Thesis:The appearance of Moses and Elijah expanded the revelation of the essence of the Kingdom.
Introduction: In our prior studies I have made the claim that this paragraph is a fulfillment of the prophecy of 9:27. Everything about this paragraph smacks of "the Kingdom of God". Peter, John, and James could not "see" the details of this event and not "see" the Kingdom of God. It began as a "mountain" event in the form of Isaiah 2 and 40. It transitioned immediately into a "prayer" event with the clearest implication possible that the King is "Servant" to His Father; He does nothing without conversing with His Father about it before the fact (John 5:19). He does not consider His own "personal freedom" and "the ability to make His own decisions" of anyvalueatall in a context of men who begin life with the words, "I can do it myself", on their lips and who grow up to strive, and fight, and kill in order to be "free" of the "lordship" of another. Jesus did not consider the mountain "His mountain" and He did not go there to dictate to the Father in prayer.
This morning we are going to consider the next "event" of this Kingdom revealing paragraph. It begins with "Kai idou", a deliberate move forward with a hindrance to the speed of movement, and it focuses upon two men who suddenly appeared and engaged Jesus in conversation.
I. They Are Identified as "Men".
A. The term used is deliberately "male".
1. As a revelation of the "Kingdom", the term focuses upon the essence of "maleness" before God.
a. This is in harmony with Galatians 3:28 as a direct statement that "maleness" is not fundamentally "sexual".
1) In both Luke 20:35 and Mark 12:25 Jesus fundamentally destroyed the notion that "sex" as an action is all that important.
2) In Galatians 3:28 Paul fundamentally destroyed the notion that "sex" as a gender issue is all that important.
a) The "gender" issue is revealed by 1 Corinthians 11:3 to be a decision-making issue.
b) In regard to the "decision-making issue", the Bible could not be more clear: God holds "males" responsible.
3) Both of these "not that important" declarations maintain the distinction between temporary processes and the permanent state of things.
a) In "time" as a temporary state, both sex as an action and as a gender have their places.
b) In "eternity" as the final state, neither sex as an action nor as a gender has any place whatsoever.
b. The essence of "maleness" before God, being neither procreative, nor authoritative, is being "responsible".
2. In the "Kingdom" as the final state of things, every "male" is going to have "femaleness" added to him and every "female" is going to have "maleness" added to her under the reality that "there is neither" in Christ.
a. This is not "double-speak".
b. When we arrive in the Kingdom, those of us who have been "male" in the temporary state are going to find out what "maleness" really means: held accountable as "responsible, decision-making, sons" (Galatians 3:26); and those of us who have been "female" are going to find out what "femaleness" really means: sons as responsible executors of the decisions of others (1 Corinthians 11:3).
c. The "bottom line" in the final state is that as "servants" (as men we are going to be as women--responsible executors), we are going to "rule" (as women we are going to be as men--responsible decision-makers).
d. What this means is this: the Kingdom is essentially a combination of responsible decisions and intentional service to others so that there is neither "male" nor "female", but full conformity to Christ as the manifestation of the essence of both.
B. The term used is of men who were both characterized in the key "identity" passages as "servants" (the major "female" characteristic).
1. In the "determinative" event of "Elijah" (1 Kings 18), he is self-identified as a "servant" (18:36).
2. In multiple contexts regarding Moses' identity before God, he is identified by God as "My servant" (Numbers 12:7-8, a text quoted in Hebrews 3:2, Joshua 1:2,7; 22:2, etc.).
II. They Are Identified as Moses and Elijah.
A. As such, they are the two representatives of the Kingdom who were the last words on the lips of God in the Old Testament canon as the 450 year "silence" descended upon Israel (Malachi 4:4-6).
B. As such they represent "Kingdom" truth in a way that no others could.
1. Moses was the initial "Kingdom" type of meaning as the original Giver of the Law from the Mountain (this is the essence of Isaiah 2:3).
2. Elijah was the initial "restorer of the Kingdom" type of meaning as the original "servant in the face of massive apostasy".
C. Their "conversation" was with the Ultimate Fulfillment of both of their identities.
1. Jesus was "greater than Moses" in that Moses could only deliver the Law; he could not put it in the hearts of men (Jesus could, and did, both).
2. Jesus was "greater than Elijah" in that Elijah could only announce the arrival (baptize with water), not bring it to pass (Jesus could, and did, both).