Friday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 16:28-17:8; Mark 9:1-8; Luke 9:27-36

The Transfiguration and the Coming Kingdom

So exactly what does the term, “kingdom of God” mean?  It is an important question to answer if we shall properly interpret much of the New Testament; after all, Jesus was constantly speaking about the kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven, the terms being synonymous.  Scholars believe, and I agree, that the kingdom of God refers to God’s reign over His people, made real through his Son’s death, resurrection, and ascension.  And as His Son has already done all of this, well then, God’s kingdom is a current reality.  Oh, it awaits its complete fulfillment when we shall be with Him forever; but until then, as members of Christ through saving faith who have been raised with him unto new life (Colossians 3:1), we already experience the benefits of living under our Lord’s reign in that kingdom, awaiting our ultimate transformation when he returns.  And this is what the last verse of yesterday’s passage refers to: “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”  Christ did not mean the full glory of that kingdom when he comes again, but the reality of that kingdom which they would soon experience, which was either his transfiguration, his resurrection and ascension, or the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, or even all three.  Through each of these wonderful events, the disciples saw the kingdom’s coming in their lifetime.

As for the rest of the passage (which I take up on the last Sunday before Lent in these devotions), it is crucial to see how the transfiguration connects the two testaments together, our Lord fulfilling the Old and inaugurating the New.  Moses and Elijah appear in glory with Jesus, his clothing in dazzling white, and speak with him of “his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”  Why Moses and Elijah?  Moses represents the law, Elijah represents the prophets.  Together, these two represent the old covenant God made with Israel under the law, and the prophecies made to Israel about the coming Messiah.  Jesus fulfills both the law and the prophets in his role as our Prophet teaching what had not been heard since the foundation of the world (Matthew 13:35, Psalm 78:1-4), our faithful High Priest who lives the sinless life and then offers himself as the spotless lamb of God on our behalf (John 1:29, 36; Hebrews 4:14-16), and our present and future King who comes to rescue and save us (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 19:16).

Peter, not knowing what to say, makes a silly request.  The Father responds: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him!”  May we hear that command as well.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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