Summary: This message takes a practical look at the Transfiguration, and gleans lessons for Christian living.
“Transfigured With Christ”
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our series on ‘Great Events In The Life And Ministry Of Jesus”.
This is one of the greatest, and perhaps one of the most complex, occurrences in the life of Christ. There are several ways we can look at the Transfiguration. We can study the theological implications … examine the doctrinal issues … OR … apply the practical application. I chose to do the latter.
Let’s take a look at the Transfiguration of Jesus … and see how it applies to you & me. Let’s see how it affected the 3 Disciples who were present.
READ: Matthew 17:1-8
NOW … I want you to turn to Luke 9:28, and keep your finger there. We will be turning back & forth between the 2 accounts.
17:1 – “6 days” – Don’t be confused by Luke saying “about 8 days” – Luke 9:28. Matthew counts only the 6 days between the 2 events … Luke counts the 2 days of the events.
There were 6 days of silence, since Jesus last spoke to His Disciples – Mt. 16:21, 24.
Jesus let them think about these things for 6 days. HOW MUST THE DISCIPLES HAVE FELT?
o Jesus said He was going to be killed.
o Jesus said that if they wanted to follow Him, they had to take up a “cross” also.
We have a different view of the “cross” than they did in that day. They knew what a “cross was. It wasn’t made of gold, and hang around your neck. It was made of wood, and you hung on it. A cruel, inhumane death.
These words of Jesus must have haunted them for days … always on their mind.
“Peter, James & John” – the INNER CIRCLE of the 12 Disciples. WHY DID JESUS CHOOSE THESE 3 TO GIVE SPECIAL ATTENTION TO?
Jesus knew their FUTURE MINISTRY:
PETER – he would be the leader of the early church.
JAMES – he would pastor the church in Jerusalem.
JOHN – he would write the book of Revelation.
Jesus knew that they needed this experience to PREPARE them … and to ENCOURAGE them … for what God had for them to do.
LESSON: Every experience that you have in life, is God’s preparing you to handle future experiences.
God will always give you the strength and encouragement when you need it. God has plans for you. We stifle His plans when we get stuck in the process of His preparing us to move on.
17:2 – “transfigured” – Gk. ‘metamorphothe’ – ‘a change’.
LIKE: the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly … or a tadpole into a frog.
For 33 years, Jesus lived in a body of FLESH (the caterpillar, if you please). NOW, Jesus is going to allow His GLORY to shine through (butterfly, if you please).
Luke tells us something that Matthew leaves out. Luke 9:29
NOTICE: Jesus went up into the mountain with His 3 Disciples to PRAY. WHAT USUALLY HAPPENED WHEN JESUS WENT OFF TO PRAY WITH HIS DISCIPLES? That’s right, they fell asleep. Luke 9:32.
LESSON: PRAYER will CHANGE (metamorphosis) you! It may, or may not, change your circumstances. It may, or may not, make things turn out the way you want them to. BUT … prayer will change YOU. It will change your doubt into hope … your fear into faith … your turmoil into peace.
Jesus knows that He’s soon going to the cross. He wants somebody to talk to. The Disciples are always sleeping when Jesus prays to God. SO … God sends Jesus 2 old friends to talk to … Moses & Elijah.
LESSON: Jesus wants to talk with you. He didn’t save you, just to have you ignore Him the rest of your life. What if I saved your life … OR … paid your debt when you declared bankruptcy? What if you never spoke to me again … after all I did for you? Jesus misses you when you don’t talk with Him.
NOTICE in Mt. 17:2, that the body of Jesus GLOWED. This wasn’t like a spotlight was shining on Him. This light came from the INSIDE … and passed through His clothes.
The Bible says that Jesus is the “light of the world”. The Bible also says that there won’t be any sun in Heaven … because the glory of Jesus will provide all the light we need.
LESSON: No matter how dark the storm-clouds get in your life … Jesus is always there to lighten it up. 1 John 1:5 – “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” WHO WROTE THIS? John … the same John who witnessed the LIGHT of the Transfiguration.