Jesus is the Greater Moses
One of the main ideas that The Gospel Project attempts to convey, especially in the Old Testament, is that Jesus is greater. Everything in the Old Testament points toward Jesus—the greater One. As we study the transfiguration, we see that Jesus is the greater Moses. Because I don’t think I can say it better, here is how the CSB Study Bible explains it:
The reference to six days indicates the rapidity of the fulfillment of Jesus’s promise in Mt 16:28, but it also may draw a parallel between Jesus’s transfiguration and God’s revelation of himself to Moses in Ex 24:13-18. Other parallels include the reference to a cloud, a brilliant light, a mountain, and the separation of a small number of men from the larger group. Moses’s face shone brilliantly after he met with God (Ex 34:29-35), so Jesus’s transfiguration serves to identify him as the new Moses. This seems confirmed by the words listen to him which echo Dt 18:15, a text from the prophet-like-Moses prophecy (Dt 18:15-19). On the new Moses theme, see notes at Mt 2:15 and 2:16. However, the description of Jesus transcends OT descriptions of the glorified Moses. In Ex 34:29-35, only Moses’s face was radiant and this radiance was concealed by his veil. Jesus’s face had radiance too glorious to conceal and his clothes became as white as the light. The description of Jesus parallels the description of the Ancient of Days in Dn 7:9-10 and shows that Jesus possessed the glory of his Father (Mt 16:27). The presence of Moses and Elijah indicates that the necessary conditions for Messiah’s coming had been fulfilled (v. 10; Dt 18:15-19; Mal 4:5). Peter’s request to build shelters unjustly suggested equal treatment for Jesus and his guests. The Father’s voice from heaven showed Jesus’s superiority to Moses and Elijah. Jesus is God’s beloved Son and the focus of true disciples. God spoke from heaven only twice in Matthew, both times to express his love for Jesus and his delight in his works (v. 5; 3:17). On the meaning of “Son,” see note at 3:17. The disciples’ reaction is understandable, for the OT shows that direct encounters with God inspire fright (e.g., Is 6:1-5). [Holman Bible Staff (2017). (p. 1531). CSB Study Bible. Holman Bible Publishers. Retrieved from https://app.wordsearchbible.lifeway.com]
Keep in mind that Matthew’s original audience was the Jews—a group who new Moses well and esteemed him greatly. They would have surely caught on to this comparison, forcing them to consider the identity of Jesus more fully.
This can serve as an opportunity for us to remind our kids that it is fitting for us to respect the heroes of the faith. There is nothing wrong with that…unless we respect them above Christ. Every hero in the Bible, except Jesus, and every hero of the faith since the Bible is a flawed, sinful man or woman who needed someone greater—Jesus—to provide forgiveness. You can remind your kids of that this week.
A Hint of the Kingdom
Jesus standing there with the veil pulled back enough to let His glory shine forth.
Moses and Elijah—representing the law and the prophets—chatting with Jesus about the events of His earthly ministry (see Lk 9:31).
A bright cloud covering them all and a voice from heaven booming forth.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? No wonder why Peter, James, and John wanted to construct some shelters and stay a while. What they experienced was a sliver of the coming Kingdom. A hint as to what is in store for us one day.
(Side note: I love how we see here that Moses finally made it into the Promised Land.)
The world as we know it is broken. It is not as it is supposed to be. Sure, we see images of original creation and the coming Kingdom, but overall, the world is more broken than it is right.
But one day, when Jesus returns, He will establish His perfect, eternal Kingdom. Everything wrong will be made right that day. All believers of all time will be reunited. God’s glory will fill the heavens and earth. Sin will be no more. Death will be a distant memory. And we will never have to leave. We can finally set up the shelters Peter, James, and John wanted.
This is the hope of the gospel. Share it with your kids this week.
*Devo from Pastor Brian, from The Gospel Project.
#JesusJams for today!
---> And here's this week's story!!
Christ Connection: Jesus showed His glory to Peter, James, and John. Jesus said He would die, rise from the dead, and return to heaven. One day, Jesus will come back to earth in His glory to make all things new.
If you have a bible at your house, you'll be turning to Mark 9 to read with your family this week! If you don't have one, that's okay! CLICK HERE.
OPTION 1: Light or dim Print and cut apart the “Light or Dim” printable. Display all the cards and direct kids to work together to sort the cards based on whether the picture depicts something bright or dim.
• “Light or Dim” printable <<----- Click here to print SAY • Sometimes, what we think is bright or dim depends on what our eyes are used to seeing. A flashlight may seem bright on a dark night when the power goes out. But in the middle of a sunny day, the same light might seem dim. Today we will learn about a time Jesus shone brighter than just about anything we could imagine. Why do you think Jesus might shine brightly?
OPTION 2: Suncatchers Provide each kid with a piece of wax paper. Show them how to paint one side of the wax paper with glue to make it sticky. Show them how to tear bits of tissue paper and stick them to the wax paper.
Instruct the kids to leave about a half-inch border around the edge. When kids finish sticking bits of colored tissue paper to their wax paper, they should paint it once more with glue and set it aside to dry. If you have them, feel free to use popsicle sticks around the edges to create a frame. SAY •These suncatchers will look beautiful when sunlight shines through them. Today we will learn about a time Jesus shone brightly with glory. What do you think that would have been like to see?
OPTION 3: Glow in the dark Provide a variety of glow-in-the-dark objects. Invite the kids to play with the objects. Occasionally dim or turn out the lights so the kids can see how brightly the items glow and how quickly they fade. SAY • Glow-in-the-dark objects cannot shine unless they absorb the light-energy of other sources of light. Even after absorbing that energy, they quickly give off all the light they were able to store. In a way, these objects can help us think about the way we “shine” for Jesus. We cannot give off any light apart from Jesus. In our story, Jesus showed His glory to Peter, James, and John, and it shone as bright as the sun. When we believe the truth of the gospel, it transforms our lives so that we become lights in the world. But how brightly we shine depends a lot on how much time we spend with Jesus, the source of our light. We study our Bibles, pray, and fellowship with other believers to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus, so that we can shine His light onto everyone we meet.
OPTION 4: Activity Page
Click THIS LINK to get a pdf of today's activity pages!