An Insight: Why Jesus Met With Moses And Elijah

1 Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James, and his brother John, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Matthew 17:1-3 NASB

Something extraordinary happened when Jesus went up to the mountain with three of His disciples. Two men showed up to Jesus on the mountain from heaven. Moses and Elijah. They spoke with Jesus about His exodus from the earth, referring to His death and resurrection. It also reveals and tells us something else. Moses and Elijah have meanings and so does Jesus. All three were revealing the completion of God’s revelation.

Moses and Elijah’s meaning is found in Luke 16. Let’s take a look at it.

29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” -Luke 16:29-30

The rich man that died who was now found to be in hell, asked Abraham to send to his brothers Lazarus, so that they may be convinced through a miracle—a resurrection, to get saved and avoid ending up with him in hell.

How did Abraham answer him? He said to him that his brothers already know how to avoid hell by finding God in the writings of Moses and the prophets. Basically, Moses and the prophets are synonymous for the Scriptures.

Now, getting back to Jesus being in the mountain with Moses and Elijah. These two men represent the old testament. Moses, the Pentateuch which is Genesis through Deuteronomy. Elijah represents the rest of the Old Testament which were writing by the prophets. Jesus represents the New Testament. So, what we see in the Mount of configuration is the completion of the whole revelation of God to men. You see the plan of redemption for mankind in those three men, in the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament pointed to Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. When Jesus came, He fulfilled the prophecies spoken about Him.

There is nothing more to add to God’s Word, it is completed. To avoid hell, one must read the Bible to find Jesus and read what He did for them on the cross and afterward, His resurrection, proving that everything He taught is true.

Misunderstanding The Scriptures Can Cause Us To Stumble

66 From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. 67 Therefore Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!”

John 6:66-69, HCSB

Jesus loves us so much that He doesn’t want any of us to leave Him. One of the major reasons that Jesus doesn’t want anyone to abandon Him (apostatize) is that it will cost them eternal life, which will take them to hell—a place of unending torment. He doesn’t want to lose us to that place.

A genuine believer will never fall away (John 10:27-30) but the ones who are not yet rooted in Christ, they are the ones who can fall away from the truth if they are not careful.

Many people who were followers of Jesus Christ started to abandon Him after hearing a hard teaching from Him that they misunderstood. This was that message:

53 So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, 55 because My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. -John 6:53-55

To find the meaning on what Jesus said, you have to go a little down to verse 63 which says…

The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. -John 6:63

The phrase “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood” is a metaphor for accepting—when the time came—Jesus’ death for our sins and His resurrection by faith, acknowledging that He sacrificed His life for us—being punished on our behalf.

One of the reasons that people fall away and no longer follow Jesus—the Jesus that the Scriptures describes—is because they hit a wall (not knowing its true meaning), they will misunderstand a teaching in Scripture about a core doctrine and stumble over it. Because they misunderstood it, they will end up believing in a different Jesus, gospel, and spirit.

For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly! -2 Corinthians 11:4

The Importance Of Prayer

Praying for understanding before reading the Scripture is essential. The Holy Spirit will reveal the meaning of the verses that you are reading and will guide you into its context to understand it properly, giving you insight. That is the only way that you can correctly apply God’s Word to your life.

If you come across someone who is teaching something strange, most likely, they are teaching false doctrine. You have to immerse yourself in God’s Word and study it to compare the teachings that’s out there so that you won’t get swept away.

A Wicked Slave Thinks That Jesus Is Not Coming Soon

48 But if that wicked slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and starts to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 that slave’s master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:48-51, HCSB

When a person who claims to follow Jesus Christ says that He’s not returning anytime soon, but in many many years from now, the Scripture calls that person a wicked slave. Why? Instead of looking forward to be with Christ, he is still in love with the world. Look at the passage and see what the wicked slave does. He “eats and drinks with drunkards”. He immerses himself in the pleasures of this life.

Jesus said to be alert and have your mind set on the things above not on the things of this world (Colossians 3:2). A false Christian has no desire for the kingdom of heaven because he hasn’t been transformed and is still dead in his sins. Many Christians are being deceived into believing that Jesus isn’t coming soon. So what happens with that type of mentality? They will slack off, instead of busying themselves with their Father’s business, they will be planning for their future in this world and not getting ready for the next, where God dwells.

This type of wicked slave is a hypocrite. He worships Jesus with his mouth but denies Him with his lifestyle.

7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said: 8 These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.

Matthew 15:7-9, HCSB

The believers who are not looking forward for the return of Jesus are being led astray through false teachings, putting their faith in danger. For you cannot serve both God and money—the world. You cannot love and commit to both.

Preterism is a dangerous belief—they claim to be Christian but they don’t believe that Jesus is coming back. For a deeper study on Preterism click on these two links: Preterism, is it Biblical? (Part 1) & Preterism is a dangerous theology

The Scriptures commands us to keep watch for the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18), expecting it at any moment. This type of mind set will keep you motivated for doing God’s will.

35 “Be ready for service and have your lamps lit. 36 You must be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once.

Luke 12:35-36, HCSB

What’s the conclusion? Well, I can tell you that a person with the Holy Spirit will desire for Jesus to come quickly. While the wicked unregenerate slave will desire to satisfy the flesh with the things that the world has to offer. Lot’s wife is a prime example of this. Read below.

23 The sun had risen over the land when Lot reached Zoar. 24 Then out of the sky the LORD rained burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah from the LORD. 25 He demolished these cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. 26 But his wife looked back and became a pillar of salt.

Genesis 19:23-26, HCSB

At the end, the wicked slave will be cast into hell with the rest of the hypocrites, all those who professed to follow Jesus but really didn’t. Don’t follow Jesus through other biblical sources. Follow Jesus through the Word of God. May the Lord bless you and keep you from deception.