Summary: A message on the Transfiguration
SHOULD WE STAY
OR SHOULD WE GO?
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Jesus has just informed the disciples of the difficulties that lie ahead.
• The transfiguration serves as an anchor for them to hold onto in the coming storm.
• It foreshadows the work Christ can do in every believer.
• The Greek word translated “transfigured” is only used two other places in the Bible. In both of these instances the word is translated “transformed” and it refers to believers.
• But Peter makes a remark that underscores the typical reaction people have with mountaintop experiences…Jesus, it’s good to be here, let’s stay.
• Jesus immediately tells them it’s time to go and then tells them not to talk about the experience until after he is raised from the dead. Why? Jesus wanted them to understand there was something to be accomplished.
What good is this account for us today?
1. God has clearly demonstrated He is real
a. Here Jesus is transfigured and God testifies that Jesus is His Son.
b. God has demonstrated clearly that Jesus is real through:
i. The Bible-the most reliable ancient document ever produced
ii. The evidence of the Resurrection is insurmountable
1. Extra Biblical accounts-Jewish historian Josephus
2. Roman accounts of what transpired
3. Early believers accounts that would go against logic and culture-women weren’t recognized as the best witnesses
4. Eyewitness accounts-disciples, 500 individuals at the same time, etc.
c. God has revealed himself in so many ways today and yet we struggle
i. We look at circumstances and we doubt
ii. We doubt God’s ability and we panic
iii. We panic and we get ourselves in a mess
iv. We may believe that Jesus is the Son of God but we don’t listen to Him. That’s why we get ourselves in trouble.
2. It’s not about the Holy Huddle but rather the Huddled Masses
a. Peter thought it would be a good idea to stay right where they were and enjoy this fantastic event.
b. We love the good life!
c. Congregations are in stark decline in America. Why? Because we are turned in on ourselves so much. We have grown at McAdenville Wesleyan Church but what would happen if we continued to increasingly embrace the concept of reaching out?
d. We can illustrate a congregation’s inward focus with a football huddle—get a few guys to come up and break the huddle with “fried chicken on three”; one, two, three—fried chicken!
e. Churches decline because:
i. They cease to be a movement and become a club
ii. They lose sight of their purpose
iii. They lose touch with the realities of people.
3. It isn’t going to be easy
a. Jesus was going to suffer but Jesus had told His disciples “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” Matthew 26:31
b. We have already mentioned that the same word describing what happened to Jesus is a choice that believers have.
c. Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the patter of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
d. How do we make it?
i. Decisive choice-offer your life
ii. Rejection of the world’s mould
iii. Engagement in growing as a Christian
The question I put to you today is one of decision.
Are we going to come face to face with the living Son of God and only seek to live for an experience or are we willing to experience living on His terms?
Have a huddle of guys come back up and say “Service on three”. One, two, three—service!