Summary: This message was preached following our spring revival services preached by Phil Lamaster. Phil did a great job. Everyone was moved. But the important thing is what happens following the great messages: getting busy about serving the Lord.
“SO, NOW WHAT?”
This past week we had revival services. Excellent revival services. Outstanding preaching. Great singing. A true spiritual high. But what does it all really mean? Are we supposed to now just go back to business as usual? Are we supposed to stay on fire for Christ? What are we supposed to do?
This morning we’re going to look at an event that happened toward the end of Jesus’ ministry. He takes three of His closest followers – Peter, James, and John – and heads for the top of a mountain. What mountain? The New Testament doesn’t say so the name must not be important. But the event is important because it certainly stayed at the forefront of the minds of those who were there.
I’m sure that John is referring to this incident in John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. In his second letter, Peter talks about this event in 2 Pet. 1:16-18 – 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.
The event we’re going to look at this morning is known as “The Transfiguration.” The word in the original language for “transfigured” is one from which we get our term “metamorphosis”. It literally means “a change beyond or above”. It refers to extraordinary change. We use it to refer to the changes when a tadpole becomes a frog and when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The Bible also uses this term to refer to us when we become transformed by Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation [there’s that word]; the old has gone, the new has come!
Jesus went through metamorphosis more than once. First, He left the glories of heaven to come to earth in human form. For about 33 and a half years, He lived with us and shared our pain and suffering, our earthly hungers and temptations.
In our study today, we see an event unfold where for just a brief time Peter, James, and John are privileged to see a glorious metamorphosis as once again Jesus is clothed in His glory – the glory of Almighty God. They had a spiritual high beyond comprehension – a real mountain top experience. This “spiritual high” experienced by these followers of Jesus should teach us something about what should happen next.
Mt. 17:1-9 – After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples
heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said.
“Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised
from the dead.”
Have you ever seen what looked like a beautiful place to camp? You start to get the tents and the other gear out to set up camp and then you see a sign that reads: “NO CAMPING.” Isn’t that frustrating? You think you’ve got the perfect place and then someone in authority has to ruin it by placing a sign that says you can’t camp in that spot.
There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t camp there. You’re just not aware of them. Maybe it’s a low-lying area and is susceptible to flash-flooding. Maybe there are bears that frequent the area that are looking for something to eat. It may be that the ground is unstable and there’s a chance for sink holes. It could be any number of reasons but it’s just not safe [BE CAREFUL] to “pitch your tents” in that area.