Summary: Why did Jesus take Peter, James and John up to the Mount of Transfiguration? Because there was something that He could only teach in that place and in that way. Find out what that means to us.
OPEN: The real McCoy really wasn’t...
That is, the real McCoy wasn’t really a McCoy. His real name was Norman Selby. Raised on a farm in Indiana he left home around 1890, and after year in training, emerged as a boxer with the name "Kid McCoy."
In a day of bare fisted boxing, the Kid was something. He said he’d fight anyone, anywhere, and he did. For years he averaged a fight a month, and won most by knockouts. But the popularity of his reputation created an atmosphere where a host of imitation Kid McCoys soon cropped up - perhaps hoping to cash in on his reputation and the potential purses he would be offered.
That created a certain amount of confusion until “The Kid” agreed to a title fight with the legendary Joe Choynski on March 24, 1899. With that fight, “The Kid ended the confusion of his identity for all time. In a titanic slug-fest that cost him three broken ribs, Kid McCoy finished off the legendary Joe in the 20th round. After the fight, the San Francisco Examiner’s boxing writer declared, "Now You’ve SEEN The Real McCoy!"
APPLY: In our text today, we read about Jesus taking three of disciples on a special road trip.
Jesus had just begun a new phase in the preparation of His disciples. His time was short. In just a few days Jesus would be betrayed, and suffer and die on the cross. And because of the shortness of his remaining time, Jesus had begun the training of his disciples in earnest, preparing them for the fight that lay before them. A fight in which they would ultimately be asked to give their lives - for every disciple (except John) died a martyr’s death.
This trip up the mountain was a SPECIAL trip for Jesus… and it had a SPECIAL purpose. There was something that Jesus wanted to teach Peter, James and John on this mountain that He could teach them in no other place and in no other way.
And you can tell HOW important this teaching was to be, by how dramatic it was. In fact, it was so dramatic that this incident is recorded not only in Matthew, but also in the Gospels of Mark & Luke.
And then later, when Peter wrote his 2nd letter, he stated: "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ’This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’
We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain." II Peter 1:16-18
As I said, this was a special trip for Jesus and His disciples… and it had a special purpose.
I. Notice what happened when Jesus leads His disciples up the mountain:
No sooner had they reached the pinnacle when Jesus turned around and his entire continence changed. His face began to shine like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light. And, as if that weren’t enough, two men appear beside Jesus. We’re not told how the disciples knew who they were, but they suddenly realized these two men were Moses & Elijah.