Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Shows His Glory

Matthew 16:13-16; 17:1-9

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant (Luke 7:1-10; Matthew 8:5-13; John 4:46-54)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Jesus received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory. 2 Peter 1:17

Opening Prayer

A Place to Teach (Matthew 16:13)
    What became a key focus of Jesus' ministry as He neared its end?
      Mark 9:30-32 = Spending time with just His apostles teaching and preparing them
    What happened whenever Jesus tried to find a place to be with just His apostles?
      Matthew 14:13-14, 34-36 = Crowds tracked him down and He turned away no one
    Where did Jesus finally find a place where the Jewish crowds wouldn't follow?
      Matthew 15:21 = Region of Tyre/Sidon (Phoenicia); Only time Jesus left Jewish territory
    Where else did Jesus take His disciples that would be away from Jewish leaders and crowds?
      Matthew 16:13a = Caesarea Philippi

    Caesarea Philippi - 25 miles north of Sea of Galilee, 1700 feet higher
      Outside of Galilee in region ruled by Herod Philip II (third son of Herod the Great)
      Name - Augustus Caesar & Herod Philip II (Caesarea - Caesar's town, Philippi - of Philip)
    At base of Mount Hermon - Large mountain at northern boundary of Palestine, source of Jordan
      20 mile long ridge, three peaks - two over 9000 feet, View all of Palestine to Dead Sea
      Also called Ice-Mountain - Source of ice for Damascus & Mt Lebanon during summer
    Near Old Testament town of Dan in territory of Naphtali - Mainly non-Jewish now
      Jeroboam set up shrine in Dan, Became worship center for Baal (was Balinas)
      Caesarea Philippi had shrine for Greek god Pan - had been called Panias
      Magnificent marble temple to worship Caesar - distinguishing building of town

Question of the Day (Matthew 16:13-14)
    Surrounded by such pagan influences, what question did the penniless Galilean ask?
      Mark 8:27 = Who do people say I am?
    How does Matthew's record of Jesus' question differ?
      Matthew 16:13 = Who do people say the Son of Man is?
    How does this name that Jesus gave Himself point to who He really was?
      Daniel 7:13-14 = Daniel called the Messiah a son of man (also Gen 3:15, Psalm 8:4)
    Who did people think Jesus was? Did they recognize Jesus as the Messiah?
      Matthew 16:14 = No, they thought He was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, prophet

Jesus as John the Baptist? (Matthew 14:1-2)
    Who was especially curious about who Jesus really was?
      Luke 9:7-9 = Herod Antipas, who had beheaded John the Baptist
    Why did Herod believe Jesus was the reincarnation of John?
      Matthew 14:1-2 = Jesus' miraculous powers were proof, From supernatural
    Were the miracles Jesus performed similar to the ones John did?
      John 10:40-42 = John never did any miracles

    Did people think Jesus was John because they acted the same?
      Luke 1:17; 3:7-9 = John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, calling people to repent
      2 Corinthians 10:1a = Jesus was meek and gentle
    Did they at least look or dress the same?
      Mark 1:6 = John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt
      John 19:23-24 = Jesus wore a nice seamless garment
    What similarity should the people have recognized?
      2 Kings 1:8 = John the Baptist with Elijah
    What other visual contrast was made between Jesus and John?
      Matthew 11:18-19 = John didn't eat or drink, Jesus did - both were rejected

Jesus as Elijah or Jeremiah? (Matthew 16:14)
    Why did people think Jesus might be Elijah?
      Malachi 4:5-6 = It was understood that Elijah would return before the Messiah came
      Jews still leave an empty chair for Elijah when they celebrate the Passover
    Why might people think Jesus might be Jeremiah?
      2 Maccabees 2:1-12 - Before exile, Jeremiah hid the ark in a cave on Mount Nebo
        Jeremiah would return before the Messiah to bring back the ark & incense altar
      2 Esdras 2:18 - For thy help I will send my servants Isaiah and Jeremiah

The Real Question (Matthew 16:15-17)
    Was Jesus really concerned about who the people thought He was?
      Matthew 16:15 = No, it got the disciples ready to answer for themselves
    Did the disciples have a better understanding of who Jesus was?
      Matthew 16:16 = Yes, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God
    Had they learned this from spending the last two years watching Jesus?
      Matthew 16:17 = No, it had been revealed to them by the Father

    Was there any way they could have figured this out by themselves?
      Matthew 11:25-27 = No, No one knows the Son except the Father
    Now that we have the story of Jesus in the Bible, can we figure this out for ourselves?
      1 Corinthians 12:3 = No, No one can say, "Jesus is Lord", except by the Holy Spirit
    Peter was ready to give his confession when asked. What advice does he later give us?
      1 Peter 3:15 = Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you...
    Are we to try to be as eloquent and persuasive as Peter and Paul when telling of Jesus?
      1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 13 = They spoke what God told them, we should do the same

