Worship Service: Sundays @ 10:00 am

How did Peter, John, and James recognize Moses and Elijah during the transfiguration of Jesus?

Today’s question comes from one of the most glorious experiences in the ministry of Jesus on the mountain where He was transfigured before three of His disciples. How did Peter, John, and James recognize Moses and Elijah during the transfiguration of Jesus?

Before we answer the question of how Peter knew it was Moses and Elijah with Jesus during that glorious event, we need to understand what led up to this experience. Luke places the transfiguration eight days after an intense ministry and teaching cycle—the twelve sent out to preach, the five thousand fed, the confession of Peter, and teaching about the cost of those who follow Jesus. Often times in the gospels we see Jesus take time with His disciples in prayer after such concentrated periods of ministry. This prayer time is the setting of the transfiguration of Jesus in Luke 9, Matthew 17, and Mark 9. It was “As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, His robe became white and glistening.” (v.29). The word “glistening” literally means “emitting light” which suggests a brilliant flashing light. Now that is a glorious scene! This incredible experience doesn’t end there—the trio of disciples saw two men talking with Jesus—Moses and Elijah!

But how did Peter and (presumably) the other two disciples know it was Moses and Elijah that were talking with Jesus? Some have commented that it was their appearance—with Moses looking like Charleston Heston (long white beard) and Elijah looking like an older and hairier John the Baptist. Maybe…but there might be more at work here to aid us in understanding how they were identified. First of all, all three gospels place the revelation of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of God” eight days prior to the transfiguration. The key dynamic in this profession revelation is the identity of Jesus revealed by the Father—not put together by the intellect of Peter. The identity of Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration of Jesus could have been revealed in the same way as the identity of Jesus was—through the revelation of the Father.

Second, and more probable, the identity of the two men talking with Jesus was discovered as they talked with the Lord. The gospel of Luke is the only witness to what the two men were talking about with Jesus—the departure of Jesus. The central term “decease” (NKJV) or “departure” (ESV) is the Greek word “exodos”. This means that the conversation between Moses (who led the people of Israel in an exodus from Egypt) and Elijah (who departed in his exodus from life in a fiery chariot) talked with Jesus about His coming “exodus” in His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. This is how Peter most likely recognized that it was Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus.

What an incredible experience of seeing the glory of God with Christ at the center and beloved saints with Him!

Related Posts

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 John 5:16-17 1 Peter 3:18-20 1 Peter 3 1 Timothy 2:1-3 666 Acts 19 Adam and Eve Adam Aliens Antichrist Baptism Beast Belly Button Bible Blood Body Book of Revelation Bread Catholics Chalcedonian Creed Christians Christ Clopas Communion Deity of Jesus Devil Dinosaurs Disicples Elijah Eucharist Eve Extraterrestrial life Ezekiel 28 Fall of satan Flood Garden of Gethsemane Genesis God speaks God's Word God's voice God's will God\'s Word God\'s voice God\\\'s Word God\\\\\\\'s Word God Golgotha Gospel of John Gospel Greek Hell Image Isaiah 14 JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS James Jesus John 19:19 John 3:16 John the Baptist John Latin Lucifer Luke 23:38 Luke 9 Magdealene Mark 14:46-52 Mark 14:51-52 Mark 15:26 Mark 9 Mark of the beast Mark Mary Matthew 17 Matthew 18:14 Matthew 18 Matthew 24:35-37 Matthew 26:26-29 Matthew 26 Matthew 27:37 Matthew 3 Matthew 7 Messiah Moses Naked Man Noah Old Testament Origins Peter Pilate Planets Polygamy Race Revelation 13:18 Revelation Roman Catholics Satanic Satan Scripture Seeking God Sin unto death Son of Man The Lord's Supper The Lord\'s Supper Two natures Will of God Wine Word of God Word World Leaders angels baptism of repentance casting pearls before swine cast confess covering cherub creation cross crucifixion day and hour no one knows day or hour death deity of Christ deity dogs earthly ministry fully God fully man guardian angels guardian harmonization healing holy hypostatic union little ones marriage ministering spirits mountain not to tell anyone one man one woman patriarchs pearls preached to the spirits in prison proclaimation public ministry remain quiet repentance repent resurrection return of Christ sign sin swine transfiguration transubstantiation unconfessed unrepentant wives