. Who are we to make suggestions to God. As though God couldn't have thought of things we think of. Perhaps God overlooked something and we'll just give Him a little help - from time to time!
But as we grow up spiritually and learn a little bit more and more each successive day, we sooner or later realize our ultimate inadequacy and stupidity. God thinks of everything. He saw all our needs and all of human history since eternity past. Nothing ever catches God off guard. Nothing will ever slip past Him.
Wisdom begins with the fear of God, Prov. 9:10. In contrast is also the response to Christ that Moses and Elijah had, and that response that Peter, James, and John had. Moses and Elijah were totally at ease and having a conversation with Christ regarding the task that lay before Him. An intelligent conversation about truth and reality. Peter's conversation was based on emotion and totally detached from reality. Moses and Elijah did not faint, but Peter and company fell asleep when Christ first was transformed. Not here is the Father and they fall down in total fear. They are overwhelmed by the awesome perfection of God the Father, someone with whom they had no former interaction. They were somewhat comfortable with Jesus since they have become accustomed with his company for many months, and at least could carry on a conversation with Him without being too intimidated.
As the believer walks in obedience to God, he should experience and have a sense of comfort from His presence. But as the believer walks in disobedience (any kind of detachment from fact and truth), then he should feel the terror of that same presence. A believer or unbeliever, for that matter, may go a long way in life outside of Gods will, and feel good about it, or even feel over confident regarding his self assuming wisdom and wit. But sooner or later God calls him on it, and the overwhelming power and perfection of God comes rushing to clarity and the overwhelming inadequacy of the spiritually negative person comes rushing in as well in the form of total fear. Sinful man, when placed in the presence of God or Gods truth, will always run and hide.
Adam and Eve ran and hid. That Usama dude ran and hid. Criminals run and hide. The leadership in Iraq is in constant hiding. But with God, there is no hiding place. Nowhere that one may run to and escape the inevitable judgment that God will unleash or allow to be unleashed. God may allow the spiritually negative types (criminals, terrorists types, politicians, self righteous folk, anyone for whom the label fits, etc.) to run free in life and think that they have outwitted God and mankind, or escaped some doom and gloom threat, but then arrogance becomes their trap and reality will come knocking at their door sooner or later.
Don't you become trapped by a compromising attitude just because nothing spectacular has happened in your life today, or because nothing bad has overwhelmed you because of a selective attitude toward Bible study.
Always be alert to your spiritual life and guard against your falling off in your spiritual growth. Listen to the teaching of Gods Word, and do not become selective in your hearing, nor try to superimpose your own ideas of spirituality over those of Gods, simply because your ideas seem better suited to you for the moment, ie. Peter's suggestion. Don't discount your obligations in your spiritual life by rationalizing that there are plenty of other people out there who can give to the church, or to charity, or in doing this or that, or even in studying your Bible yourself each day, thus conveniently eliminating you from these obligations (in our own mind that is). Be responsible, be attentive, listen and learn ... and grow up spiritually
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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