What Did They See at the Top of the Mountain?
(The Transfiguration)

Some Disturbing News

In Matthew chapter 16, the disciples were told for the first time that Jesus the Christ must die! Can you find the verse in this chapter where Jesus told them this alarming news? Verse _______

How did Peter respond to what Jesus said about His coming death? (Circle the correct answer.)

  1. He said, "Lord, it will come to pass just like You said it would."
  2. He said, "Lord, even though I don’t understand what you mean by this, I believe it with all my heart because You said it, and I know that whatever You say must come to pass."
  3. He said, "Lord, this shall not be."   He was implying that the Lord did not know what He was talking about.
  4. He said, "Yes Lord. I know that the Messiah must die because even Isaiah the prophet said this would happen in Isaiah chapter 53."

Did Peter really believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, the great King who would someday rule and reign over all the earth (see Matthew 16:16)? __________ He and the other disciples were convinced that Jesus was the great King that all the prophets spoke of and the One who would deliver the Jewish people from their enemies and bring peace to the entire world (see Isaiah 9:6-7). But they did not understand that before Christ could come as King, He must first come as Saviour. In order to be man’s Saviour, He must Die!

Other Jews had the same problem the disciples had. In John 12:32-33, the Lord told the people that He would be lifted up to die. These Jews knew that Christ the King (the Messiah) must live and reign forever and ever (read John 12:34; compare Daniel 7:14,27). They thus faced what seemed to be an impossible problem:

How can a dead Messiah reign forever and ever?

Abraham Lincoln was shot in 1865 and John Kennedy was shot to death in 1963. Do you think these two men will ever rule as President again?  How can a dead President rule? It seems totally impossible!

Read Matthew 16:21 again. If Jesus had said, "I must rule and reign forever and ever!"  Peter would have cheered!   If Jesus had said, "I must conquer the Roman armies and set up My kingdom over the entire earth!"  Peter would have jumped for joy! But when Jesus told the disciples that He must die, what did Peter say (Matthew 16:22)? ___________________________________________________________
Peter was greatly disturbed at the thought of Christ’s death. He probably thought to himself, "If the King dies, then what is going to happen to the Kingdom?  How can a dead King rule over this earth?

Let’s try to answer this question for ourselves. How can a dead Christ be King over this entire earth? What is the answer to this question?  (Notice the last seven words in Matthew 16:21.)

The Mysterious Prediction

In Matthew 16:27-28 the Lord Jesus made a mysterious prediction which the disciples did not fully understand. In these verses, what great event did Jesus announce? (Circle the correct answer.)

a. Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.
b. Jesus would die on the cross.
c. Jesus would come out of the tomb.
d. Jesus would come again as King.

When Jesus came the first time, He did not set up His kingdom; instead He went to the cross to die for sinful men. This means that Jesus must come to earth a second time so that He can reign and rule as King.  Jesus came the first time so that He could make it possible for man’s heart to be right. He will come the second time to make it possible for man’s world to be right. He came the first time to be the Saviour; He’ll come again to be earth's King. At His first coming He was given a CROSS; at His second coming He will be given a CROWN.

He's King of My Life  

He's King of the World



Righteousness to the Believer

Peace to the Believer                  

Joy to the Believer

See Romans 14:17


Righteousness to the World (Jer. 33:15)

Peace to the World (Isa.9:6-7)

Joy to the World (Isa.65:18-19)

If the King dies, will there still be a kingdom? The answer is YES! At a time when the disciples were disturbed over the announcement of His coming death, Jesus did a wonderful thing. He took three of His disciples and gave them a preview of the coming kingdom.

Sometimes on television there is a preview of what is coming the next week, so that everyone can look forward to it with anticipation. Jesus wanted to give of His disciples a preview of the kingdom.  This preview was so wonderful that these disciples never forgot what they saw! In fact, Peter even mentions this unforgettable experience in the book of 2 Peter which Peter wrote just before he died (see 2 Peter 1:16-18).

The Glorious Transformation

About a week after Jesus told His disciples that He must die, He took three of His disciples with Him to a high mountain. Why did the Lord go to this mountain (Luke 9:28)? _____________________________ What happened to Jesus at this time (Matthew 17:2)? ____________________________________________

When did this transfiguration or transformation (change) take place?

