Summary: God always makes powerful statements on top of mountains like this, but what was He trying to tell us at the Mount of Transfiguration and what should we do about it?
ILLUS: A crowded airliner was just about to take off when a five-year-old boy began to throw a temper tantrum. His embarrassed mother does to tried to calm him down, but the boy continued to kick and scream.
Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, an Air Force General slowly walked up the aisle. He stopped beside the boy, nodded to the mother, and leaned down to quietly talk to the boy.
He motioned toward his chest, patted the boy on the head and walked away. As if by magic, the boy immediately calmed down and quietly fastened his seat belt.
All the other passengers burst into applause.
As the General slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touched his sleeve. "Excuse me, General, but what did you say to that little boy?"
The old man smiled serenely and said,
"I showed him my pilot’s wings, service stars and battle ribbons and explained that they entitled me to throw anyone I want out the door of any plane I’m on."
APPLY: It’s amazing how much people will listen to someone with the right kind of authority and who can back it up with the proper credentials.
The story we’ve just read in Luke 9 is meant to communicate that very idea.
Here on the mount of Transfiguration, God drives home the fact that Jesus had the right kind of authority and the proper credentials. And it was such a powerful lesson that it is recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and Peter refers to it in one of his letters.
Jesus takes Peter, James and John up on a mountain to prayand while they were there, Jesus undergoes a “transfiguration” where his face begins to shine like the sun and his clothes radiate with light. And as if that weren’t enough, two men suddenly appear and begin talking with Jesus.
One is Moses (the man who gave God’s Law to Israel)
And the other is Elijah (one of the greatest of the Prophets)
Peter is so overwhelmed by what he sees that he wants to turn this into a worship time. He wants to build 3 shelters… one for Moses, one for Elijah and one for Jesus. But just then a thick cloud descends and a voice declares "This is my Son... Listen to him!"
When the cloud disappears, all they can see is Jesus.
Now, this wasn’t an accident.
This isn’t didn’t just happen.
This was pre-planned.
Jesus deliberately took His disciples up on the Mountain that day for a time of show & tell. And He did it this way because He wanted to drive home to His disciples that He had the authority and he had credential to demand their attention.
Whenever God’s wanted to get people’s attention it seems He takes to a mountain.
• He brought Israel to a mountain (Mt. Sinai) to receive the 10 commandments. And while they were there He came down upon the mountain with a cloud and filled the sky with thunder and lightning and He spoke with such authority that the people trembled.
His intention was make sure Israel never forgot what happened that day.
He wanted them to always remember that they served a powerful fearsome God who had the power, authority, & credentials to demand they listen to Him.