Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: An attempt to teach some of the amazing events in the transformation

Reading – Mark 9:2-9

The Transfiguration


This talk will be in the form of a quiz, loosely based on Who wants to be a millionaire. The main difference being there is no million pound prize. Indeed no prize of any sort. Also the only qualification for taking part is volunteering. So I'd like four volunteers first please.

The rules are quite simple. I'll give you a minute to think and then ask you to show the letter in response to the question.

If you're not sure there's phone a friend and ask the audience, but no 50-50.

I'll explain those if we get to them.

After each answer I'll say a few words about what we have read.

[organise volunteers]

Complete the sentence “Jesus went up the mountain …”

A) to find the lost sheep

B) with his best friends <

C) to be alone with God

D) to build a shelter

Jesus was with Peter James and John. They were the three men who were closest to him – his best friends. They would all play important roles in the development of the Christian faith, but for now Jesus was teaching them about God and helping them get to know Him better.

It's important to remember that Jesus, Peter, James and John are all Jews. They have all grown up with the books of our Old Testament being read to them, probably every day.

What happened to Jesus on the mountain?

A) metamorphosis <

B) transmutation

C) transmogrification

D) conversion

The word in the reading is not in the list of choices. So what does transfiguration really mean.

[Harry Potter Slide]

Well J K Rowling got it wrong in Harry Potter.

Lets look at the other words and see the real meanings of each.

Transmutation is a description of the work of the alchemists – those ancient scientists trying to turn lead into gold. They were trying to alter the essential substance of a material from one type to another. That is not what happened to Jesus.

[Cat Slide]

Transmogrification is closer. It means to change into a different shape or form, one that is bizarre or fantastical. It doesn't have to be a cat!

Conversion also means changing one thing to another, but is a general term and is not specific enough to describe the events in today's reading.

Metamorphosis is the biological process by which caterpillars turn into butterflies. It means that the form of the creature changes, but the substance (the 'stuff' that it's made of) stays the same.

That's what happened to Jesus. His appearance changed. You could say that God began to show through.

Who joined them on the Mountain?

A) the other disciples

B) Paul & Timothy

C) Moses and Elijah <

D) The centurion

Moses and Elijah.

[Who were Moses and Elijah?]

Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. Do you remember that I said Jesus, Peter, James and John would have known the old testament well. Two important parts of the old testament are the Law and the prophets.

The Law, mostly in the first five books was given to Moses by God, - do you remember the story of the 10 commandments?

The prophets were men and women who spoke God's words to the people of Israel. They were often murdered for telling unpopular truths.

Jesus said in Matthew 5v17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

And in Luke 24:44 after His resurrection “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

These things would help the Leaders of the Church understand how to develop their beliefs within the Jewish faith.

While Jesus was shining the disciples were

A) preparing to leave

B) arguing

C) building a house

D) very frightened <

Imagine it! - well try to imagine it. It's almost impossible.

[Transfiguration picture]

The picture is an inadequate representation of the event. Matthew 17:2 says “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” So it would have been impossible to look at him.

The person you have been with for three years suddenly starts to emit light. A light so white and so bright that it almost blinds you. You cannot look directly at him any more – he is just too bright.

I'd be frightened, so I'm not surprised that the disciples were.

What happened while Jesus was shining?

A) the weather turned

B) a cloud covered them <

C) it began to get dark

D) the sun came out

Exodus 19:9:

The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.”

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