May 22, 2021
Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him (Matthew 17:1-3).
Moses was the ‘Great-Lawgiver’. The prophet Elijah was the ‘Great Law-defender’. He was the most prolific prophet of the Old Testament in demonstrating divine power through miracles. No other Old Testament prophet could match the zeal for God and God’s Law than Elijah. The fact that he did not experience a ‘normal’ transition from mortality to immortality, but was taken to heaven in a fiery chariot and translated into eternity indicates the extent to which this man was eminently honored by God for his life and service.
Through the prophet Malachi (4:5) God said to Israel, Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse. The Lord was speaking in reference to John the Baptizer who would precede Jesus Christ and would prepare Israel for His coming with that same zeal for God that Elijah demonstrated in his ministry (see Matthew 11:14; Luke 1:17).
Elijah was a godly man. His courage for the Lord and before the sinful people of Israel was unmatched by any other prophet. He was bold and fearless in declaring the Word of the Lord to kings and queens as well as to the common folk of his day. But he was also human and had his weaknesses, as when he ran from Jerusalem when he heard Queen Jezebel was after his head for killing the priests of Ba’al (1 Kings 19:1-8). But the Lord visited Elijah, comforted, strengthened, and commissioned him to return to his prophetic office.
In truth, it was the pre-incarnate Christ that Moses and Elijah communed with during the course of their respective ministries. He walked with them, talked with them, empowered them, ministered to them and through them to God’s people. They served Him and directed the minds and hearts of the people to Him.
As Jesus was the consummation of God’s Law (Moses), He was also the epitome of God’s miraculous power in ministry (Elijah). As both Moses and Elijah were the great prophets of the Old Testament, so Jesus was the greatest prophet of all. Who better to minister to Him and to prepare Him for His death, resurrection, and glorious ascension?
“Father, thank You for this event in the life of Jesus that encourages me in my life. The Apostle wrote in Hebrews 12:1 that Your servants are an inspiration for me to run my race in ministry with faithfulness, boldness, zeal, and fearlessness until the time You call me home. May I be the kind of servant to You and Your Kingdom that Moses and Elijah were in their day. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”