Sermons

Summary: THIS MESSAGE DEALS SPECIFICALLY WITH THE TRANSFIGURATION AND THEREACTION OF THE DISCIPLES.

THE TRANSFIGURATION – THE GLORY OF CHRIST

MATTHREW 17:1-13

MARCH 17, 2019

WE ARE CONTINUING ON OUR JOURNEY TO THE CROSS BY LOOKING AT THIS ACCOUNT IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 17. WE CAN DRAW A BIT MORE DETAIL FROM THE OTHER GOSPELS AND GET A MORE COMPLETE PICTURE OF WHAT HAPPENED THERE. IT IS ALSO NOT SURPRISING THAT THERE IS SOMETHING HERE THAT WE CAN RELATE TO AND BE CHALLENGED BY.

YOU SEE OUR LIVES CAN SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE BEING ON A ROLLERCOASTER. I’VE SEEN PROGRAMS ABOUT THE BIGGEST ROLLERCOASTER IN THE WORLD AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT BECAUSE I HAVE A FEAR OF HEIGHT ACTS HAVE NO DESIRE TO BE ON ONE. I LIKE THE CONSTANCY AND FIRMNESS OF THE EARTH BENEATH MY FEET.

OUR LIVES THOUGH WHILE WE DESIRE CONSTANCY AND ROUTINE ARE FILLED WITH UPS AND DOWNS AND SOME OF THEM CAN BE VERY GREAT. WHEN GOD ALLOWS US TO GO TO THE MOUNTAINTOP IT IS NOT WRONG TO ENJOY IT, BUT WE MUST ALSO BE AWARE THAT SATAN WILL NOT ALLOW A MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE TO GO UNCHALLENGED. VERY SOON AFTER THE MOUNTAINTOP CAN COME THE VALLEY, AND MANY BUT NOT ALL OF THE VALLEYS ARE AUTHORED BY THE EVIL ONE. GOD CAN ALSO LEAD US INTO THE VALLEY, BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT GOD’S VALLEYS WILL BRINE US CLOSER TO HIM PERSONALLY.

WHEN WE ARE ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP WE CAN FORGET OUR PROBLEMS FOR AWHILE. WE CAN HAVE AN INTENSE AND PERSONAL MOMENT WITH JESUS. WE CAN HEAR FROM HIM AND GAIN DIRECTION IN OUR LIVES TO WHICH WE CAN GIVE HIM GLORY AND PRAISE.

AS MUCH AS WE WANT TO, WE WILL NOT REMAIN ON THE MOUNTAINTOP. IT DOES HELP US TO REALIZE THAT WHEN WE DESCEND INTO THE VALLEY, WE CAN ENDURE OUR PROBLEMS. EVEN IN THE VALLEY WE CAN STILL SEE JESUS AND HEAR FROM GOD. WE CAN HOLD ONTO JESUS’ PROMISE.

HEBREWS 13:5B: GOD HAS SAID, “NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU; NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU.”

CONTEXT:

SIX DAYS BEFORE THE EVENTS OF THE TEXT WE ARE LOOKING AT, THE DISCIPLES BEGAN A VERY DISHEARTENING ROLLORCOASTER RIDE AS JESUS INFORMED THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT HE WAS SOON GOING TO DIE AND LATER BE RAISED ON THE THIRD DAY. WHEN YOU GET NEWS LIKE THAT YOU TEND TO ONLY HEAR THE FIRST PART.

WE ARE NOT TOLD WHAT HAPPENED DURING THIS TIME, BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE FAIR TO SAY THAT THE DISCIPLES USED THE TIME TO TAKE IN JESUS’ SAD NEWS. IT WOULD ALSO BE FAIR TO SAY THAT IT HIT SOME OF THEM HARDER THAN OTHERS.

WHEN JESUS WAS ON EARTH, HE WAS WITHOUT HIS GLORY. HE LEFT HIS GLORY IN HEAVEN AND ACCEPTED THE LIMITATIONS OF OUR HUMAN BODY. HE SURROUNDED HIMSELF WITH MEN WHO WERE HUMBLE AS FAR AS STATUS AND POSSESSIONS WERE CONCERNED.

TOGETHER THEY BUILT A FOLLOWING OF THOUSANDS. EVERYBODY KNEW OF JESUS AND THE DISCIPLES, AND THEIR POPULARITY WAS AT IT’S HEIGHT. NOW HE WAS SPEAKING TO THEM OF HIS DEATH AND RETURN TO HIS GLORY IN HEAVEN.

NOW HE IS GOING TO TAKE THREE, PETER, JAMES AND JOHN TO WITNESS AN OUTSTANDING DISPLAY OF HIS GLORY. THERE IS SOME CONFUSION ON THE PART OF THE DISCIPLES AS TO WHO JESUS IS, HOW COULD THE MAN WHO WAS TO BE KING HAVE TO DIE? THE DISCIPLES KNEW AND COULD RELATE TO JESUS IN HIS HUMANITY, BUT NOW THEY WOULD HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT HE WAS ALSO GOD. THEY WERE TOLD NOT TO SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE UNTIL AFTER HIS RESURRECTION. THIS APPEARANCE WAS ONLY FOR THEM AT THIS POINT.

WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT MOUNTAIN JESUS LED THE THREE TO BUT THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE IT WAS MOUNT HERMON. IT IS THE LARGEST IN THE AREA AND LOCATED NEAR CAESAREA PHILIPPI, WHERE JESUS FIRST ANNOUNCED HIS UPCOMING DEATH.

HE TOOK THE THREE, PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN, THE SONS OF THUNDER, WITH HIM TO FULFILL A LEGAL REQUIREMENT AS TO WHO COULD TESTIFY TO WHAT THEY SAW.

2 CORINTHIANS 13:1: THIS WILL BE MY THIRD VISIT TO YOU. “EVERY MATTER MUST BE ESTABLISHED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.”

THIS POLICY WAS ESTABLISHED IN DEUTERONOMY 17:6 AND INVOLVED CAPITAL CASES.

PETER, JAMES AND JOHN MADE UP THE INNER CIRCLE OF DISCIPLES. THESE ARE THE DISCIPLES THAT ARE MENTIONED MORE THAN ANY OF THE OTHERS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THEY ARE MENTIONED BY NAME.

JESUS LEADS THE MEN UP THE MOUNTAIN WHERE THE TRANSFIGURATION TAKES PLACE. THE GREEK WORD FOR TRANSFIGURATION IS “METAMOR-PHOTHE” FROM WHICH WE GET THE SCIENCE WORD “METAMORPHOSIS” AND THIS MEANS “A CHANGE IN FORM OR STRUCTURE. CATERPILLARS GO THROUGH A METAMORPHOSIS WHEN THEY CHANGE FROM A CATERPILLAR INTO A BUTTERFLY. CHRISTIANS WILL HAVE A METAMORPHOSIS WHEN WE CHANGE OUR EARTHLY BODIES WITH IT’S SINFUL NATURE, FOR A GLORIOUS HEAVENLY BODY WITHOUT THAT NATURE.

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