Summary: 8th in the series "Miracles in Matthew." The transfiguration teaches us what it’s like to have an encounter with Jesus. Concludes with a communion meditation.
In the book and movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” Scout made the following observation about her Father:
"There just didn’t seem to be anyone or anything Atticus couldn’t explain. Though it wasn’t a talent that would arouse the admiration of any of our friends, Jem and I had to admit he was very good at that, but that was all he was good at, we thought."
After he was called upon by the law to kill a rabid dog, the neighbors reveal that Atticus used to be named "One-Shot Finch" because he was the surest shot in Maycomb County. Jem and Scout’s admiration of their father grew because they had seen him in a new light.
In today’s miracle story some of the disciples get to see Jesus in a new light. We sometimes get opportunities to experience the lord on a new level as well. Today I’d like to talk about what those experiences can be like.
A vision of Jesus is…
2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Imagine How breathtaking this must’ve been. Though they had seen him do miracles, he had in other ways seemed an ordinary man—who ate & drank—now they see a vision of His glory.
When Jesus breaks through our current understanding of Him to show us something deeper it is an awesome experience.
EG Baptism in the HS, A revival meeting, Church Camp, on an ordinary day, watching a sunset. When we have one of those God moments it is nothing if not exciting. but it can also be…
4 Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
Clearly this is a weird response, but Peter’s head is spinning here. A lot of times when you and I experience a vision of Jesus we can be a little confused too—everything’s moving a little fast. We can make snap decisions that maybe aren’t exactly what the Lord intended as the outcome of a particular encounter with Him.
Understanding that we may need to slow ourselves down a bit and make sure we’re acting in accord with His will—maybe seek godly counsel.
Understand that we want to balance this—you don’t want to miss the push that the excitement of your encounter with Jesus is meant to give you.
A vision of Jesus also always is…
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 him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
They learn something more about Jesus that is important, His nature as the Son of God is clearly established. When we have a vision of God I think it almost always gives us a fuller understanding of His glory and majesty—it helps us to understand our proper relationship with Him.
Notice also that this vision of Jesus reveals something about His plan.
11Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." 13Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
Jesus makes clear to them that just as John suffered—so He too would suffer—a sobering thought for them no doubt, for it would cost them too. So also when we have a vision of Jesus I believe He often makes clear something about His plan and how we fit in.
A revelation of the kind I’m talking of will often be a call into ministry or to do some special task for Him.
Remember Paul on the Damascus Road and how Ananius was sent to tell Him how he would suffer for Jesus.
Which brings us to the next point. A vision of Jesus can be…
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don’t be afraid." 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
The disciples were excited until God Spoke, then they were terrified. Many times people will come into a church service, not realizing they are going to meet God there and they will find his presence disconcerting, so too we who know the Lord will often be frightened at a new revelation of Him and His plan for us. That’s OK,we need to understand that it’s OK to be frightened, Jesus says, I’m with you don’t be afraid.