Summary: TRANSFIGURATION(C) - Master, it is good to be here to see the glory of Jesus and to learn of Jesus’ mission.
MASTER, IT IS GOOD TO BE HERE
Luke 9:28-36 March 2, 2003
28About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31appeared in glorious splendor, talk-ing with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusa-lem. 32Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Mas-ter, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.) 34While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and en-veloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35A voice came from the cloud, say-ing, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him." 36When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
What is Transfiguration? If you listened closely to our gospel reading and ser-mon text, you may have figured out that transfiguration really means a transformation, a changing. We heard in our gospel and in our text that Jesus was transformed or transfigured. His glory was revealed. On this Sunday of Transfiguration, it’s also a transition Sunday. We move from the Epiphany season into the Lenten season. We move from the season when Jesus’ glory is revealed into the time when His glory is covered up…when it is hardly seen at all during His suffering and passion. In either case, we see Peter making a confession here. He says, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here.’ We learn through the years of listening to God’s word, of studying God’s word and reading it for ourselves that we, too, would agree with Peter’s confession ‘Master, it is good for us to be here.’—To be strengthened in our faith, to grow in the knowledge of our salvation. The psalm-writer reminds us: "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked"(PSALM 84:10). It’s better to be in the temple for a day than anywhere else. We would agree with the psalm-writer, with Peter…
MASTER, IT IS GOOD TO BE HERE
To see the glory of Jesus
To learn of Jesus’ mission
I. To see the glory of Jesus
Peter had already had made an earlier confession about Christ. In the verses before our text (they took place about a week earlier) we find Jesus asking His disci-ples the opinion of the people concerning Him. He asked the disciples, ‘Who do the people say that I am?’ They gave Him all sorts of answers. They said, ‘some say you’re Elijah. Some say you’re Moses, some say you’re another prophet.’ Jesus said, ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter made his confession when he said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Then our text takes place. It says: 28About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. He was teaching His disciples a number of things. First of all, even though He was the Son of God; Jesus also needed time alone to commune with His heavenly Fa-ther. He taught His disciples the importance of praying. He taught His disciples the importance of being off by themselves in order to pray so they could concentrate. They had to get away from the crowds at one time or another.
There was going to be a greater lesson. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. The gospel says ‘whiter than anyone could bleach them…as white as snow or even whiter.’ The Lord was revealing His glory in His Son to those who were gathered there. As our text continues, we find that they almost miss it! We’re told: 32Peter and his companions were very sleepy…the original says they were sleeping. It probably was late at night; they probably had a busy day. We aren’t told why, just that even though they were there with Jesus alone, they went to sleep. They did wake up… but when they be-came fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. Their eyes were open, their hearts were open, their minds were open and they saw the glory of Jesus. They saw these two men, Elijah and Moses. Now, Peter realizes what a great event this is! Here is Moses, the first lawgiver, the one who delivered Israel to the Promised Land; and Elijah, a great prophet (we heard a little about him in our first les-son) and Jesus.