Summary: Second sermon in series about those who experienced the touch of Jesus and what it means to us.
Peter, James and John were frightened by the Transfiguration. Something was happening that they didn’t fully understand.
In order to calm them, Jesus touched them. (v. 7)
This story teaches us at least three reasons we all need the Master’s touch of courage.
For one thing, these men would need enCOURAGEment for coming conflicts. Peter, James and John made up what has come to be known as Christ’s "inner circle". They were the only ones present with Jesus on several occasions. They were there at Gethsemane; at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, etc.
Why were they the only ones to accompany Christ in these situations? Could be they were the only ones that wanted to. We’re not told. But isn’t it interesting to note that, more than any others, these three men were the three most influential leaders in the early church in Jerusalem?
Could it be that Jesus was giving them an opportunity to experience these wonderful events because He knew they would need the enlightenment and enCOURAGEment they would provide for their responsibilities?
Perhaps you would like to be an "inner circle" Christian. Well help yourself, because the closer you get to Christ, the more elbow room there is. Yes, the closer you get to Christ the more glory you get to see! But not everyone wants to experience that which will make them more useful for Christ.
If the Roman officials had seen Christ’s transfiguration they would have tried to discover the origin of the bright light so they could use it to blind their enemies.
If the Jewish religious hypocrites had seen it they would have disregarded it since it didn’t originate with them.
The Greek philosophers of the day would probably have tried to explain it away. We Americans would probably have tried to sell tickets.
But these men, who were privileged to witness this demonstration of the perfect harmony of spirit and body that will again one day coexist when believers are made partakers of His glory in eternity, would be able to take courage from it in the future.
It must have been an awesome scene! Jesus, both Divine and human at the same time, talking with Moses and Elijah! Moses could testify that Christ is the rock from which springs forth the water of life. (Exodus 17:6; 1 Corinthians 10:4) Elijah could testify that Christ was the barrel of meal that wastes not and the cruise of oil that never fails - the Bread of Life! (1 Kings 17:16)
Simon Peter sees the Lord with these two men and thinks he ought to say something. "This is great! Let’s build some houses here! I’d kind of like to stick around this scene." But of course, Simon Peter missed the meaning of the miraculous. This is often our trouble too.
But before Peter’s comments can echo off the mount, the voice of the Father from heaven thunders, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
This wasn’t a time for talking, it was a time for listening, and listening to Jesus the Son is the same as listening to God the Father.
The purpose of the miracle was to confirm the credentials of the Son. These men would need to be sure He was the Son.
One day they would arrest Peter and John and tell them not to preach any more in the name of Jesus. (Acts 4) The threats didn’t work. They had seen too much to lose their courage.
One day Herod would kill James because it pleased the Jews. (Acts 12) James could face death courageously because of what he had seen and heard.
One day they would place John on Patmos in exile for preaching about Jesus. What a mistake the devil made! This courageous man wrote the Revelation of Jesus Christ on that island!
It takes courage to speak of Jesus today. To say that He is the only way to the Father and heaven today is to insult many people. We can’t help it. The Word reveals its true and the Holy Spirit within us gives us the power to stand courageously alone if need be.
But not only do we need courage for conflict, we FIND courage through worship. Since Moses and Elijah are both with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, we can use experiences from either one of their ministries to prove this point. Let’s look at Moses.
This is holy ground scripture. Moses probably had his shoes off again, like the time he saw the burning fiery bush on the backside of the desert.
"As he came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb, and the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, draw not hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet for the place wherein thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (Exodus 3:1-6)