Jul. 3. The Transfiguration
Mt. 17:1-13; Mk.9:2-13; Lk. 9:28-36
Six days later, Jesus went up on a high mountain to pray and He took Peter, James and John with Him. These three men had become leaders who seemed to be closer to Him than the other apostles. It was probably dark because Jesus usually prayed at night and while He was praying, the men went to sleep.
While He was praying, Jesus was transfigured (transformed; changed). His face shone like the sun and His clothing became dazzling white. To make the scene even more unusual, Moses and Elijah appeared and Jesus talked with them about His death.
When the apostles woke up they were afraid and did not know what to do or what to say. Recognizing Moses and Elijah, Peter said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
Since Peter made Moses, the lawgiver and Elijah, a great prophet equal with Jesus, God spoke to them from a bright cloud and said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” Even as great as they were, there is One greater. Jesus, the Christ is to be the object of our worship.
Jesus commanded Peter, James and John not to tell the things that they had seen until after He had been raised from the dead because the general population was not ready for that kind of news.
Jul. 2. The Servant of the Future
The Lord turned Isaiah’s attention to thoughts of the Savior and to the salvation of Israel; also, “you peoples from afar” (Gentiles) who would hear the Savior’s words. God, in His mercy stated that it was not enough that only the house of Jacob would be restored and preserved. “I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” There would be many obstacles in the path of the Savior. He would be despised by men and abhorred by the nation. Israel had been His servant for hundreds of years. The Gentiles would become a new servant. With Gentiles included in God’s plan, the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that all nations of the earth would be blessed through their seed would then be fulfilled.
Isaiah addressed the concerns of the exiles who felt that they had been forgotten. A mother may possibly forget her child. God will never forget His children. The prophet reminded them of the great promises that the Lord had made to them. Their destroyers would go away. They would become so mighty that their land would be too small to contain them. Israel would become a great nation under God’s protection. “All flesh shall know That I, the Lord, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Divorce is final separation. Israel was asked about the existence of a divorce certificate from God. Obviously, there was none. Neither had He sold them to a creditor to repay a debt. It was only their sins that had caused their separation from God. His withdrawal from His “wife, Israel” was only temporary. The Messiah would come to redeem Israel and reunite them with their “husband” God. Christ, the submissive Servant would not resist the beatings, insults and shame that would be heaped upon Him. Instead, He would “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” (Lk. 9:51)