Summary: Study of the Transfiguration
Seeing Jesus in all his Glory – The Transfiguration - Luke 9:28-36
Gladstone Baptist Church – 15/1/06 pm
Last week we came back to Luke’s Gospel to perhaps what is the Bible’s 64 Million Dollar Question. “Who is Jesus?” Remember the disciples were asked who others thought Jesus was and they told him Elijah or a reincarnation of John the Baptist or another Great teacher. But when Jesus pressed the question and asked “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered for the rest with 2 words … “The Messiah.”
What a conclusion to come to – this poor carpenter from the back blocks of Israel was the Messiah. He didn’t look like a mighty warrior and he certainly didn’t act like it. He didn’t come from an influential family and he lived in poverty. But on the other side, he wasn’t any ordinary man either – he healed people, set them free from demons and had so much authority in his teaching. Peter and possibly some of the other disciples had concluded that Jesus was the Messiah and they would have been fairly buoyant as a result.
How did Jesus respond to this affirmation of his role? He started to talk about his death. His Death of all things.
9:22 “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
That deflated the disciples a bit and then there was all the stuff that followed …
9:23-25 ““If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”
That absolutely crushed them. By this stage the disciples might have begun to wonder whether Jesus was going to the Messiah they were expecting. I’m sure that it generated a lot of discussion among them in the next couple of days, but then something happened that left at least 3 of them in no doubt what so ever that Jesus was the Messiah – The Transfiguration.
Have a look at this passage with me and follow along with me Luke 9:28-36…
28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, 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.)
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When 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.
We read that about 8 days afterwards (Mark & Matthew both remember it as 6 days afterwards, but that is not a real issue) Jesus takes 3 of his disciples – Peter, John & James - away from everyone else. They climb high up on a mountain says Mark to pray. From the accounts, it probably is likely that they climbed up during the afternoon and the events recorded took place at night. We know that the disciples were very sleepy and had to wake up out of their slumber. So the dark night makes what is about to happen even more brilliant.
All of a sudden, Jesus’ face changes – Matthew said “His face shone like the sun”. His clothes change also – Mark says “His cloths became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.” Luke says “His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” Have you ever been looking out a window in the middle of a thunderstorm and lightning hits nearby and just lights everything up like daylight. That is what Luke says it was like!!! AWESOME. I’ll talk a bit more about that soon.