Summary: The importance of the transfiguration in our lives as Christians
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sometimes through our human nature or perhaps, in my
case, just plain stupidity, I don’t know if any of you have ever
looked into a light bulb. If you have, then for the first couple of
seconds you are totally blinded, but after a couple of seconds, you
can gradually see the inside of the bulb, the element - something
so small yet it gives off light, power and heat.
The Transfiguration has two separate accounts. The first
in the Old Testament when Moses returned from the mountain
and secondly when Jesus ascends to the mountain with two of His
The first occasion when the people reject Moses - God
intervenes. when Moses comes down from the mountain his face
is shining so bright there can be no doubt in peoples’ minds -
God’s voice has spoken, the evidence is clear. The second is in
Luke’s Gospel. As Jesus prays, his clothes become so dazzling
white, his face changed and God’s voice again proclaiming “This is
my son with whom I am well pleased”.
God now putting the world back on track, the majesty,
dominion, power and glory. God’s supremacy coming through loud
and clear. This s our Lord revealed in His radiance, fulfilling and
superseding the law and the prophets before His passion.
As Christians, we are confident that the hope and sharing in
His likeness that the Kingdom of God is for all believers to share
The radiance and the awe and majesty that surrounds these
passages of scripture were concepts that Old Testament
believers were familiar with, not for them the mateness of God
of some present day believers who seemed to have no trouble in
telling God what to do, and perhaps there is an element which
needs to be discovered. The closer we get to God, the greater is
our awareness of His majesty and glory and of our need as it
were to put shoes in a reverential response.
The Transfiguration of our Lord is something that can be
transferred to us and that we can be transformed by it. John
the Baptist saw the radiance of our Lord, he saw the glory of God
shining as bright as anything he had seen in his life and was able
to follow in the recognition that Christ was the chosen one,
serving and ministering in Christ’s name. We too are part of that
glorious light and we have a share in that as well.
The Transfiguration of our Lord took place because God
answered the question once and for all. Who is Jesus? Some had
said he was John the Baptist, some said Elijah and others said
Jeremiah. But this was God’s moment of glory. Jesus stood in
The interesting thing was that although he appeared with
Moses and Elijah, we are told that it was Christ whose face
transfigured. It was, if you like, God answering the critics in the
Old Testament, as I referred to earlier, but this was Jesus, this
was the final piece in the jigsaw. The law and the prophets had
served their turn. Jesus now the fulfilment for all humankind.
It was also God saying “The new era is on the horizon”. The
Old Testament times were now in the past and Christ the new
covenant was coming through his death and resurrection - the
people would be saved.
There was no doubt, there never was, there never will be,
the significant event that happened at the transfiguration was
that God the father told the disciples exactly who Jesus was.
“This is my son, I am fully pleased with him, listen to him”.
It wasn’t that far back where the Disciples were asking
Jesus to show us the father and we will be satisfied. Jesus’s
reply to that was “To have seen me was to have seen the father”.
This event brings that to fruition.
The point which many of the Jews and Pharisees and the
Scribes failed to grasp was that Jesus did not come and abandon
all the old ways, but mainly to fulfil them.
In one of my favourite passages of scripture which has
Jesus calming the storm, has the Disciples saying “Who is this
man that even the winds and waves obey him?” In the story from
Matthew’s Gospel tonight, we have that answered exactly who he
is. But as followers of Christ, he too must be the one who calms
the winds and waves in our lives. In our daily lives, Christ must be
the one that shines.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that Monday was the
worst day in the year, scientists had reckoned. They had come to
this conclusion because of the downside after Christmas when all