Summary: This sermon is the second of a two part series in which Jesus' transfiguration experience is contrasted to the failure of his disciples below to cast out a demon.
FROM MOUNTAIN TOP TO VALLEY FLOOR
Matt 17:14-21; Mk 9:14-29; Lk 9:31-42
A. Every life has peaks and our valleys, its highs and lows in life.
B. When we walk the peaks, we feel confident and secure in the love of God.
C. When we walk the dark, shadowy valleys of life, we feel insecure, maybe even unloved.
D. It will help us to learn that Jesus is Lord of the valleys as well as the peaks. We will learn this by comparing Jesus’ mountain experience with a battle in the valley below.
I. WHILE JESUS AND THE THREE HAD BEEN ENJOYING A GLIMPSE OF GLORY, OTHER DISCIPLES WERE DOING BATTLE WITH THE DEVIL IN THE VALLEY BELOW
A. The he apostles had been enjoying success, but in Jesus’ absence, they had failed (Mk 9:14-18).
B. The private inquiry of by the disciples after Jesus cast out the demon reveals the cause of the disciples’ failure—they assumed the power was inherent in themselves and forgot to pray (Mk 9:28-29).
II. THE PICTURE IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT RECALLING THE EVENTS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING
A. On the mount Jesus had sweet communion with Moses and Elijah, but in the valley he is confronted with a skeptical, if not hostile crowd (Mk 9:14,17).
B. On the mount Jesus had the complete confidence of his Father, but in the valley his power is questioned by man.
C. On the mount the radiance of his divinity shone through the cloak of his humanity, awing the apostles; but in the valley below evil spirits struggle and resist in hatred (Mk 9:19-27).
III. WE HAVE OUR MOUNTAIN PEAKS
A. A moving worship service, a special time of fellowship, a new insight into the word, or victory over a troublesome sin may give us a brief glimpse of glory.
B. We, like Peter, often want to build a house on the top of the mountain and live above all the sin, suffering, and sadness of life.
A. Rejoice in the mountain top experiences.
B. Hold fast in faith in the valleys.