And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart,…
On this stupendous and yet delightful manifestation we offer a few general remarks.
I. The transfiguration is to be considered as ONE OF THOSE SOLEMN ACTS BY WHICH CHRIST WAS INDUCTED INTO HIS OFFICE AS THE TEACHER AND SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD. This is the principal truth taught by it. All the old prophets were appointed by some special designation and call of God. But Christ being at once the greatest of all Prophets, it was to be expected that His designation should be accompanied by circumstances which should mark this distinction and superiority.
1. There was their frequency. The prophets were generally designated by one glorious appearance of Him who called them. But Christ, by a series of wonders. Then there was the manner. The prophets had a glory conferred upon them, but to the Master belonged the greater glory. "Hear ye Him." The command still applies to you.
II. From the subject of the discourse held with Christ by Moses and Elias WE LEARN THAT THERE WAS IN HIS DEATH SOMETHING SPECIAL AND EMPHATIC. The mode of expression, indeed, shows this. It was a departure from life which He had to fulfil, etc. His was a sacrificial death. The Old Testament saints were saved in anticipation of this. Let that be the subject of our thought and converse here, which shall be the theme of heaven itself.
III. THE CONFIRMATION WHICH THIS EVENT GAVE TO THE ANCIENT PROPHETIC DISPENSATION (2 Peter 1:17-19). The transfiguration thus confirms "the word of prophecy," in several remarkable particulars.
1. The ancient prophets speak of the Messias in terms indicating a strange union of the extremes of debasement and glory. Very strikingly was this illustrated here.
2. The ancient dispensation was marked with special care as to the quality of the sacrifices to be offered to God. Here we see the shadow giving place to the substance. The victim is distinctly marked — "This is My beloved Son."
3. The doctrine of the prophets was that the Messiah should die for the sins of the people. Here the doctrine is both illustrated and confirmed.
4. The law and the prophets were continually holding forth some " better thing " than themselves. Now both Moses and Elias converse with Him, to show the harmony of the whole; and He being declared by the voice from heaven to be the supreme Teacher, they surrender, as it were, their commission into His hands, and then depart, leaving Him the sole object on which the eye of the world should rest for ever.
5. The ancient dispensation was founded on the doctrine of the soul's immortality, and of rewards and punishments in a future life. Here it is confirmed and made clear. In these scenes life and immortality burst upon us.
6. The ancient prophets speak of an advent of Christ in glory. Behold it confirmed.Conclusion: The prophetic word being thus confirmed, there are two important lessons to be learnt.
1. Take heed to it. It is intended to usher in Christ, and the day of salvation. All other light is delusive.
2. The whole history is most encouraging to those who truly believe in Christ. See how He shares His glory with His disciples. And if you suffer with Him, you shall also reign with Him.
Parallel VersesKJV: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,