It Is Good For Us To Be Here Matthew 17:1-8
Long ago David rejoiced to worship God. “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
(Psalm 122:1, KJV).
Thom Rainer asked ministers in a poll what excuses they had heard from people who choose not to attend church.
*“We were out of peanut butter.”
*“I was too drunk, so I went soul winning with my dog, Rambo.” I hope Rambo was sober.
*“Both of my girlfriends attend church there.”
*“The pastor is too attractive. When I see him preaching, I have impure thoughts, and I am distracted.”
*“My wife cooked bacon for breakfast, and our entire family smelled like bacon.” Bacon aroma is always welcome!
Wherever we are when we are in His presence, it is good to be here:
-In Worship, in the Word, in Prayer - Christian, it’s everywhere all the time.
- Jesus has promised to be among us.
- We love Jesus and desire to lift up his name.
Three Gospels tell an amazing story about James, John, and Peter going up on a mountain with Jesus.
Peter said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” He misunderstood why, but it was still true.
It is good for us to be in His presence in worship! It is good for us to be here! Amen!
1. TO PREPARE FOR WHAT IS AHEAD
Six days Prior: Matthew 16:21-26
The disciples needed the strength to make it through the days that were coming at Calvary and beyond.
The Transfiguration was a demonstration of the power and strength of Jesus. “It’s as if a curtain were pulled back so that the disciples could see Christ’s glory in a greater way.” (Platt)
The storms of life can cause us to lose faith and courage. Jesus wants us to be prepared for what is ahead.
It is good for us to be here! Amen!
2. TO LISTEN TO THE MASTER
The strength of the disciples was listening to Jesus. The voice of the Father from heaven said, Listen to Him! Beyond their own notions about what was going to happen, their traditions, their hopes - Jesus is above all of that. Does Peter want to remain on the Mountaintop with Moses, Elijah and Jesus?
This is true for us today as well. Jesus is more important our own traditions, hopes. Jesus calls us forward … onward … toward Heaven. Today we listen to him by reading our Bibles. We might like God to show up in his glory in our backyard, but we need to pay close attention to the Word we have! It is good for us to here! Amen!
3. TO REMEMBER GOD IS REAL
The disciples were about to face one of the most traumatic events of their lives: they would see Jesus arrested, and beaten and crucified. They needed God to step in and gives them a big reminder that there is more going on than meets the eye.
Moses, Elijah, and Jesus have a little chat about what God is going to do in Jerusalem through Jesus. (Luke 9:30-31) This moment served as a reminder to the disciples that GOD IS REAL!
We must also pay attention to our own faith - God is Real. We can be prayer-less, full of anxiety, despairing, looking to created things to bring us life, angry at being wronged or not appreciated, frustrated, lacking faith, etc. We can be living AS IF GOD IS NOT. Despite what events happen in this world, Jesus is still in his glory, seated at the right hand of our Father, and he is moving everything forward to accomplish his purposes.
Live AS IF GOD IS. It is good for us to be here! Amen!
4. TO BE ASSURED OF ETERNITY
This world is not our final home. Jesus is in the presence of Moses and Elijah. Moses is the liberator of the Jews. He brought the law to the people. Elijah is powerful, dramatic prophet, demonstrating God’s power and authority time and again. In this moment, Peter suggests building three tabernacles
The voice of Heaven elevates Jesus above Moses and Elijah. There is room for only one tabernacle. The transfiguration of Jesus reminds us of the eternal life ahead for us. Now, this world is fallen. We face disease, death. We live in the throes of sin and feel the effects of it daily. We sin and we are sinned against. There is pain and suffering and sorrow. One day, there will be no more, and we have hope because of this truth. It is good for us to be here! Amen!
Later Peter would reflect on this moment. (2 Peter 1:16-21)
It is good for us to be here - not just at church - but in the presence of Jesus who rules our lives. Prepares us for what is ahead. Teaches us to Listen to Jesus. Reminds us that God is real. Informs our faith in an Eternal life.
Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
At the moment you gave your life to Christ, He was there, and he still is. It is good for us to be here! Amen!
1. Can you name a mountain you’ve visited and something about it that you remember? Or is there a mountain you’d like to visit?
2. There are Exodus connections throughout this account. Take note of what some of those are by reading Exodus 24:15-17.
3. In Matthew 17:5 a voice from heaven declares that we should listen to Jesus. Are these the same words spoken at Jesus’ baptism? (Matthew 3:16-17) Compare and contrast those statements, then talk about what their significance is for us today.
4. The brightness of the transfigured Jesus reminds us of other appearances of heavenly beings. Note similarities in these descriptions: Matthew 28:3 and Revelation 1:13-16. Psalm 104:2. Why do you think God describes heavenly beings with the description of ‘light’? Is that metaphorical or actual?
5. Elijah and Moses are at the center of this story.
-What was similar in the way that both of them reached the end of their lives? (2 Kings 2:11; Deut 34:5-6.)
- What was similar about the location of some significant events of their lives? (Exodus 24; 1 Kings 19)
-What is similar about the way they were received by the people to whom they were sent?
6. What is the disciples reaction upon hearing the voice from heaven? What are two ways Jesus responded that should have brought them comfort? What does this tell us about how Jesus regarded the disciples?
7. Not in our text, but on the way down the mountain Jesus asked them not to do something. What was that request and why do you think Jesus made it?
8. What is the one outstanding lesson you take away from this story? Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?
The Transfiguration Is Amazing … But What Can We Learn From It? by David L. Talley
Strange Reasons Not to Attend Church
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