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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Matthew 17:5

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.

For further study - Matthew 16:28-17:13

To set the scene for this passage of scripture, I must remind you that in Matthew 16 Jesus and His disciples had traveled north through the upper Galilee to Caesarea Philippi.

It was in the foothills of Mt Hermon, in Caesarea Philippi, where Peter answered the Lord's question about "who" men said that He, the Lord, was. Peter's answer to that question was "thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God", Matthew 16:16.

In the last verse of Matthew 16, verse 28, Jesus gives His disciples a prophecy that there were those among His followers, with Him at that time, who would not die before they saw Jesus in His "Kingdom to come".

Now, six days later, the Lord Jesus Christ takes the "inner circle" of His disciples, Peter, James and John, up onto the slopes of Mt Hermon for what would be the "Transfiguration".

Matthew 17 records what happened there on Mt Hermon some six days after Jesus had told His disciples about "seeing Him in His Kingdom", Matthew 16:28.

Peter, James and John were privileged to be in the presence of Jesus Christ at the Transfiguration and to see Jesus in His glorified body, the fulfillment of the prophecy that Jesus had given them a few days earlier.

The "inner circle" not only saw Jesus, but they also saw Moses and Elijah at the same time in their glorified bodies and what they will be like in the "Kingdom to come".

During the Fall of the year, the season of the Jewish Fall Feasts, especially the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, which Peter pictured as happening, it is interesting to note that Peter wanted to put up three "tabernacle", verse 4.

Peter did not want to put up a "statue" for each of these three, Jesus, Elijah and Moses. Peter thought that the "Kingdom" had arrived so he wanted to put up three "succa's", a thatched hut, that the Jewish people build for the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles.

The "succa" is a reminder for the Jewish people of the "transportable living quarters" in their wanderings in the wilderness for their forty year long trip from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Prophetically, the "succa" and the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is looking forward to the establishment of a physical, earthly Kingdom that Jesus will set up at the time of His Second Coming. Peter thought it was that time in history, thus the three "succa's", three tabernacles.

As the Jews in Jerusalem and around the world celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles every Fall, it is a reminder that Jesus is coming, and it could be soon.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your continuing reminder of Your Second Coming as You work among Your chosen people, the Jewish people, today.