Summary: We will join Jesus, Moses and Elijah and we will be transfigured in that glory.


February 23, 2020

Matthew 17:1-9

First Comes Our Transformation – Lastly Comes OUR Transfiguration

The Reading

Jesus Transfigured on the Mount

17 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, [a]let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

The Message

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

(verse 9).

Let me say this from the get-go: We cannot have that “Mountain Top” experience that is seeing the “vision” of the transfiguration unless and until we are truly transformed. Let me explain.

From our earliest exposure to the truth of the gospel, we can only imagine in our minds the imagery of the bible stories and testimonies shared with us. However, that is based entirely on our imagination and mental interpretation. A fair amount of that imagery also comes from various artworks depicting the likeness of bible characters and biblical events. At some point ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS come to a point where we submit to Christ and ask Him to TRANSFORM us by forgiveness and guidance via His Word and His Holy Spirit.

Does that in any way change the imagery that we’re talking about? Not likely! Does it give us some clarity whereby we seek more personal revelations? It certainly should!

Through the years, I have preached many, many funerals. Once I preached eight funerals in one week. In every funeral, we share one major truth.

That is: Jesus died on that cross – was buried in that tomb – descended to hell for three days - arose again from the dead and ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of God the Father.

When a true Christian dies, he/she ascends to heaven at the very instant of death. He/she joins Christ, Moses, Elijah and every believer who has ever gone before. What today’s reading reveals to us is a mental glimpse of what awaits us. Pure, unblemished, GLORY!

Where shall we confirm that revelation? I believe that every true Christian is righteously clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.

44 “Then they also will answer [d]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:44-46

So, let us immediately look for that ever-needed application from this message. We share that with every gathering, prayer and message:


We can faithfully look forward to being among all who have been transfigured in resurrection and ascension – only by obedience to what Jesus says in Matthew 25:44-46.

Peter, James and John found out really quickly that building tabernacles to honor or worship the dead was not in any way the message of the TRANSFIGURATION. From the words of Father God: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” verse 5.

I kind of think God is saying Hear Him and DO WHAT HE SAYS. What do you think?

Let’s stand, join hands and pray – “Father God, we look forward to that day when we too will be among all who are transfigured in your presence. We pray that you will grant us great and greater opportunities to love and serve You by loving and serving each other. We pray in the glorious name of Your Son, Jesus. AMEN”

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