Tuesday, April 21, 2009


All right...I guess it doesn't take any extra time to just post this with no editing and no pictures, so here it is...peace!

1. And, as it turned out, just six days later the first three of them actually did, indeed, see that glory, just as Jesus had prophesied. The way that it happened was this: With no warning to them of what was about to occur, or any explanation at all, for that matter, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.

2. And once they had reached the top, almost immediately His appearance began to undergo a complete metamorphosis, right before their very eyes! His visage seemed to literally change from the inside out, causing His face to shine with the intense, blinding light of the sun! Even His clothing began to morph into a surrounding aura that was as white as light!

3. And as this supernatural light continued to emanate and radiate from every part of Him, it seemed to burn off some kind of layer or membrane, which then allowed the disciples to suddenly and literally see into another dimension…and what they saw was two men standing right there with Jesus, holding a conversation with Him. And somehow, inexplicably, they just knew that the two men were Moses and Elijah! They had obviously never seen them before, since both men had lived on the earth centuries before this…and yet, as these two Prophets continued to commune with Jesus, the disciples not only recognized them, they were totally comfortable in their presence…not at all alarmed or surprised that they were seeing living people from another time and era right there on the mountain…in the now!

4. Then Peter, always the first to speak up, regardless of whether or not it was appropriate, said to Jesus, “Lord, this is an amazing and unforgettable moment in time! If You approve, I’d like to put up three booths right here…to build three memorials…one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah!”

5. But while he babbled on about this notion of memorializing the moment with mere mementos, a shining cloud, completely composed of transcendent light just emerged and sort of overshadowed all of them. And a deep, thunderous voice from within the cloud began to speak, saying, “This is My Son…My Beloved, with Whom I am and have always been delighted! Listen to Him!”

6. And even though the disciples hadn’t been startled by Jesus’ trans-figuration, or the appearance of two people from the distant past whom they had considered long dead, for some reason, when they heard this voice, they fell flat on their faces in fear.

7. But Jesus, now back in His normal, physical form, came and touched them and said, “All right…get up. Stop being so afraid of these things.”

8. And when they opened their eyes and looked around, they not only saw that Jesus was no longer in an altered state, they realized that He wasn’t accompanied by the other two men any longer.

9. So they got up and descended the mountain in somewhat of an awkward silence, which was finally broken when Jesus spoke up and said, “Look, I don’t want you to say anything at all about what just happened here on this mountain to anyone…at least not until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10. The disciples then asked Him, “Why do the religious scholars say that Elijah must come first?”

11. He replied, “Well, they’re right about that…Elijah is, in fact, the one who is supposed to come first and get everything restored and ready.

12 But what they don’t grasp is that Elijah actually has come already…they just didn’t know or recognize him when he came. So, seeing him only with natural eyes, they did to him in the flesh what flesh-minded and flesh-limited people would naturally do. And what I’ve been trying to get you to understand is that they are going to treat the Son of Man exactly the same way.”

13. Then, in a rare and short-lived moment of insight, the disciples understood that He was really speaking to them about John, the Forerunner.

14. As was typical for Jesus and His disciples by this point, a crowd of needy people was waiting for them at the foot of the mountain. As they approached the throng, a man came up to Him, fell on his knees before Him, and began to beg, saying,

15. “Lord, please have mercy on my son! He has a terrible condition that causes severe, epileptic-type seizures which manifest, frequently…and when they do, he becomes suicidal, and tries to find relief by ending his life. He has burns all over his body because he has run into an open fire on several occasions, and many other times he has attempted to drown himself!”

16. Previously, I brought him to Your disciples to see if they could help him, but they weren’t able to do a thing for him.

17. In extreme frustration, Jesus answered, “Oh, you unbelieving, clueless, and backward generation! How long am I supposed to demonstrate dominion before you? How many miracles is it going to take before you realize the power that you already have?! Bring him here to Me.”

18. Then He addressed the boy’s condition as a rebel or demonic spirit, and evicted it from his ravaged body. As soon as it was expelled, the young man who had been so tormented was made instantly well, both mentally and physically.

19. Later, when the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked Him, "So, why couldn't any of us, no matter how hard we tried, do for Him what You so easily did?”

