The Book of Second Peter

Lesson 4 - "The Mount of Transfiguration"

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

II Peter 1:5-18, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”


We started a new series from II Peter entitled “The family of like precious faith.”  We already talked about the power, the promises and the partakers of this precious faith, we looked at adding to our faith these seven things, and we saw that having “these things” in our lives had several promises attached to them, (fruit bearing, blindness, and our entrance into heaven), today we want to look at Peter’s account of the transfiguration of Christ.


In II Peter 1:16-18, Peter is telling these believers that he was an eyewitness of Christ’s transfiguration or when Christ was for a moment of time on earth viewed in His glorified body along with Moses and Elijah. The Word of God provides for us three accounts of this event. The first is found in the gospel of Matthew 17:1-8, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.”

And so here in II Peter 1:16, Peter is telling us, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” He them goes on to tell them about his eyewitness account of the transfiguration of Christ. The transfiguration of Christ was when Christ went up to Mount Hermon and brought along Peter, James, and John with Him. There these three disciples got an eyewitness view of the glory of Christ unveiled for a few moments in time in His glorified appearance and in the glory of His deity.


In writing this portion of Scripture, Peter is trying to stir these believers by way of remembrance to “stir” them up to serve the Lord. He says in 2 Peter 1:13-15, “Yea, I think it meet (right and just), as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up (to awaken or arouse them) by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”


Three things that Peter wants them to know so they can be stirred up.

#1) The company with God’s beloved Son.

As we have just read, according to Matthew’s gospel, we find on the mount of transfiguration God the Son, three of the disciples (Peter, James, and John), and God the Father. Maybe these three were chosen because they were the closest of the disciples to Christ. Maybe Jesus took James to give him mighty strength in his preaching, courage and comfort to help in his future martyrdom. Maybe He took John to sustain him through the years with this glimpse of Christ’s glory to help in his future years of persecution and suffering until he sees Christ again face to face. Maybe He took Peter because Peter was about to suffer a great fall but would soon after be called upon to lead the other disciples. We don’t know why these three were there but we know one thing, they needed to be there and Christ wanted them to be there to be close to Him and see what no one else would see on this earth.


Moses and Elijah were also there on that Mount. These were two very different men. Moses a man who died and God took care of his body and no one but God knows the location of it. Elijah was the man who prayed to die and interestingly enough, he did not die. God translated him to heaven without death.

Let’s look further on this mount of transfiguration,


#2) The conversation on that mount.

From all records given to us in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we find the first conversations were conducted between Christ, Moses, and Elijah. The details of their conversation are given to us in the gospel according to Luke 9:28-31, “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.”

What they talked about was Christ’s coming death, burial, and resurrection; the shedding of His precious blood for the redemption of the souls of men.


Peter was there and heard what was said between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah and he wants those who are reading his epistle to know these facts so that they could be stirred up like he was to better serve the Lord! He was saying, “Listen to me, I was there, I saw these things and I heard the conversations between Jesus, Moses and Elijah!” In other words, I am not making this stuff up, it really happened, I was an eyewitness!!!


Then, Peter wants them to know that this wasn’t some fairy tale or fable that we made up. He says in II Peter 1:16-18 again, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”


We looked at the company on the mount and the conversation on the mount,

#3) Let’s look at the Conclusion concerning the mount.

Peter concludes in 2 Peter 1:19-21, We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”


He said that not only did he see and hear what happened that day on the mount of transfiguration but more important than what I saw and heard that day is our more sure Word of God that is given to us, not by men, but by God’s Holy Spirit and can be trusted above all else!!!!!


Peter is trying to stir up persecuted believers through the writing of this second Epistle. He does so in many ways. We already saw how he begged and pleaded with them to add “these things” to their faith. (virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity). He then reminds them about the facts of what he saw and heard on that mount of transfiguration when he saw a glimpse of the glorified Christ, Jesus’ deity partially exposed to prove that He was Emmanuel-God with us. And then, Peter wants them to know that more important than what I saw and heard is the more sure word of prophecy that we have contained in the Scriptures.


The Bible says that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Like Peter, may we be stirred by the truths of the Word of God, the facts concerning the gospel record of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for our soul’s salvation.


Let’s pray.



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