Sermons

Summary: We must learn to live and delight in God’s ordinary presence.

His Ordinary Presence

February 6, 2000

read passage from Luke 9:20-36

story of winning a championship

- 1986-87 season

- previous year, we had been 16-14...not all that great

- now, we were at the gym of a Christian school in Shawnee, having won the first two rounds, and were in the finals, the state championship of Christian schools

- the team we played was tough, and the game was close all the way through

- the last few minutes were back and forth, one team leading, then the other

- we were down by a point as the clock wound down, and one of our guards hit a running one hander at the buzzer to win the game

- what a thrill! what an experience!!

-one of only a handful of times in my life I was part of a championship, and I remember the incredible feeling of each time vividly

Mountaintop Experiences

- we’ve all had them, both secular and spiritual

- the birth of a child

- wedding day

- winning something important

- graduation

- being born-again

- "experiencing" God’s manifest presence in some real, almost tangible way

- many of us have had these kinds of things happen through the years right here in this place

why do we call them mountaintop experiences?

- you feel like you’re on the top of the world

- even literal mountaintop experiences help

explain this:

- on a clear mountain day, you can see more

clearly from the top of a mountain than from

anywhere else - you feel like you can see

for miles and miles

- scripture also talks of mountain top experiences, both literally, as in the passage we just read, and figuratively

- Moses caught a glimpse of God’s presence on the mountain

- all Israel had mountaintop experiences as they saw the miracles of God in their deliverance

- John had a mountaintop experience which

resulted in the Book of Revelation

These kind of experiences are a wonderful

blessing from God

- I believe they are meant to be encouraging,

and sometimes life-altering

- I believe they are often part of God’s

purposes in changing us, shaping us, molding

us, teaching us

Yet, to look at this passage of scripture only as a story of a significant mountaintop experience in the life of Peter, James and John is to miss several key elements we can all learn from...

- The fact is, though these wonderful experiences can be an important part of our life in God, it’s His Ordinary Presence in our lives that this passage, when taken in its entire context, really emphasizes - that’s the title of this message:

His Ordinary Presence

- that’s not to say that this was any ordinary

experience at all

- this was Jesus, God made flesh, showing three live human beings a glimpse of His once and future glory

Matthew Henry noted about this passage that, when it was all said and done:

"Jesus alone remained with them, and not transfigured, but as he used to be (ordinary, human)...

Christ does not leave the soul when extraordinary joys and comforts leave it. Christ’s disciples have, and shall have, his ordinary presence with them always, even to the end of the world. Let us thank God for our daily bread, and not expect a continual feast this side of heaven"

We often see passages like this out of their entire context, and this is another reminder that to do this is to miss something important

- that’s why we began reading 8 verses before the actual account of the transfiguration, because what Jesus said there is important to our full understanding of what took place, as Luke says, eight days later

Look at Luke 9:20 -

We see Peter, speaking almost as a spokesperson for the disciples, proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah

- What an amazing pronouncement!

- The disciples had just told Jesus that everybody else thinks he’s John the Baptist, or a prophet, but they had come to believe He was the Messiah, the anointed one

- what’s more interesting is how Jesus responded to this

- you might think He would commend them:

- hey, you guys are pretty sharp, and it’s

good to see you’ve been paying attention

- hey, you guys have figured it out, so now

you’re my inside circle and we’re going to turn

the world upside down for Christ

Instead, Jesus warned them

- first He warned them not to tell anyone what they’d come to believe

- and then, He started into this very low

moment, talking about suffering

- worse yet, not just Jesus’ suffering, but

theirs too!

Seems like an awful way to kill the moment,

huh?

- From the high moment of declaring His Messiahship

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