Summary: Peter saw the Glory of Jesus and did not recognize it.
Transfiguration Sunday, February 18, 2007
I. How many of you here have ever bought a used car?
A. You should see the looks on your faces.
B. It is obvious that some of you have had some negative experiences buying used cars.
C. But it is also obvious that some of you have had some good experiences buying used cars.
D. Let me tell you two stories about used cars:
A young man went out to buy his first car. He didn’t have a lot of money to spend so he went to a local used-car lot where he found a 1967 Red Mustang in what appeared to be mint condition. He was told by the salesman that the car had been owned by a little old lady from Pasadena, oops, I’m sorry, it was owned by an elderly woman who only drove the car on Sundays to church. Having fallen in love with the car he bought in on the spot. The next day while out driving smoke began billowing out from under the hood and the temperature gage spiked into the red. He had the car towed to a local garage where he was told that it had some major engine problems and would cost almost a thousand dollars to be fixed. When he called the salesman at the used-car lot he was told that all sales were final. Standing there with phone in hand all the young man could think of was a ditty of advice his mother used to tell him. “When the world gives you lemons Tommy, turn them into lemonade.” The young man then realized that he was now the proud owner of a life-time supply of lemonade.
Another young man was looking through the classifieds in search of a used car when he came upon an ad for a brand new Jaguar being sold for only $50. Surely he thought this was typo, but calling the number listed he was assured that $50 was correct. The next day he went by to see the car and to his amazement found the automobile to be in superb condition. He asked woman why she was selling this expensive car for only $50.00 and she said, “A year ago my husband began to go through a mid-life crisis. That’s when he bought this car. About a month ago he ran off with his 23 year old secretary. A week ago he called to say he was running short on cash and asked me to sell his Jag and send him the money. So that’s exactly what I am doing.”
II. At one time or another we have all been told, “What you see is what you get.”
A. And we all know that seeing is believing, right?
B. The two young men in the used car stories both saw something that was to them beautiful.
C. For one it turned out to be a bad experience for the other a good experience.
III. Sometimes we can all be looking at the same thing and see something completely different.
A. A college Criminology professor was about to give the final exam to his students when two men armed with handguns ran into the room and pulled one of the students out of his seat. They roughed him up a bit and then dragged him out of the room, saying, “We told you what would happen if you didn’t pay your up.”
After the class calmed down the professor explained that their final exam was to describe, in detail, all they had just seen and heard. Amazingly, no one got an A on the exam. Everyone had seen the same thing, but everyone saw it somewhat differently. Some even had three or four armed men, others said that they took a girl from the room, and almost no one remembered why they took the young man. NO one had seen the professor briefly hold up a sign saying “This is just a simulation.”
Everyone had seen the same thing, but none of them saw everything that happened.
IV. Peter has a similar experience in today’s scripture.
A. Jesus, Moses and Elijah are together on the mountaintop.
B. Peter, James and John are there with them, but a short distance apart from them.
1. Let us remember that Moses is the Great Patriarch of the Jewish people. He is the one who led the people out of slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land.
2. Elijah is considered the greatest prophet of all time.
C. What Peter sees is that Jesus is with these two great leaders.
1. To Peter that is a validation, a confirmation of Jesus’ ministry.
2. So he says let us build three tabernacles; one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.