20. He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith…because you force your faith to remain in tiny seed-form. The truth is, if you have faith that is like a seed…say, like a grain of mustard…all the faith that you’ll ever need is already resident within that small, insignificant thing. If you just allow the seed to grow and mature, and stop striving with it…stop trying to make things happen in the flesh…that seed will naturally and organically produce after its kind. Just trust the nature of the seed! As the grain of mustard doesn’t try to grow into a tree, but rather lets the growth process take its course in its time, you have the seed-potential to say to this mountain from which we have just descended, “Move!”, and that mountain would move! It’s already all inside you. Seriously, if you can embrace this concept, nothing at all will be impossible to you!”

21 – (Verse 21 doesn’t exist in any original manuscripts.)

22. As they were regrouping in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "Listen, you don’t seem to be comprehending this yet, but I’m telling you again that the Son of Man is about to be betrayed and turned over into the hands of carnal men.

23. You need to prepare yourself for this, and accept the fact that they will murder Him…but you also need to prepare yourself for the other part of this scenario…as I’ve told you, three days later He will be raised alive!" This time it began to sink in with the disciples a little more, and, even though they couldn’t fully accept it, they believed it enough to feel horrible about it.

24. When they arrived in Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, "Does your teacher pay taxes?"

25. Peter replied, "Yes, I’m sure that He does.” But as soon as they were in the house together, Jesus confronted him, saying. "Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays…his children or his subjects?"

26. He answered, “His subjects, of course.” Jesus said, "Then the children are tax-exempt, right?

27. But so that we don't upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast in a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth, and in it you’ll find the required tax money. Take it then and give it to the collectors to pay what is owed, according to their system, by both you and Me.”


PattiL007 said...

One of my fave passages and you have certainly done it justice while adding that additional insight--that new perspective God has most definitely granted and opened to you. The Scriptures are wonderful and I love them--your paraphrase draws me in much deeper and really brings everything to life for me more than ever b4. Such glory and anointing on JITN and now on MITN. Interesting places to go and exciting new things to see regarding God's manifold wisdom and His Manifestation--Lord, we await your Appearing--the glass gets clearer by the lesson, the struggle, the day. Glory to God in the Highest! Hosanna!

Blessings Blog Fam!

el ojo y la luz said...

I just wanted to say that your paraphrasing of the scriptures (and your teaching as a whole) makes the word tangible for me. The words really live in and through me when I can hear them. And I enjoyed listening to you read MITN on Sunday. The spoken verse reaches my core. Our Lord is vivid in my mind and it just makes sense. I don't mean to say that I understand everything. With certainty, the map and the paths are much clearer thanks to you. I appreciate you and what you are doing, Bishop.

Northern Light said...

Hey Dad, welcome home !

Wow......thank you for posting and sharing! Feels like "home", again.

Yea, that is all such a powerful situation in those verses. I would say, for me, one of the most instrumental and instructional scenarios in the Gospel. Just to IMAGINE that playing out and being a part of it, what would I have felt like, when I realized, even for a minute, what HE was talking about. Not to mention "seeing" the imagery and not being afraid of it, but recognizing through fear, the awesomeness and power of God's voice to drop my on my face!

The whole "faith as a mustard seed" verse was so eloquently explained by you on Sunday, that my mind almost replayed your words on that, with your voice as I read it. That was pretty cool.

That's a blessing for this morning, and a pleasant surprise! Thank You.

Northern Light

Brenda said...

I have read this again even though I heard it Sunday I didn't realize that I didn't hear verse 21. I have been taught verse 21 so much. I have even been taught that you MUST fast and pray for the type power to do the things that Jesus did. Which I now see is a contridiction after reading the other verses which show that the power is already within us. If I want to be truly put out the circle of my other brothers and sisters in the gospel just let me tell them that. They already think I have lost my mind now I come saying verse 21 was not there and they love to boost how they fast and pray and are so strong in the faith for having did that. I'm not going to lie I preached it too that you must turn down your plate and get on your knees, oh well that was then this is now. Even though I can clearly see that it does not fit its taking a minute for me to wrap my mind around it. Thanks for bringing truth to me.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, everyone...

Hey Brenda, let me jump in here, quickly, since I didn't say anything about this Sunday...there are certainly lots of other Scriptures that support the value of prayer with fasting...Jesus just didn't say anything about it here...I never could bear witness with the statement being here in this story, and I guess it's because He didn't say it, and my spirit instictively knew that...tell your friends to look it up...they can find other passages about fasting, but they won't find it here (if it matters to them what Jesus actually said...)

Northern Light said...

I appreciate you responding to Brenda on the prayer & fasting, especially today.

