The Coming Son of Man

First Direct Prediction of Rejection, Crucifixion and Resurrection (Matthew 16:21-26; Mark 8:31-37;
Luke 9:22-25). Satan is back! This time Peter is the stumbling block to God’s will for Jesus. Proud
Peter put his foot in his mouth! Satan often attacks at the high moments in life. Notice that both God and
Satan planted thoughts in Peter’s mind.

Coming of the Son of Man and Judgment (Matthew 16:27-28; Mark 8:38-9:1; Luke 9:26-27). A
variety of interpretations have been suggested for the fulfillment of this passage:

1. The resurrection and ascension
2. The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70
3. Pentecost and the spread of the Gospel
4. Intellectual perception of Christ by the believer
5. Spiritual death from which faithful disciples will be exempt
6. A visible rule of God displayed in the life of the Church
7. The millennial kingdom

The Transfiguration of Christ (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36). Christ took Peter,
James and John up on a high mountain, traditionally Mt. Hermon or Mt. Tabor. Jesus had predicted that
some who were with Him would not die until they saw “the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” This
prediction is fulfilled a week later in Christ’s transfiguration, which was a portrayal of the glorious future
event in miniature (2 Peter 1:16-21). All the essential details of the picture are present:

1. Christ, the Son of Man, not in humiliation of His sinless humanity, but in the King in His glory
2. Moses glorified, representing the redeemed who have entered the kingdom via death
3. Elijah, likewise glorified, representing the redeemed who have entered the kingdom through
translation
4. Peter, James and John, unglorified, representing the Jewish remnant at the end who will enter the
kingdom in unglorified bodies
5. Crowd at the foot of the mountain, representing the nations to be brought into the blessings of the
kingdom after the restoration to Israel

Additionally, Moses and Elijah represented the Law and Prophets which Christ fulfilled. The
Transfiguration was a confirmation of Peter’s confession of Christ as the Son of the Living God. During
His earthly ministry, this was the only time, His glory veiled in human flesh shone forth. After His
ascension, Stephen (Acts 7:55-56), Paul (Acts 9:3), and John (Rev 1:9-18) also saw Christ in His glory.

Another purpose of the Transfiguration was to strengthen Christ for His suffering. Moses and Elijah talk
with Him about His coming “exodus” (death, resurrection and ascension) at Jerusalem, and the voice of
the Father came as another encouragement to the Son. It was also an encouragement to the disciples as
they faced separation form the Lord as He experienced His suffering and death. This experience was to
teach the disciples that suffering precedes glory. Peter learned from this experience to trust the
unchanging Word of God and to know that the glorious kingdom would come in spite of what sinful men
may do (2 Peter 3).

The heavenly voice repeats the basic message of Mark 11:1 but adds “Hear Him,” from Deuteronomy
18:15, where the Israelites are warned to heed the “prophet like Moses,” the new Moses who would
come. Jesus waiting six days to take them up the mountain and the presence of the cloud (the Shekinah)
fulfilled the typology of Mount Sinai, where God revealed His glory to Moses (Ex 24:16). One greater
than Moses was in their presence. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what
would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house” (Heb 3:4-6).

As they came down the mountain, Jesus told the three disciples to tell the vision to know one until the
Son of Man has risen from the dead. The transfiguration was the kind of sign the unbelieving Jews were
asking of Jesus. So the disciples were not permitted to tell it.

The True Elijah (Matthew 17:9-13; Mark 9:9-13). The long-expected day of Yahweh had dawned, but
for the disciples it would not be the panacea for all the ills of life that they expected from the coming
Messiah. The disciples wrestled with the question since Jesus is the Messiah, “Why do the teachers of the
law say that Elijah must come first?” “They are right!” was basically Jesus’ answer. With John the
Baptizer, “Elijah has come,” fulfilling Malachi 3:1. There were two potential outcomes with Elijah’s
coming—either Restoration or Rejection (Malachi 4:5-6). With the first advent, rejection and curse
would be the case. At the Second Advent, restoration and blessing will occur. “Elijah is coming and will
restore all things” is Christ’s promise. Before Christ’s second coming, Elijah will appear on the earth as
His forerunner. This time the Jews will take the prophet seriously.

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