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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : Both God and Man

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Matt 16:28 - 17:1-9

This word has confused many who do not connect the Transfiguration with the promise that "there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom". However from the context it is clear that the Transfiguration is what Jesus meant when Peter, James and John saw Jesus glorified in His Kingdom on the mount.

We are not told which mountain this was, but tradition has it as mount Tabor. Today there are even signs at this mountain stating that it is the mountain where the Transfiguration took place. This mountain is exceptionally beautiful, in the midst of a huge plain.

During His Transfiguration we read that Moses and Elijah appeared to them and talked with Jesus. Moses lived approximately 1500 years before this and Elijah 900 years, yet they could recognise them. In like manner we would one day be able to recognise those who are in Heaven and those who are not.

Why did Jesus choose these three disciples? He often took these three alone with Him. He was not creating divisions, but He knew His disciples. He knew what each one could bear. He knew that these three disciples had the strength to carry it and if He told them not to tell the vision before His resurrection. He could entrust them with that. He also knew that these three needed extra strength at Gethsemane and Calvary when He would be condemned and crucified. He was not unwise in doing this. He knew the future.

They saw Him in His Kingdom, while "His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light". The light was from above but from within for Jesus was both God and man. When He left Heaven to become man He didn't lose His divinity.

We read in Rom 8:3, "God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh", and in Phillipians 2:5 - 7, "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men".

If a king puts aside his royal robes and dresses himself like a tramp and walks down the street you would mistake him for a tramp.

So too Jesus looked like a man who had to eat and drink and sleep, yet when one looked closer at His life, His Words and Deeds, one sees that He was in fact God incarnate. At the mount of Transfiguration He revealed His Divinity and they could see His glory in His Kingdom.

Some say that He was simply a great teacher but that is blasphemous and detracts from whom He truly was. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that while He was on earth He was only a man or a great "prophet".

The two people that appeared to Him, Moses and Elijah, stood for the law and the prophets, which found their fulfilment in Jesus.

We know that Elijah was taken to Heaven in a chariot of fire. Moses' burying place is not known for God buried him. The Bible tells us that the devil wanted the body of Moses but the Lord sent the archangel Michael to intervene and the devil did not get his body (Jude 1:9). We do not understand everything that transpires in the heavenly realm and why the devil tried to claim Moses' body.

If we want to be part of the Heavenly company like Moses and Elijah we must be part of the Heavenly company already here on earth. Who are your friends? Are they the children of God or the people of the world?

See the glory that the three disciples experienced on the mountain top! How much greater would the glory be in Heaven one day!

It is recorded that John Bunyan's mother said to John before His conversion, `John if you do not follow the Lord I will be a "swift witness" against you on Judgement Day, that I taught you the ways of God yet you did not listen.' No wonder that John Bunyan was a man of God as he was, when he had such a mother! Mothers are you of like kind? Let your children know that you will not tolerate sin but will be a swift witness against them if they do not follow the Lord.

In Revelations we read how John fell before Jesus as one dead and it wasn't even Judgment day yet. Do you know this Jesus? Is it He whom you serve or a Jesus of your own imagination?

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