Yes, there is a sense of "awe" when you fast & pray for a situation, for another, for whatever it is you want to directly connect with, while perhaps unable to. That's when I find prayer & fasting to be a wonderful opportunity and blessing. To remember, because it's so true, not to act like the fasting is such a drag and painful, that everyone has to see it on your face. I love the explanation for it, simplified here, "Don't look like the cat dragged you in, so people ask and then you tell them......oh, I'm fastinggggggggggg. Put your make-up on, comb your hair, shave,trim your mustache (hopefully the same person isn't doing all those things......ah, I got silly there), but look great and enjoy the day and give it all to the Lord, joyfully."

Don't know how "good" I happen to look at the moment, but I started praying and fasting for Lisa and litte Zac at midnight and plan to do so until he comes home tomorrow, safe and sound. I pray the Holy Spirit takes all I offer to them and it's what I can do from here.

Northern Light

Disciple said...

Excellent! I love this place!

linda said...

Thank you for clearing up that verse on pray and fasting for me. Each time that I had read it, it never seemed to fit right for me.
Also, this is my first week back at work since the hospital and so far I am doing well.

Brenda said...

Thanks Bishop as I was just going to write back because I have been researching this all morning on the internet. Whereas I did find that it was not in the original text I was curious as to why was it added. Some scholars seem to think it was added so that it could pan out with what Mark wrote in Chapter 9:29. Now I ask, what did it really mean, did Mark hear it or was it just not said at all. Maybe all this is not even important but it just has me thinking. I don't even know why I am obessing on this other than I'm being challenged on a verse that I thought I knew so well and has used in the content of that story so well.

Northern Light said...

In our Garden...In our Life
...we reap what we sow...

First, you Come to the garden, alone, while the dew is still on the roses...

For the Garden of Your Daily Living plant three rows of Peas...(Peace)
1. Peas of Heart
2. Peas of Mind
3. Peas of Soul

Plant four rows of Squash....
1. Squash Gossip
2. Squash Indifference
3. Squash Grumbling
4. Squash Selfishness

Plant four rows of Lettuce...
1. Lettuce be Faithful
2. Lettuce be Kind
3. Lettuce be Patient
4. Lettuce really Love One Another

No Garden is Without Turnips...
1. Turnip for Meetings
2. Turnip for Service
3. Turnip to Help One Another

To Finish Our Garden We must Have Thyme
1. Thyme for Each Other
2. Thyme for Family
3. Thyme for Friends
4. Thyme (take thyme) for Prayer

Water Freely with Patience & Cultivate with Love
There is much fruit in your garden-

God Bless!

Northern Light

Linda Luke said...

Thanks for posting!!!

My fav is vs 20 where everything we need is already inside us! Thanks for bringing it to life! =)

ps....wandering ...is vs 6 suppose to say seen or seemed? Just wanted to bring to your attention Bish. =)

You don't have to post this. Have a wonderful evening!!

tracy said...

AHHHHH deep calls unto deep. couldn't resist us huh? Is it our intelligence? Our love for revelation? Our wit and humor????? Whatever made you visit-I for one am glad.....ah word ver-prest....may you have the time and resources you need to feel you are accomplishing all you set out to do PREST down and running over....

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Actually, CJ, I think it was supposed to have been "been" (I've changed it)...I went ahead and put your comment through because I appreciate your attention to detail and willingness to help...I'm doing a lot of writing right now, and that makes typos more likely...

And, yes, Brenda, the "prayer and fasting" statement is, indeed, in the Mark passage, and "fasting" is in some manuscripts for Mark's gospel...I don't think you're obsessing over it...it's a valid question...maybe I'll teach on it soon...

You're too funny, Tracy, but don't get used to it...I'm still in full writing mode...but I'm here looking at everything on the blogs...and it only takes a minute to just post a chapter when it's finished...

Thannks, everyone...

tracy said...

Crap --well good to see ya- we will take what we can get!

P. Avery said...

Verse 5: M-arvelous, of course...
and I keep seeing "Listen to Him!"...
I wonder why the Father would say that to Peter, James and John? Haven't they BEEN listening to Him?

So, checking out the last thing spoken for six days(that Matthew thought worth including anyway) ...
I find it was "Take up YOUR cross and follow me"...

okay then...

G'night, bloggers...write on, Bishop...thanks for posting this one! I enjoy comparing your text with other translations>

peacemaker said...

