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The Glory of a Disciple

Discipled to Disciple

“Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." - Matthew 16:28

Understanding why Jesus was transfigured will help us learn the place of Israel and the church in the progression of history as God works out His plan. The context leading up to it reveals how confused the disciples were about why Jesus came and how it was all to unfold.

Chapter 16 began with the Pharisees and Sadducees asking Jesus to provide a sign. He rebuked them for not being able to read the signs that were already provided and said none would be given but the sign of Jonah. The cross would be the clearest sign of all.

Then as they were walking on the road, Jesus warned the disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees meaning to beware of their teaching, teaching that required no cross.

Next Jesus asked Peter who the people said He was followed by who the disciples said He was. Peter correctly identified Jesus as the Christ the Son of the living God. Jesus then explained how He would build His church on the testimony of His followers. Founded on the cross and resurrection, the next dispensation would be that of the church, not the Kingdom.

Following this clear identification by Peter, Jesus began to show the disciples the coming events: He would go to Jerusalem, suffer, die and rise again the third day! Peter rebuked the Lord saying it would not happen to Him. Jesus rebuked Peter saying he was mindful of the things of men rather than the things of God.

The things of God were the coming cross and resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the the building of the church not the establishing of the kingdom on the earth. This would be accomplished when Jesus disciples denied themselves, took up their cross and followed Him.

In order to establish this concept in the thinking of the disciples, Jesus gave them a glimpse of Jesus coming in His kingdom glory. He truly was the King to come. Then the Father broke through commanding the disciples to Hear the words of His beloved Son. Jesus was making provisions for the coming church not the glory of the kingdom.

When the disciples asked Jesus about Elijah, Jesus explained that he had already come and been rejected in the person of John the Baptist. Likewise He was about to suffer at their hands. Jesus was telling them that the old program was about to end and the new begin. Following His death and resurrection the church would be the focus until such time as God would bring the kingdom to fruition. The transfiguration was given to remind them and us that while the church is the present plan it does not supplant God establishing His future kingdom purpose for Israel.

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