Summary: There is no equal to Jesus, the Son of the living God.
Title: Jesus is Big!
Text: Matthew 17:1-9
Thesis: There is no one equal to Jesus, the Son of the living God.
Epiphany series: Encountering Christ in Epiphany
The last Sunday in Epiphany and it is known as Transfiguration Sunday.
At Christ’s transfiguration God, once again as at his Baptism, makes Christ known as “the Son of God” and instructs his followers to “listen to him.”
In 1998 Bonnie and I attended a Franklin-Covey management seminar. It was one of the most energizing and challenging experiences of my life. They gave me my own personal Franklin Planner and taught me how to use it. They inspired me with anecdote after anecdote and sent me home clutching my Franklin Planner with all the enthusiasm that Moses must have felt when he came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments tucked under his arm.
But when I got home there were no riveting instructional moments. There was no hyped up representative from Franklin-Covey to inspire me. It was just me and my planner. And I had to learn how to begin each day with solitude and planning. I had to learn to prioritize my daily tasks. I had to learn to plan my work and then work my plan. And I learned that eventually I had to complete the tasks at hand.
I got all jazzed up at the mountain-top Franklin-Covey Seminar but it was down in the valley where the rubber met the road and it was down in the valley that I put into practice what I had gleaned on the mountain-top.
Our text today is a similar scenario… Jesus and his disciples are on the mountain-top where they have an extraordinary experience but that experience is relatively short-lived and Jesus and his followers soon find themselves back in the valley where life happens.
When we have an extraordinary experience we may think of that experience as a mountain-top experience.
I. When we get a glimpse of God’s glory, we think of it as a mountain-top experience.
Three things happened that made this a remarkable event. The first thing that happened as Jesus was praying:
A. Jesus was transfigured.
I’ve officiated a lot of weddings over the years and I often hear those in attendance comment on the radiance and beauty of the bride. Some say that a pregnant woman has a certain glow about her. I’ve observed parents in a moment of joy beaming with pride over the accomplishments of their children. People radiate. People glow. People beam. We understand the concept of someone have an aura about themselves. We’ve seen film makers use special effects to create a nimbus effect or radiance about a person to create a sense of glory.
It was not just a beaming or a glowing that the disciples observed. What they saw as a divinely given special effect that caused the face of Jesus to shine like the sun and his clothing to be as bright as a flash of lightning. What the disciples saw was supernatural… it was not the norm. It was extraordinary.