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Summary: In football the goal is to win. At Jesus’s transfiguration, the final play was called in Jesus’ ministry so that we could all win.

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“Football and Mountaintops” ~ Soup-er Bowl Sunday

Matthew 17:1-9

(quotes taken from the NKJV unless noted)

Wakelee Church ~ February 6, 2005

Note: Every time the word football was said during this service, it was the congregation’s cue to toss around Nerf footballs provided by the pastor.

Theme: In football the goal is to win. At Jesus’ transfiguration, the final play was called in Jesus’ ministry, so that we all could win.

Introduction – Pep-rallies

I enjoy a good pep-rally! Back in my high school days, we’d meet at the largest parking lot in town, which just happened to be the livestock auction, and have a huge bonfire. There would always be someone yelling through a megaphone and the crowd would roar whenever given the right cue from the speaker.

The event was always a success. Ravenna’s team mascot was the bulldog and our colors were blue and white. So there’d be people carrying banners, people wearing their blue and white outfits, and of course the *** FOOTBALL *** team would be there.

No one walked away from these events saying, “This was a dud, that it did nothing for me.” In fact, even though the players speeches weren’t all that inspiring, most everyone walked away knowing that we’d done our part by showing our support.

Pep rallies work because people who attend are not looking for what they can get out of it, they are there to be a part of it…there’s a purpose…appreciating and supporting the team..everyone understands why they are there.

Just before Jesus took Peter, James, and John upon the high mountain, which was probably Mount Hermon, which rises 9400 feet above see level, Jesus gave all the disciples a pep-rally.

After telling them about taking up their cross in order to follow, he tells them in vs. 27, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

For the disciples, this was good news. For Peter, James, and John, it was the pep rally before the big play, which centered on the cross of Calvary and the empty tomb.

I – Jesus picked a team that could handle the assignment. (vs. 1)

It’s interesting to note who Jesus took with him to get this final leg of his ministry started. Peter, James and John (three of the four disciples first picked by Jesus) were now called upon to witness the inner-workings of the head office. It changed their lives forever.

It reminds me of the coin toss. Before most *** FOOTBALL *** games there is a coin toss to decided which team will kick off first. Normally, the visiting team gets to choose heads or tails, and if they win they can either receive the ball first, or kick the ball first. Nine times out of ten, the winner of the coin toss chooses to receive.

For Peter, James, and John, they had an opportunity to be in the game in a special way. Instead of kicking the responsibility off, they decided to receive. It is no coincidence that our Bibles have chapters that these men wrote.

Jesus picked a team that could handle the assignment…

II – Jesus knew the importance of the huddle. (vs. 2-4)

So, with his team, he headed up the mountain. And before the disciples could even figure out what was happening…Jesus changed big time. His face was so bright it hurt your eyes to stare at it. His clothes became so white that they looked like a thousand of those stadium lights were shining through them. And then…the huddle.

“In *** FOOTBALL *** they have a huddle, the goal of the huddle is to give you thirty seconds to call the play, that is why they give you a huddle.

(At a professional *** FOOTBALL *** game there may be ) Sixty thousand people watching you huddle, they don’t mind you taking thirty seconds to call the play. They understand that you have to get organized, you have to know where you are going to go, the ends need to know where they are going to go, the quarterback needs to know where he is going to go, the backs need to know where they are going to go. The huddle is important because it puts everyone on the same page.

But let me inform you if you do not already know, sixty thousand people do not pay $30 a ticket to watch you huddle. People come to see if their team can overcome the opposition.

The huddle of Elijah, Moses and Jesus represented all the players. Moses…the law.

Elijah…the prophets. Jesus…the fulfillment of both the law and prophets. What was about to happen next in the life of Jesus Christ, needed a huddle.

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