In Matthew 16:28, Jesus declared that some standing before Him will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. Six days after this declaration, His closest disciples beheld His glory. The same glory that Jesus will appear in when He comes again.
This gloried appearance reminds us of the Ancient of Days described in Daniel 7:9 and the son of man described in Rev 1:14. Jesus was trying to demonstrate to his disciples who He really was by giving them a sneak preview of God’s plan.
The presence of Moses and Elijah points to the divine nature of Jesus. Moses himself was in the presence of the Lord throughout his ministry to Israel in the wilderness. In Exodus 33:17-23, we read how Moses boldly wanted to see the very glory of God! However, the Lord would only allow him to experience it in a limited way, by placing him in the cleft of a rock. He even had to cover Moses in order to protect him, in case Moses saw His face and died. Elijah also beheld the Lord’s glory in 1 Kings 19:9-13, where he had to wrap his face in his cloak before standing before the Lord.
Both men had the experience of being close to the Lord, but were limited in a way that prevented them from seeing Him completely. How wonderful it was that the Lord remembered them and brought them personally to see the gloried Son! Even to have Him explain to them personally about His death (Luke 9:30-31). Here the men who were part of the Old Testament were being informed of its fulfilment by the Word Himself (John 1:1-3). They beheld the Lord in full glory without any limitation. Jesus tells us in John 14:9 that those who have seen Him have seen the Father. The disciples then heard a voice directing them to listen to Jesus (Matt 17:5).
We too must listen to Jesus.
Today, He is found through the Holy Spirit in the preaching and teaching of the Word of God as well as when we partake of the Lord’s Supper. Those of you who have not yet known Jesus Christ, you must pray that the Father will reveal the Son to you. For He is truly the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
Dn. Mervin Lin