Built on the Rock (Matthew 16:18-20)
    How did Jesus use Peter's confession to help reveal His purpose for the disciples?
      Matthew 16:18 = you are petros (stone), & on this petra (large rock) I'll build My church
    What is this petra, the foundation of Jesus' church?
      1 Corinthians 3:11 = Our faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God
    Did Peter understand what Jesus meant by calling him a stone and his confession a rock?
      1 Peter 2:4-5 = Yes, we are living stones that are being built into a spiritual house
    How did Peter explain Jesus as Christ being a large rock?
      1 Peter 2:6-7 = Quoted Isaiah 28:16 & Psalm 118:22 showing Christ as the key stone
    How important would this church (spiritual house) be?
      Matthew 16:19 = It would have the keys to the kingdom of heaven
    After verifying that His apostles knew who He was, did Jesus ask them to explain it to others?
      Matthew 16:20 = No, The Spirit would come later to speak through them

A Complete Understanding? (Matthew 16:21-28)
    Was Jesus just concerned that His disciples knew that He was the Messiah?
      Matthew 16:21 = They should understand what the Messiah was & what would happen
    Wasn't it clear through Peter's confession that they already understood this?
      Matthew 16:22-23 = No, they misunderstood; The rock became a stumbling stone
    What did Jesus say to explain that being a stone in His church was more than just a confession?
      Matthew 16:24-28 = He explained the costs of discipleship - give yourself to Christ

Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2)
    How long did Jesus stay in the Caesarea Philippi area teaching His disciples?
      Matthew 17:1 = Six days, took his inner three (Peter, James & John) up Mt Hermon
    What is significant about this time?
      Exodus 24:15-16 = God's glory was on Mt Sinai 6 days before God spoke to Moses
    What does Luke tell us that Jesus did there?
      Luke 9:29 = Like Moses on Sinai, He spoke with God (prayed)
    Luke says His clothes were as bright as lightning. What analogy does Mark give?
      Mark 9:3 = Dazzling white, whiter than anyone could bleach them - even Clorox
    Was it just His clothes?
      Matthew 17:2 = His face shone like the sun

    How was this similar to, but different than what happened to Moses?
      Exodus 34:29 = Moses' face reflected God's glory, Jesus radiated His own glory
    Was this glory that Jesus was getting now that He had nearly completed His mission?
      John 17:5 = No, He had glory thru eternity, but it was hidden while He was on earth
    How does Moses' example explain to us why Jesus' glory had not been revealed?
      Exodus 34:30, 33-35 = He would not have been able to walk among the people
    How did John later refer to this in his gospel? (Also 2:11; 7:39; 11:4; 12:23; 13:31-32; 20:31)
      John 1:14 = We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only
    What did Peter say later in one of his letters?
      2 Peter 1:16-18 = We were eyewitnesses of His majesty...

A Mountaintop Experience (Matthew 17:3-5)
    Besides a shining Messiah, what else surprised the three apostles?
      Luke 9:30-31 = Moses and Elijah (Law and Prophets) came and talked with Jesus
    How astonished were these disciples with what they were seeing?
      Mark 9:5-6 = So much that Peter just blurted out something stupid
    What happened before Peter could finish making a fool out of himself?
      Matthew 17:5 = God came in a bright cloud and spoke - This is My Son, listen to Him!
    How would this remind the apostles that Jesus is the Messiah, the new Moses?
      Deuteronomy 18:15 = Moses said God would raise up a prophet like him, listen to Him

The Reaction of Peter, James and John (Matthew 17:6-13)
    How did the apostles react to this mountaintop experience?
      Matthew 17:6-8 = They fell down terrified until Jesus touched them & picked them up
    What promise of Jesus had just been fulfilled?
      Mark 9:1 = Some of crowd wouldn't die before seeing God's kingdom come with power
    After seeing this magnificent Epiphany of Jesus, how would the three explain it to the others?
      Matthew 17:9 = Jesus told them not to until after He had risen (Lk 9:36 - They didn't)
    Did Jesus' order bother the three? = Jews believed all the dead would rise simultaneously
      Mark 9:10 = Yes, mainly because they wondered when they would ever be able to tell

    What other question popped up as they tried to make heads-or-tails about what happened?
      Matthew 17:10 = Elijah appeared briefly, not in spirit & power to people as promised
    How did Jesus answer their question?
      Matthew 17:11-12 = Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him
    Did this confuse the baffled three even further?
      Matthew 17:13 = No, this they understood

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

Use of this material is provided free of charge for use in personal or group Bible Study, no permission needed.
The author reserves all rights for use in published material or in uses where fees are involved.
For permission, or to provide your comments, insights and feedback, contact the author at:


Return to Bible Stories for Adults Home Page