Summary: Mountaintop experiences are wonderful; but, we must move forward to reach the world for Christ Jesus.
Matthew 17: 1 – 9 / Good To Be Here
Intro: The lawyer for the defense rose to his feet to give his summation speech. He began, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you must find my client not guilty of murder, if there is the slightest doubt in your minds. In conclusion, I want to say that the true murderer is about to walk through that door into this courtroom.” All eyes swung towards the door; but, no one came in. The lawyer continued: “You see, ladies and gentlemen, there is doubt in your minds, otherwise you would not have looked towards the door.” The jury retired to deliberate and returned 5 hours later with a guilty verdict. Before the judge could pass sentence the lawyer sprang to his feet. “I proved you had a doubt about my client’s guilt. How can you possibly find him guilty?” One of the jurors stood and said: “As everyone looked towards the door, I watched your client. His eyes did not look towards the door because he knew no one was coming because he himself was the guilty one.
I. Sometimes, the things we plan do not always turn out as we wished they would. We start out in one direction only to be side-tracked in another. Vs. 1 - Jesus chooses his key players and heads for the mountain.
A. Mountains played an important part of God’s experience with humanity. Moses received the law on Mt. Sinai, Elijah heard the still small voice of God while hiding in a cave on a mountain, Abraham was to sacrifice Issac on a mountain, the city of Jerusalem was built on a mountaintop and here Jesus is transfigured on a mountaintop.
B. Mountains are one of God’s most beautiful creations. Years ago John Denver had a hit song titled, “Rocky Mountain High.” He describes the majesty, the thrill of being high up in those mountains seeing for miles around feeling the life pulse of creation. He experienced joy, peace, and reverence as he was alone on those mountaintops. He could almost feel the very presence of the creator himself.
C. This is surely the way Peter, James and John must have felt. That WOW factor!!!!!
II. VSS. 3 – 4 – Just when they thought things couldn’t get any better than this, Moses and Elijah appear!!!!
A. Don’t let it end! Peter wanted to make this a permanent thing. THIS IS GREAT! LET’S STAY AND ENJOY IT!
B. One Easter I bought what I thought was the best looking outfit I had ever owned. It was a bright blue, double-breasted jacket with wide lapels and black bell-bottomed pants that were so wide they flapped in the wind around my black patent-leather stacked heal shoes when I walked. I thought I was “IT!” I stepped outside on Easter Sunday and promptly received a present from a low-flying bird.
C. Needless to say, that outfit would not have the same impact today that it had back then. As fashion changes, so does the rest of the world around us and we just can’t stand still on the mountaintop no matter how good it is to be there.
Conclu: Staying on the mountaintop was not an option for Jesus and the disciples. Neither is standing still an option for us. Vs. 6 - 7 – When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them. Get Up, he said. Don’t be afraid.”
We must come down from our mountaintop experience to move forward the cause of Christ in our community. We need not be afraid of the future, afraid of failure, or afraid of trying.