THE GLORY OF HIS FATHER
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Matthew 17:1 ¶ And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 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. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And 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.
The account of our Lord’s transfiguration is found here in Matthew, and also in Mark and Luke. And each time the actual transfiguration occurs, there is a teaching portion which precedes them. For here in Matthew 16:27, as well as in Mark 8:38, and in Luke 9:26, he instructs of his visible return to earth, but this last time in The Glory of His Father. Having given that instruction, he now gives a visible picture of his power to do that. He first tells them what shall be, then he shows them how it shall be.
The Greek word translated “was transfigured” in verse two of our text is elsewhere translated, “be ye transformed” in Romans 12:2. And that exact same Greek word is also translated, “are changed” in 2 Corinthians 3:18. Therefore the present day believers should never look at this event as just a history lesson. For the word concerning the Lord’s transfiguration is the instruction for the believer not to be conformed to the world’s image, but to be transformed, by the renewing of their minds, in order to prove the acceptable will of God in their lives.
For each and every believer is required to bring their minds into renewed and sanctified thought patterns. Now that we are born by the Spirit, we are to retrain our brain! Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
And then, as seen in that 2 Corinthians 3:18 verse, we are to take advantage of the Holy Spirit’s revealing the glory of the Lord to us, being changed from a lesser state of sanctification to a higher state, by this increased revelation of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The four gospels present four unique looks at the same Lord. Both Ezekiel and the Revelation reveal to us of their four different personalities. Ezekiel 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. Revelation 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
The lion is Matthew, as he reveals Christ’s spiritual kingdom on earth. The calf is Mark revealing Christ to us as the sacrificial, suffering servant. The man is Luke, the physician, revealing Christ as the perfect man. And the eagle is John revealing Christ and his believers as soaring in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6)
Therefore we have a different emphasis placed on this transfiguration by the three who write of it in their gospels. For in Matthew’s account we read that his focus is upon the face and raiment of Christ.
And bless his dear heart, Moses had to wait all this time to have his request granted. Exodus 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. For it is only after the Incarnation that we are privileged to look on the face of God! 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
It is by the spiritual look at the Lord, granted by the Holy Spirit issuing the eye of faith, by which we may be saved. John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
And it is only as we continually gaze upon him, by faith’s eye, that we are effectually encouraged in our Christian walk. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Then in Mark’s account we are directed to Christ’s raiment. Mark 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And we learn by this that our righteousness must be that granted by the Spirit, and not just religious morality! Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
The righteousness of the religious is a morality by human effort. But Christ’s garment of righteousness far exceeds that covering. Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. One can be moral, while not being righteous! But if one is righteous, it will include a spirit of morality.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
We even have instruction as far as our spiritual raiment, as to that which we are to “put off,” and that which we are to “put on.” Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
And then Luke emphasizes Christ’s prayer. Luke 9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
It is not listed here for that which he prayed. But recorded in his John 17 prayer we read that he prayed for his glory to be revealed to his believers. And this is exactly what occurred here. John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
And if we are to have a greater awareness of Christ’s glory, and not just a head full of religious information, we are to individually and personally request it of God in private prayer! Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Therefore we are to continuously pray with the thoughts of our renewed minds! There is no other way to pray without ceasing! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. For we read that the Lord knows our thoughts. Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Psalm 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Let us go back to our text and remind ourselves that the transfiguration only took place after the Lord instructed of his second coming in The Glory of His Father. Luke speaks of both the Son’s glory added to the Father’s glory! Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. Therefore this is a glory not yet realized, and therefore not previously known. Compare these deep and mysterious words of the Apostle Paul.
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he (God the Father) hath put all things under his (God the Son’s) feet. But when he (God the Father) saith all things are put under him (God the Son), it is manifest that he (God the Father) is excepted, which did put all things under him (God the Son). 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (The writer took the liberty to help identify those pronouns in verse twenty-seven.)
Therefore we see that the Father has given all things to the Son for him to conquer and rule over. There is but one exception – God the Father Himself! When a king sends a general out to subdue an unruly people, he gives him all the authority of the king and kingdom! Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Therefore to disrespect the general is to disrespect the king! John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
And after that mission is accomplished, the general returns home. 1 Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
Afterward the king releases him of his former duty and rewards him. Then the king rules over those, once unruly subjects himself. But it was never even imagined that the king himself was to be ruled over by the general!
So God the Father has put all rule under the Son’s authority for him to recover the human race and all creation to order. And having accomplished this, it is the Father’s glory in which the Lord Jesus returns. Therefore God becomes all in all! The Man Head returns into the Godhood, made one with his Bride, the Church (see 1 Corin. 6:17), for we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2). John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;
Pastor Gene Breed
December 7, 2018