"Be ready in the morning to come up to Mount Sinai and present yourself to me there on top of the mountain..." “No one else may come with you…” "Moses was up on the mountain forty days and forty nights...at that time he wrote the terms of the covenant on the stone tablets." "When Moses came down the mountain...he wasn't aware that his face glowed because he had spoken to the Lord face to face." Ex.34:2-3,29-29 NLT.

"So he(Elijah)got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God." "Go out and stand before me on the mountain, the Lord told him. And Elijah stood there and the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain." 1Kings 19:8,11 NLT.

"As the supernatural light continued to emanate and radiate from every part of Him, it seemed to burn off some kind of layer or membrane, which allowed them to see into another dimension...and what they saw was two men standing right there with Jesus...And somehow, inexplicably, they knew that the two men were Moses and Elijah!" Matt.17:3 MITN

My assumption in the past while reading this passage in Matthew was Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus from where ever they went after dying or leaving this dimension.
But what if, transcending time and space, they actually visited him from their experience on Mt. Sinai? Both accounts in Ex. and 1 Kings tell the story of a "new" covenant or promise of sorts, and , of course, we all know what and who Christians call the “new” covenant. Instead of the two instructing Jesus, as I have always thought, maybe Jesus gave them a glimpse of what the covenant had become.

I don’t know…call it revelation or the musing of an early riser, it is a pretty interesting parallel…don’t you think?


Anonymous said...

just soaking it all in.

Your labor is rewarding to me. I do some research from time to time but not to the extent you have. I must have not payed attention to verse 21 not being original and it is even foot noted that way in my Amplified. It never made sense to me because that did not seem to be part of the equation for most healing miracles that have been testified to and even those witnessed by me.

Your version with that proper exclusion noted in place of the verse make the rest of the paraphrase very powerful.

You are enjoying some wonderful meditation and the anointing makes your words shine like the Son.

Northern Light said...

Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know GOD, will come to know God because they know you .......

What more can be said on that one ??


Anonymous said...

Bearing witness with PM's "musing"-revelation. That is so cool.
Reminds me of KClement's comment last time he was in the house...there will be a new sound coming from this place...a future sound brought into NOW!

Gotta run...

woops...gotta share the wordver, NL..."othsmst"..."others must" see our light

Northern Light said...

Being almost the same age, YOU will remember this.
Advertisement campaign....

Wednesdays are Prince Spaghetti Days.....

Well,not any more....

Wednesdays are LifeSkills days.........

My clock is ticking......I anxiously await the "meal".


Linda Luke said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not much can be added to that! Icing for me in what God has been speaking and trying to get my attention in. Hey,I'm like finally catching on recently! =) Yeah! Like Paul for sure~had to learn it!
Thanks for the message!!! So puts a balance in living life! =)

I think all of us tend to put pastors on pedestals somehow or from the 'supernatural' realm and easily forget that you all are humans! =) Like P. Adrian Rogers once said that a member saw him in the grocery store and asked , "You buy groceries?"

I am contentedly abasing and abounding! Remembering to everything there is a season!! If God be for us who dare be against us! He will cause it to all work for our good! Each and everyone!!

~Don't let the bedbugs bite! =)

Goodnite & love to all~

Izumi/JOY said...

Salutations from The Silver State!

Blogging from hotel room, facing CAESAR'S PALACE - (4/15/09 post - OMG! - hubby's business trip - more to say - later.) On our way to a function. But, wanted to check in with this:

1. ...just six days later... I know, that from God's perspective, time is significant.
My first thought is, Wonder why that specific number?

Lots of interesting possibilities. Six is the number of man and rebellion (666). God commanded man to work for 6 days. The sin of murder is the 6th commandment.


Ditto the ?? for those who accompanied Jesus. Three = solidness (interesting, considering what occurred!) realness & completeness; a sign-post number.

Peter = "hearing"
James= "usurper"
John = "God is gracious"
Jesus = Yahweh saves; the Lord will save
Moses = draw out, drawn out; son, child
Elijah = whose God is Jehovah; prophet & provocateur

(3 "physical/solid sons" & 3 "spirit sons")

There must have been a reason why these were chosen to witness & experience what they did. What about their lives was significant to warrant a mountaintop rendez vous?

Remember that day in the desert? In Numbers, when the Israelites rebelled against Moses & Aaron.(blew out their flip-flops... nah... made that up) Deut: 8:4

Moses & Elijah interacted with water. What if God struck Himself when Moses tapped the rock in Numbers 20:11?

Elijah heard rain's voice, Ps.29. Did God command Himself, via an incarnation as Elijah? Could verse 2 (complete metamorphis) be applied, here?

