Summary: Glory! (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Luke chapter 9 verses 28-36.


• A man from the back mountains of Tennessee found himself one day in a large city,

• For the first time standing outside an elevator.

• He watched as an old, haggard woman hobbled on, and the doors closed.

• A few minutes later the doors opened & a young, attractive woman marched smartly off.

• The father stared in unbelief, then hollered to his youngest son,

• “Billy, go get mother.”

This morning we are looking at the greatest transfiguration of them all:

• The word transfiguration (comes from the Latin ‘transfiguratio’);

• And means: ‘Change of appearance’. ‘To make more spiritual or elevated’.

• In our passage this morning;

• We will see the greatest change of all.

(a). Introduction (Verse 28):

“About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray”.

(1). The Purpose:

• For both Jesus and the disciples these six days were a time of reflection:

• And this secluded mountain gave them time for contemplation.


• An elderly man stopped at a hearing aid centre and asked about prices.

• The salesman said “We have them from £25,000 down to £1.50,”

• The elderly man asked; “What’s the £25,000 one like?”

• The salesman said “Well it translates three languages.”

• “And what about the one for £1.50?”

• “It’s this button attached to a string,” said the salesman, pushing it across the counter.

• The elderly man asked “How does it work?”

• “It doesn’t” replied the salesman said;

• “But if you put the button in your ear and the string in your pocket,

• You’ll be surprised how loud people talk!”

This passage is all about listening and the call to listen comes at two levels (verse 35);

• There is the divine voice of God which stops all discussion between the disciples & Jesus.

• And there is the central instruction to listen to Jesus.

• The point in both cases is that instruction is needed,

• Because the path Jesus walks is unexpected.

• If disciples are to understand that walk and follow in its footsteps,

• They will need to listen to him.

(a). For the disciples.

The disciples had just experienced eight days of reflection:

• Simon Peter had publicly declared Jesus to be the Christ of God (verse 20).

• So this was a major breakthrough in their own personnel understanding.

• But then they had been rocked by the news that Jesus was going to die (verse 22).

• For them that did not make sense.

• And this secluded mountain gave them time for contemplation.

• A time to think things through and try to figure things out.

• Together the disciples must have pondered and discussed,

• What Jesus meant by His death and resurrection.

• No doubt they tried to figure out how this related;

• To the Old Testament promises about the kingdom of God.

It no doubt left them confused:

• If Jesus were going to build a church,

• What would happen to the promised kingdom?

(b). For Jesus.

• It too was a time of contemplation,

• Luke tells us in verse 29 it was while: “He was praying”

• Jesus had gone up the mountain to pray.

• He knew his time was short and the cross lay ahead of him (verse 22).

• He had a lot to accomplish before the cross would take place;

• And Jesus waited in his heavenly Father for further instructions.


• Jesus made it clear on many different occasions that he did not operate on his own plans;

• But operated according to his Father’s will.

(2). The mountain:

• The text does not name the place where this miracle took place:

• So we do not know (but that of course does not stop people guessing!).

(a). Tradition says Mount Tabor.

• But Mount Tabor is quite small (1,900 ft high),

• And it was also topped with a fortified city,

• So although tradition says Mount Tabor;

• This mountain would hardly give the peaceful setting Jesus required!

(b). Mount Hermon.

• Both Matthew and Mark tell us it was a “high mountain”.

• Most scholars believe it was Mount Hermon, which is 9,400 ft high.

• And it is only 14 miles away from Caesarea Philippi;

• So it would fit the context and continuity of chapter 16.

(C). Mount Jebel Jermak (or Jermuk).

• Which is in upper Galilee,

• The highest elevation in that entire region (rising 4,000 feet above the Mediterranean Sea)

Two reasons why it may have been this mountain:


• From this mountain it was a relatively short distance to Capernaum,

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