Summary: Jesus revealed in glory

16. Who is Jesus?

December 05th, 2010

The Transfiguration

God made man to exist in community with Him. Out of His love for us He desired to be loved in return. Love cannot be forced it has to be chosen. So God knew that in order for us to love Him we had to be able to choose not to. Sadly we made that choice and sin was born into the world. Sin separates us from God as it defiles us. It prevents us from being able to fully share in the community of God because God’s glory is so great that in our sinful condition being in the full presence of God’s glory would be devastating. In Exodus 33 Moses goes up on Mt. Sinai to meet with God and he expresses a desire to see the glory of God. God tells Moses that no one may se Him and live so what God does is He has Moses go into a cave which He covers with His hand until He has passed by and then He would remove His hand and Moses could see His passing glory. When Moses came down from the mountain having been in God’s presence His face was so radiant that people couldn’t really look at Him. If you spend a lot of time outdoors you might get tan. Being in the presence of ultra violet light changes your appearance, so does being in the presence of God. When you are in God’s presence He rubs off you. Moses face was so lit up after being with God that He had to wear a veil for people to look at Him. That is how powerful God’s glory is. Even the reflective radiance of someone who has been in His presence is blinding.

We sometimes times lose site of the fact that Jesus was human just like us and limited in the same ways that we are. If we are careful however we can also lose site of the fact that Jesus is God. He is not just some guy who we can ignore when it is convenient. He is our King and we are His subjects. Citizens don’t have the right to tell their king no. They live to do the bidding of their king.

We are in Luke 9:28. This is perhaps the most significant event in Jesus ministry prior to the cross. Between Jesus birth and His death the transfiguration is the most significant moment in His life. This is the pinnacle of Jesus earthly ministry. To transfiguration is similar to transformation it is to change the outward appearance of something. Jesus transfiguration is a supernatural and glorious change in appearance. Through this point the disciples have seen Jesus as a man with the power of God. They have not seen Him as God.

When we left off Jesus and company were in Caesarea Philippi which is in Gentile territory. Here Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah but didn’t really understand what that meant. Jesus came to this earth with a mission. Part of that mission was to die on a cross for our sins. Jesus identity as the Messiah is intimately connected with His death. Without dying Jesus cannot be the savior that we need.

Imagine the kingdom of earth that we live in is separated from the Kingdom of God by a curtain. Jesus is God, He is the eternal king who has stepped down from His throne to live as a man. Jesus ministry is all about lifting the curtain between our two kingdoms so that man can see and one day through Him enter into the kingdom of God. The transfiguration is a glimpse of the glory of God slipping through the curtain. It shows us that Jesus is not just a man but that He is the eternal God. This is foreshadowing of Jesus return to glory where we get just a peak at what He will look like when He comes back to bring about the fullness of the kingdom of God.

Lk 9:28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. Lk 9:29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Lk 9:30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, Lk 9:31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.

Just over a week after Peter’s confession and Jesus tells the disciples that He is going to die Jesus and Co. make their way back towards Capernaum. Just to the northwest of Capernaum there is Mt. Miron which is the tallest mountain in Palestine at almost 4000 feet high. While this is not a tall mountain it would take a considerable amount of time to climb to its peak. So it is likely late evening when they arrive at the summit to pray together. The seclusion of the mountain top makes a great place for prayer. It is one of the only places where Jesus and His disciples wouldn’t have to worry about distractions or interruptions.

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