Summary: Experiencing the glory of God will radically transform our lives.
A Messiah of Glory
Text: Matt. 17:1-13
1. Illustration: J.S. Bach said, "All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul's refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hub-bub."
He headed his compositions: "J.J." "Jesus Juva" which means "Jesus help me."
He ended them "S.D.G." "Soli Dei gratia" which means "To God alone the praise."
2. Like Bach and his music, the goal of our lives should be to give glory to God. However, a secondary goal should be to experience His glory like the three disciples did.
3. The three keys to experiencing His glory are:
a. We will experience His glory when we are alone with Him.
b. When we experience His glory we will be overwhelmed.
c. Because we have experienced His glory we will understand.
4. Read Matthew 17:1-13
Proposition: Experiencing the glory of God will radically transform our lives.
Transition: First, we must understand that...
I. We Will Experience His Glory When We Are Alone With Him (1-3).
A. Jesus' Appearance Was Transformed
1. Jesus frequently took his disciples somewhere so that they could be alone together. However, this time it was going to be different, radically different!
2. Matthew tells us, "Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone."
a. Tradition says that the Transfiguration occurred on Mount Tabor, but it is more likely that is happened on a mountain near Caesarea Philippi, possibly Mount Hermon which is 12 miles northwest of Capernaum.
b. Just as Moses went up the mountain accompanied three companions, Jesus is accompanied by three of his closest and most intimate disciples.
c. Jesus is taking them as far away from other people and the pressures of life as possible (France, 646).
d. Those who separate themselves from God often receive great revelations from Him (Horton, 355).
3. Next we learn that when they got there something incredible happened. Matthew says, "As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light."
a. He said that as they watched Jesus body went through a radical physical transformation.
b. μεταμορφόομαι: to take on a different physical form or appearance (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
c. The visual transformation is not so much a physical alteration as an added dimension of glory; it is the same Jesus, but now with an awesome brightness like the sun or light.
d. This was different from the radiance of Moses face when he came off Mount Sinai.
e. His face shown because of the glory he had seen of God, but Jesus face shown because of his own glory (France, 647).
f. The white robe and brilliant face typify the splendor, majesty and radiance of heavenly beings.
g. However, Jesus glory was not an external light shinning on him, but it was an internal radiance.
h. The imagery shows that Jesus was endued with a glorified, heavenly body (Horton, 355).
4. This gives their call to follow Jesus a new sense of urgency.
a. The urgency of the preceding call for the disciples to take up their cross in the light of Jesus’ soon-coming glory is now readily understood, because three of them receive an unmistakable revelation of Jesus’ identity.
b. Matthew uses the passive of the verb metamorphoo, indicating that God is behind the transformation.
c. Paul uses the same verb to describe the spiritual transformation that believers experience as a result of regeneration.
d. But here Jesus experiences a physical transformation visible to the disciples (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Matthew, 590).
5. As if this wasn't a radical enough experience, Matthew tells us, "Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus."
a. Moses and Elijah came to speak with Jesus about the things to come.
b. This shows that Moses and Elijah were aware of what was happening and what was about to happen, and that what Jesus was about to accomplish would effect them also.
c. Both are mentioned at the end of the last book of the OT, and both left this world in an unusual manner.
d. Malachi 4:4-5 (NLT)
4 “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel.
5 “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives.
e. Moses was buried by God while he was still full of vigor and Elijah was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind (Horton, 357).
f. As no others, Moses and Elijah represented the Old Testament, the law and the prophets.