1. What time of day did the Lord often pray
(Luke 6:12; 21:37; 22:39-40; Matthew 14:23)?

2. While on the mountain, what activity did the
disciples engage in (Luke 9:32)?

3. When did they return from the mountain (Luke 9:37)?

Therefore, when would you say the transfiguration of Christ took place?

The word "transfigured" (Matthew 17:2) is from a Greek verb metamorphoō which is made up of two parts: 1) meta, which means "change" and 2) morphe which means "form." Thus, it means "to be changed into another form, to be transformed." Our English word "metamorphosis" comes from this Greek word and is used to describe some of nature’s most amazing, God-designed transformations, such as the changing of a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly or the changing of a tadpole to a frog!

In what ways was Christ transformed or changed?

1. His face shone as the __________ (Matthew 17:2). The sun shines so brightly that a person cannot look directly at it without injuring his eyes!

2. His raiment (garment) was white as ____________ (Matthew 17:2). Have you ever seen freshly fallen snow when the sun first comes out? The snow is so bright you can hardly look at it!

3. His raiment was white and _____________________ (Luke 9:29). This word means His garments were flashing with the brilliance of lightning.

4. His raiment became ___________________, exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can white them (Mark 9:3). There is no launderer or bleach on the face of the earth that can make garments this white and brilliant (regardless of what the commercials and advertisements say).

Furthermore, all this probably took place at night. When are lights and shining things most impressive--at night or in the daytime? ______________________________

When the Lord Jesus walked upon this earth, the glory of who He was did not shine forth. His face did not shine. His clothes were not different from the clothes of other men. There was no halo upon His head. His appearance was similar to that of any other Jewish man. It reminds one of the tabernacle in the wilderness.  The tabernacle from the outside did not look very unusual or very impressive (covered with animal skins, etc.), but on the inside the tabernacle looked dazzling (with articles of furniture covered with shining gold)! The transfiguration was one of those rare times when the glory of the Son of God was allowed to shine forth (compare John 11:40-44; 18:4-6; 1 Cor. 2:8). At the second coming of Christ, this inner glory will be outwardly displayed, even as it was on this mountain: Jesus will come with power and great _______________ (Matthew 24:30; see also Matthew 16:27; 25:31; Daniel 7:13-14). The three disciples caught a glimpse of this glorious event which would take place in the future.

The word "transfigured" or "transformed" is used four times in the New Testament. Twice it is used of Christ, and twice it is used of that great inner transformation which God brings about in the heart of the believer. Please MATCH:

1. _______  Matthew 17:2
2. _______  Mark 9:2
3. _______  Romans 12:2
4. _______  2 Corinthians 3:18

A. Of Christ   
B. Of the believer

If you are really saved, Who is in you (2 Cor. 13:5; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20)? _________________________________________________
Is this Person being veiled, or do you allow Him to shine forth? How does the world
(with its way of talking, way of acting, habits, expressions, fads, styles, amusements, etc.) try to squeeze us into its mold?  See Romans 12:2–"be not conformed to this world."

The Interesting Conversation

Who appeared on the mountain with Jesus (Matthew  17:3)?  1)_______________ and  2)_______________What did these two men talk to Jesus about (Luke 9:31)?

Circle the correct answer :

a. His second coming
b. His birth in Bethlehem
c. His decease (departure from this world by way of His death on the cross).
d. His transfiguration.

Moses and Elijah knew that Jesus must die! They were looking ahead to this great event when Jesus would die for their sins and for the sins of the W_____________ W______________ (see 1 John 2:2).

The Foolish Suggestion

Peter wanted to stay on the mountain and to even set up tents there (see his suggestion in Luke 9:33)!  Did Peter know what he was talking about? (See Luke 9:33 at the end of the verse.) ____________ Peter did what we often do. He spoke first and did his thinking afterward! Certainly the Lord was not about to dwell for any length of time on a mountain. He knew He must come down from the mountain and begin His march to Calvary's cross (Luke 9:51).

The Heavenly Voice

God the Father spoke from heaven, and He said, "This is My beloved Son:  H__________ H______" (Luke 9:35). How well did Peter hear the Lord in Matthew 16:21-22? _______________________________
How well do we hear and obey God’s Word today?

Our Lord’s kingdom will surely come! Christ has already given a preview! As we live between the Lord’s two comings, may we hear and heed (obey) all that the King says to us in His Word!

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