Matthew 17:1-13; 2 Peter 1:16-18 The Reason For Mountain Top Experiences

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. Their History With Jesus

A. The Teaching Of Jesus

1. Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5-7
2. Teaching on fasting Matthew 9
3. Teaching re. Sabbath Matthew 9
4. Parable of the Sower Matthew 13
5. The 6 kingdom parables Matthew 13

B. The Miracles Of Jesus Matthew 8-15

1. Cleansing a leper
2. Centurion’s servant
3. Peter’s mother in law
4. Healing the multitudes
5. Calming the wind and the waves
6. 2 demon possessed men; later, a blind & mute demon possessed man
7. Healing of the paralytic
8. Young girl restored to life
9. Woman with an issue of blood healed
10. 2 blind men healed
11. Mute man healed
12. The 12 are empowered and sent out to preach, heal, and cast out demons
13. Sabbath healing of man with withered hand
14. Feedings of the 5000 and the 4000
15. Healing of the Gentile woman’s daughter; healing of many Gentiles
16. Jesus and Peter walking on the water

C. The Dialogues With Jesus

1. The sending of the 12, including explanations of their ministry
2. The warning to the 12 of coming persecutions
3. Peter realizing that Jesus was the Christ Matthew 16
4. Jesus’ teaching re. building His church “ “
5. Jesus telling them about his coming death & resurrection “ “
6. Jesus teaching on the cost of discipleship “ “

II. The Mountain Top Experience Chap. 17

A. A Greater Revelation Of Jesus Matthew 16:26-17:1

1. Matthew 17 fulfills the promise made in Matthew 16:26 (Comp. w/Mark 9)
2. They were at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus made this statement
3. The nearby and highest mountain is Mt. Hermon: 9800’, just to the north of C.P.
4. He was transfigured before them- Greek- metamorphoo

a. to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure
b. The wonder wasn’t that the glory of Jesus was finally seen by these men
c. The wonder is that Jesus normally veiled His glory in human flesh

5. David Guzik- not a new miracle, but the temporary cessation of an ongoing one
6. Charles Wesley- “Hark, The Herald Angel Sing
“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel…”
“…Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth”
For this moment, these men were allowed to see Jesus as He really was
8. Turn to Hebrews 1:1-3, John 17:20-26
9. For a moment, these three disciples were allowed to see Jesus in His glory
10. W/Jesus were Moses & Elijah, speaking of Jesus’ coming death (Luke 9:31)
11. Moses represented the Law, & Elijah, the prophets: both the Law & the Prophets spoke in type & directly of the suffering Messiah & what He would accomplish.

B. Peter’s Statement 17:4

1. Luke tells us the disciples were “heavy w/sleep”, but noticed M & E departing
2. Mark tells us that they were afraid by what they were seeing, including Peter
3. Peter suggests they build three tents- He still wants Jesus to continue on Earth
4. Similar to when Peter rebuked Jesus, trying to keep Him from the cross (16:22)

C. The Father’s Purpose 17:5

1. The Father once again affirmed His love & approval for His Son
2. Affirmation of deity of Jesus. “My…Son” Understood to Jewish mind
3. The Father would say, “Peter, don’t speak, listen”. Good advice-listen to Jesus
4. Peter’s plan would not carry them through or establish the kingdom
5. It would just be to prolong the moment. Jesus “must” go down the hill

D. Incidental Thoughts

1. Notice the disciples’ reactions compared to other who have “been with God”
2. Though being in Jesus’ awesome presence may put us on our faces, Jesus Himself wants to lift us up & take us back down the hill to reach people
3. Mountain top experiences are needed, but life is lived out “down the hill”
4. “…they saw no one but Jesus only.” Desired result of a mountaintop experience

III. The Purpose Of The Mt. Top 17:9-13

A. Clear Understanding Jesus & His Kingdom

1. They had experienced the incredible ministry of Jesus in His humanity
2. It was needful for them to see Jesus in His glory, & hear of His coming death
3. They knew enough to understand that this was about the coming kingdom
4. They knew that Elijah would be a forerunner to the kingdom being established
5. Jesus explained the dual application of the “Elijah ministry”.
6. John came in the power & spirit of Elijah for Jesus’ 1st coming.
7. Literal Elijah would be the forerunner to Jesus 2nd coming. (Along w/Moses)
Moses & Elijah are probably the two witnesses of Revelation 11

B. Preparation For Difficult Times

1. As Peter demonstrated, the disciples had trouble with the idea of Jesus dying, and that that was part of the plan of God (Turn to Mark 9:9-13)
2. They anticipated an earthly kingdom that would be set up very soon
3. At Jesus’ arrest, they would scatter and abandon Him for fear
4. After His entombment, they would hide in fear for the lives
5. Their human understanding of Jesus was so limited; they were in danger of falling away & abandoning the ministry given to them, & giving up hope
6. The Mt. Top experience would one day incredibly re-enforce their faith
7. They would all face death for their faith. This moment would strengthen them.

C. Assurance Of The Future Kingdom

Mountain Top experiences point us to the future- Philippians 3:20, 21