“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Matthew 17:1-8: A Foretaste of Glory, pt. 1

3. Analysis of the Text

3.1 A Foretaste of Glory

We are first told that the transfiguration occurred “six days” after the events of chapter 16. This unusual detail may be an allusion to Exodus 24:16, where the cloud of God’s glory covered Sinai for six days (Blomberg 262, Keener 277). Although there are other parallels to the revealing of the law at Sinai, as we will see, there is little indication that this specific parallel was intended. It is more likely that this detail was merely meant to connect the transfiguration with the preceding events (Carson 384), perhaps thematically as well as historically (Mark and Luke also make the connection; cf. Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28). The transfiguration immediately follows Jesus’ words to his disciples in 16:28, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Based on the juxtaposition of these passages, it is likely that Jesus’ words were intended to refer to the transfiguration, a powerful foretaste of the glory of Christ’s kingdom. Both the story of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, and the larger history of redemption are very nearly at a climactic point; here we see a first glimpse of the fruit of Christ’s work on the cross, and his future glory.

Matthew also writes that Jesus brought with him Peter, James, and John. These three were those closest to Jesus, and sometimes followed him where others did not (cf. Matthew 10:2, 26:37, Mark 5:37), most notably in Gethsemene...

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