Verse 3. - I LOVE this, "and what they saw was two men standing right there with Jesus, holding a conversation with Him." (what if it was all Himself?)

No wonder booths & memorials were un-necessary. Those guys were supernatually HOLDING A CONVERSATION - IN TIME. With THE WORD.

Wow. So much more.

G'night beloved Universe!

Larry Usher said...

Bedbugs are making a comeback lately I hear...!

Though perplexing, just perusing those paragraphs pertaining to Steven in Acts piquantly portrays the prerogatives and paradigms of the Prince of Peace.
Our lives are not our own; once we realize this it is at once freeing and frightening. We are transfering our trust to someone else- but that is the nature of covenant and warfare. The King of Kings must lead His army and His subjects must behave with unflinching loyalty, knowing the battle will but bloody as well as glorious.


Any novel or unexpected event in which one shares; an exciting or remarkable incident befalling any one.
The encountering of risks or participation in novel and exciting events; adventurous activity, enterprise.

Life- good or bad is always adventurous!

Bro Lar

so funny- Word ver: Dente- "Firm but not hard- perhaps a great description of a soldier in the Army of the Lord...

PattiL007 said...

PM, I believe you have SO got it!!! Bring it on, Brother!

If this is caused by "early rising," I will have to get reacquainted with mornings! (I just wish they weren't so early!)

Blessings Blog Fam!

peacemaker said...

Thank you, Mystic!

There is so much more that could be said about it. I'm glad you "got it" as well.


Donald said...

Finally got a chance to read this one.
Verse 6. They had seen all the other stuff going on and it didn't seem to phase them at all. That is incredible. And then a talking cloud comes along and totally blows their mind.
I guess you would have had to have been there.
I would have already peed on myself with all that other stuff going on.

Izumi/JOY said...

Before I forget, (again), thank you for posting sans editing & sans pics. (while I appreciate both, sometimes (OK, often) they cause my thoughts to ping-pong.

I appreciate how the word "membrane" led me to research the word parchment & apply its various interpretations to this verse.

The alliteration in v. 5 & the line, ..."sort of overshadowed them" - cracks me up.

Wonder why Jesus referred first to Himself as "I" in v. 9, then, as Son of Man. (was SomeOne else speaking?)

Wonder if He "absorbed" Moses & Elijah back into Himself, like Neo did to Agent Smith in "The Matrix". Whoa! (Hugo Weaving - cool name.) Hey, anything's possible - consider John 13:3.

V. 13 kinda reminds me of the scene in "Next", where Nick Cage splits himself into a bazillion selves.

There's so much more. (but, without lunch, it'll all sound like funsense)


Izumi/JOY said...

Good morning beloved Universe!

Woohoo! I'm laughing to myself that I've never caught this before!! (treasure hunting - such fun!)

Verse 4 - "Then Peter, always the first to speak up, regardless of whether or not it was appropriate..."

24 ..."the tax men came to Peter"...

27, ..."and pull in the first fish that bites."

In v.5 the thunderous cloud Voice commanded for the disciples to listen to His beloved Son. (not a whole bunch of minutia - simply, listen) Was that an aside to Peter, alone? Or all of the guys?

Was it a key to all their personalities?

If Jesus had been called, Son of Thunder Cloud's Voice, could that have been an inside joke between Himself & Abba?

James & John were there, too. They were dubbed "sons of thunder". (for their tempers)

In the natural realm, their dad was a Galilean fisherman, a man of position, who owned boats & hired servants.


Izumi/JOY said...

You've all probably noticed this - just catching up. Studying v. 4 & Peter's proffered partitions, I'm still wondering. Why did God send Moses & Elijah, vs. say, Enoch & Elisha?

Anyway, not that I'm trying to make this "fit", but the History Channel recently aired a segment about Moses, called Battles BC. It described Moses' leadership of the Israelites out of Egypt & their crossing of the Sea of Reeds.

I'd never heard this before, but, some historians speculate that Moses' men mutinied against him. (whether or not it's true, it's still interesting, that he was a forerunner of Jesus)

Wondering if I'm the only one who finds v. 9 curious. Jesus just finished telling the disciples about his imminent departure, but they ask about Elijah's eventual arrival. Huh? Why?

And, it's interesting how I always associated the whirlwind that took him up, but rarely focused on the chariot of fire & horses of fire. (a living representation of Psalm 20!)

Wonder if his mantle was significant. (like Moses's staff & Jesus' robe)

It's all too wonderful.