Jeremiah 3 – The Call of Jeremiah & Jesus’ Transfiguration

ThinkingWow!  That’s awesome!  That would be great, but scary too.  I bet Peter, James, and John really freaked out when they saw the full glory of Jesus, and then they heard You talk.  

Jeremiah 3
The Call of Jeremiah

1 2700 Old Seal
2,700-Old SealIsraeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,700-year-old seal that bears the inscription “Bethlehem,” the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday, in what experts believe to be the oldest artifact with the name of Jesus’ traditional birthplace.

1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

“If…polluted” – divorce and remarriage on a widespread scale defiles not only the participants but also the land in which they live.

2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

“High places” – places where pagan gods were consulted and worshiped.

“In the ways hast thou sat for them” – the connection of this imagery with ritual prostitution is made explicit in Eze 16:25.

3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?

5 Will he reserve his anger forever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.

6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.

2 Gobekli Tepe The World’s First Temple
Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey’s stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization
Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.

The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it’s the site of the world’s oldest temple.

“Backsliding Israel” – the northern kingdom, destroyed in 722-721 B.C.

7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

“Her treacherous sister Judah” – the southern kingdom.  Samaria (Israel’s capital) and Jerusalem (Judah’s capital) are similarly compared as adulterous sisters in Eze 23.

8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

“Judah feared not” – she refused to learn from Israel’s tragic experience.

9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

“Committed adultery with stones and with stocks” – worshiped pagan deities.

10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.

11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger forever.

13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

3 Hammurabi like
“Hammurabi-lik” cuneiform discovered at Tel Hazor
Archaeologists excavating Tel Hazor have uncovered a clay tablet dating from the 18th or 17th centuries B.C., describing laws in the style of the ancient 18th century B.C. Babylonian lawgiver Hammurabi.

16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.

17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.

4 ABRs Bryant Wood standing
ABR’s Bryant Wood standing beside a section of the collapsed wall of Jericho.

21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.

22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.

24 For shame hath devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

“Shame hath devoured the labor” – false worship is costly, both financially and spiritually.

25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

Transfiguration (Matt 16:21-17:13).

About a week after Jesus told His disciples that He would suffer, be killed, and be raised to life He took Peter, James and John up a mountain to pray.

While praying, His personal appearance was changed into a glorified form, and His clothing became dazzling white.  Moses and Elijah  appeared and talked with Jesus about His death that would soon take place.

Then a cloud overshadowed them and a voice said,

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Peter, James, and John all heard the voice and out of complete fear bowed the faces to the ground and when they looked back up the cloud, Moses, and Elijah were gone.6 559

Jesus told the disciples not to tell anyone about that encounter until he was raised from the dead.

There can be no doubt that the purpose of the transfiguration of Christ was to let His disciples not only learn, but see who Jesus really is, and for them to tell us about it.

Moses and Elijah probably represented the Law and the Prophets.  But God’s voice from heaven – “Hear ye Him!” – clearly showed that the Law and the Prophets must give way to Jesus.

Jesus is the new and living way life, replacing the old.  He is the fulfillment of the Law and the countless prophecies in the Old Testament.

The disciples never forgot what happened that day on the mountain and they all tell about it decades apart:

The book of John was written in 85-90 A.D.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14).

The Book of Second Peter was written in 67 A.D.

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 honor 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.

7 559And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him on the holy mount (2 Pet 1:16-18).

The Book of James was written in 49 A.D.

James didn’t describe Jesus’ Transfiguration like John and Peter did, he still may have been in shock J because he says:

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons (Jas 2:1).

This means, there is no one on earth, dead or alive, that can hold a candlestick to the glory of Jesus Christ!

So right before that magnificent event Jesus told them He had to go to Jerusalem and get crucified, so tell me a bit more about Jerusalem.

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