From beginning to end - who is He?
Easter, resurrection, ascension coming soon ... okay, maybe our coffee break study's back on track with the season, as a select group of disciples get to "see" who Jesus is, having just answered who they think he is. We've ended up with a study that will take us all over the Bible from beginning to end, but perhaps that's the point ... the story of who He really is.
(49) Now, who will they say that he is?
Jesus has just asked the disciples who people think he is. When Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, Jesus promptly predicts his death, and the sufferings in store for his followers too. But now, perhaps in answer to their confusion, God reveals his answer to the question of who Jesus is. Read Matthew 17:1-2, Mark 9:2-3, Luke 9:28-29
1. What’s the difference between 8 days and 6 days? Read Exodus 24:16
2. What’s special about Jesus’ face shining? Read Exodus 34:29
3. What’s special about white clothes? Read Daniel 7:9, John 20:11-12, Revelation 3:4-5 In Jewish tradition, heavenly beings often wore bright white garments.
But they don’t just see Jesus. Read Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4, Luke 9:30-31
1. Without looking anything up, what do you know about Moses? About Elijah?
2. Origen (around 200 AD) may be first to suggest Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets. How does Moses represent law? How does Elijah represent the prophets? (Why not Isaiah? Jeremiah? Daniel even?)
3. Read Malachi 4:5-6. Does this change your view of Elijah? Jewish seders include an empty chair for Elijah.
4. Read 2 Kings 2:11, Deuteronomy 34:5-6 What else might Moses and Elijah (and soon Jesus) have in common?
5. Who else never “died”? Read Genesis 5:24
6. Read Matthew 22:32. Is God the God of the living or of the dead? How might the Transfiguration figure into the answer?
Luke says Jesus, Elijah and Moses were talking about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Many commentators tie the transformation to the resurrection:
1. Read Luke 24:31,39. Was Jesus, “transformed” on the Emmaus road, the same as Jesus on the mountain?
2. Read 2 Peter 1:16. What long-term effect did the transformation have on Peter?
3. Did you know, John doesn’t directly describe the transformation, even though he’s said to have been there? Read John 1:14 What effect did it have on John?
4. Read 2 Corinthians 3:18 What effect should it have on us?
Peter, as usual, is about to say the wrong thing. Read Matthew 17:4, Mark 9:5-6, Luke 9:32-33
1. Did you remember Luke saying they were almost asleep? On what other occasion did the chosen few fall asleep instead of keeping watch? (Read Matthew 26:40)
2. How might three tabernacles be like three tombs? Did people visit where Moses and Elijah were buried? Would they visit (back then) where Jesus was (supposed to have been) buried?
God speaks to/about Jesus at the Transfiguration. Read Matthew 17:5-9, Mark 9:7-10, Luke 9:34-36.
1. What’s the significance of the cloud? Read Genesis 9:13, Exodus 13:21, Job 30:15, Daniel 7:13, Matthew 17:5, Luke 21:27, Acts 1:9, Revelation 1:7
2. Where have we heard of this voice and these words before? Read Luke 3:21-22 (no clouds?)
3. When did Jesus tell the disciples not to be afraid in a recent study? Read Matthew 14:27
4. How much do you think they understood when Jesus mentioned rising from the dead? Given that they’ve just seen Elijah, might they imagine he will never die?
Read Matthew 17:10-13, Mark 9:11-13 How far has their understanding progressed?