Summary: What was the real purpose of the Transfiguration?
Don’t Miss the Main Point Part 1
The Book of Mark
I. We started last time to look at the Transfiguration of our Lord.
A. This event took place at a very crucial time in the Lord’s ministry.
1. It is at the later end of His ministry.
a) He is at or just over two years into it.
b) He has worked many, many miracles and has touched the lives of countless people.
2. He has now begun to move away from the crowds (although they still gather).
a) His focus is now on His disciples.
b) Preparing them for what lies ahead in the next few months.
3. The events recorded here mark the middle of the book of Mark.
a) Mark like John focuses the majority of his book on the last few months of Jesus life here.
b) The first half of Mark deals with the first 2 yrs.
c) The last half with the few months leading up to the cross and His resurrection.
d) Mark covers the events of the last week of our Lord beginning in chapter 11.
e) John has the same emphasis and his record of the events of the last week of Jesus ministry begins in chapter 12.
f) This structure gives us a clear understanding about what is most important with regard to Jesus’ life.
4. The focus of Jesus life and ministry was the cross.
b) Jn.12:26 even in His darkest moments He understood this.
B. The last part of chapter 8 of Mark records the beginning of Jesus’ preparation of His disciples for this event 8:31.
1. The disciples didn’t respond very well to this news.
2. They weren’t prepared for Him to die.
3. The crucifixion of Jesus is often called the scandal of the cross.
a) Partly because of the innocence of Jesus.
b) Partly because crucifixion was such an affront to people especially the Jews.
(2) It is no small wonder that the disciples didn’t understand this.
4. Peter ultimately rebukes the Master for such talk and is in turn quickly rebuked by Jesus as being satanic.
C. So you have a mental picture of these men who have received so much information in a very short time that they are in overload and also despair because Jesus had said that the cross was a necessary part of being one of His followers.
D. But God will not leave these men or us helpless and in despair.
E. Jesus assures them that some of them will not die until they have seen Him in all of His Messianic glory 9:1.
F. That assurance was realized about a week later which brings us to our passage.
G. Last time we looked at the participants in the event.
1. The observers – Peter, James and John.
2. The observed – Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
H. Today I want to focus on the event itself.
1. The transfiguration.
2. Peter’s response.
3. God’s instruction
4. The dilemma of Elijah.
A. The bible says in the book of Hebrews that faith is the essence of things hoped for and the assurance of things not seen.
B. But here we see that God in His compassion and love for His fledgling followers gives sight to their faith for a short time.
C. Luke says that it happened while He was praying.
1. This was a common practice throughout His ministry.
a) At the start of His ministry.
b) When choosing the 12
c) Before Peter’s confession.
D. The mountain was probably Mt. Hermon near Caesarea Philippi.
E. Metamorphysis vs.2.
1. To change the form of someone or something.
2. It is an inside out change rather than an outside in.
(1) It means to give outward expression to one’s inner character.
(2) There is another word Skayma which means to change the outside.
b) Ro.12:2 uses both words
(1) Conformed Skama
(1) Vs.6 the word is used to refer to Christ both in His pre-incarnate and His incarnate form.
(2) It is referring to His character, His essence.
(3) Vs.8 uses Skayma to describe His outward appearance.
d) The transfiguration was not something that came upon Jesus rather it was Him coming out – revealing His glory to the disciples.
e) This happened right before the eyes of the disciples vs.2b.
3. His clothing also reflected His glory.
a) Became whiter than any launderer could ever bleach them.
b) Oxy clean could not get clothing that white.
c) Matt. says it was white as light and His face shown like the sun.
d) Luke described it as white and glistening.
e) The whiteness was like flashing light or light reflecting off of shiny objects in the sun.