Summary: God has a plan, and He is working that plan. The transfiguration was part of that plan, and it is a great example of how God works, and His purpose.
Passage: Matthew 17:1-13
Intro: We have been watching God construct a building.
1. brick by brick, plank and beam, God has been building a revelational framework that is taking clear shape in front of us.
2. the miraculous birth of Christ, the words of Christ, the actions and attitudes of Christ, the miracles and the gracious character of Christ has been revealed with growing clarity.
3. we have also seen that for those who have rejected the revelation, there is a withholding of further revelation.
PP Matthew 16:4
4. but in this passage, we have the reality of deepening revelation, strikingly powerful revelation to those who believe.
5. God’s revelation is reaching a crescendo, the building is coming together in fullness right in front of us.
6. let’s climb the mountain and listen in.
I. Limited Revelation
1. it was a small group that trudged up Mt. Miron
PP Mt. Miron, the highest mountain in Israel, just short of 4000 ft, NW of Capernaum
2. clearly limited, even among disciples.
3. Why? Still looking for faith, limiting power of revelation so real faith required.
4. best guess? God satisfied with the growing faith of this trio, so entrusted further revelation to them.
5. and even in this group, he made it clear they were to tell no one else, not even the other disciples. V9
6. there is a principle here we need to understand.
7. God is in charge of the revelational process.
8. He reveals in His time, according to His plan, and seeks a response of faith.
9. when faith exists, revelation increases.
10. where faith is not evident, revelation continues but does not increase.
11. we saw this a few weeks ago in… PP Romans 1:21
Il) when someone rejects the principles of arithmetic, it makes no sense to try and explain algebra.
12. so these faithful disciples were about the receive a powerful revelation.
II. Overwhelming Revelation
1. Luke 9 says Jesus was praying, disciples sleeping when this event took place.
2. but there was an awesome event that took place on that mountaintop, which Matthew describes as a “metapmorphosis”
3. the word is powerful, means that what is inside is revealed on the outside.
4. so it is not a change, but a revealing of what has been there all along but not visible.
PP Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis (youtube)
5. as I read the description given, I was stunned by similarity to another passage.
6. John experienced both; one here and the other in Revelation 1
PP side by side comparison of this and Revelation 1:13
- “son of man” v7
-face like the sun
-witnesses fall down
-Jesus touches and calms
-“don’t be afraid”
-resurrection reference v7
7. this transfiguration, with Moses and Elijah as witnesses, was overwhelming
8. and no doubt it became a huge touchstone for the disciples as they proclaimed the gospel.
9. what causes them to pass out? God Himself came and spoke.
PP Bright cloud
10. words of affirmation, instruction.
11. Peter was blabbering when God began to speak.
12. friends, I know that in our day it is fashionable to have “conversations” as we seek to find the truth.