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Discovering the High Places

Matthew 17:1-8

Six days later, Yeshua took Kefa (Peter), Ya‘akov (James/Jacob) and his brother Yochanan (John) and led them up a high mountain privately. 2 As they watched, he began to change form — his face shone like the sun, and his clothing became as white as light. 3 Then they looked and saw Moshe (Moses) and Eliyahu (Elijah) speaking with him. 4 Kefa said to Yeshua, “It’s good that we’re here, Lord. I’ll put up three shelters if you want — one for you, one for Moshe and one for Eliyahu.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” 6 When the talmidim (disciples/students) heard this, they were so frightened that they fell face down on the ground. 7 But Yeshua came and touched them. “Get up!” he said, “Don’t be afraid.” 8 So they opened their eyes, looked up and saw only Yeshua by himself.

The transfiguration of Jesus. Not something always discussed, but it is an important part of the life of Christ. The place it occurred is a little disputed. I hope to explain a little here and if you can ever travel to Israel you can see for yourself.

A high mountain... There are lots of mountains in Israel. The highest one is on the Golan Heights and is in the corner bordering Lebanon and Syria. It is called Mt. Hermon. It is not a far distance from Caesarea Phillipi, where Jesus and the disciples had been six days earlier.

For many years the "traditional" site of the transfiguration of Christ is on the top of Mt. Tabor. This village is about a 30 minute drive outside Tiberias, and is completely on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. When Helena, the mother of Constantine, was traveling through Israel, she saw the high mountain and established this spot as the place where Jesus was transfigured. It is a high mountain and can be seen for miles. Since we do not know exactly which "high mountain" it was, maybe it was this location.

As we have spent time in Israel, we have come to believe that the transfiguration occurred on Mt. Hermon. Spiritually there are many connects in the area. Tel Dan is not too far away. This is the location that the Jews (tribe of Dan) chose to build altars and NOT go up to Jerusalem for the festivals, which was in disobedient to what Adonai required and desired. It is also close to Caesarea Phillipi, where we read that Peter declared Jesus to be the Messiah and Son of God. However, this location is where Gentiles performed many sacrifices to idols. It is not a very pleasant environment spiritually.

In our minds, this area would be the prime location for Jesus to take His disciples and be proclaimed by Adonai as the Son of God. God wanted to claim the HIGH GROUND and take back the area that had fallen away and was not following Him. When Moses and Elijah stood with Him, they represented Torah and the Prophets.

God clearly was showing the disciples that even though the Messiah had come, they still needed Torah and the Prophets. They could not just let those go and hold onto only the teachings of Christ. It was all coming into fulfillment.

In Matthew 4 when Satan tempted Christ, I failed to mention that this occurred in the Judean Desert, which is by the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the face of the earth. During this conversation Jesus was also declared as the Son of God.

As we stop and think about both of these events, Jesus was declared the Son of God at the Highest Point in the region, and the lowest. These are the secrets of the Word that can be discovered when we look at the region and understand it from a Hebraic mindset. The happenings in the Northern region by Mt Hermon needed to be "cleared out and reset." The Dead Sea, and the region surrounding it that is desert, are "dead." Both areas are now becoming more fertile. They are growing things in the desert and it is coming to life. The Golan Heights are being restored to fertile farm land and fruits are plentiful. Even the birds are returning and using it as the migratory route again. Prophecies are being fulfilled.

I pray that as you begin to put pieces together and see for yourself that God has all kinds of hidden connections that He wants us to find, that you will ASK more and SEEK more and KNOCK more. Go to HIM with your questions. Ask HIM for eyes to see and ears to hear. Than you can be like the disciples on the HIGH MOUNTAIN with Christ. You might see Him brightly, but you won't be afraid. Clear out your mind and let God reign IN you.

Love and blessings,


PS I wish I had a good picture of Mt Hermon, but it is never easy to capture without a great camera. It is often hidden by fog or dust and finding a spot far enough away to really capture it all is difficult.

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