Summary: Using the account of Jesus' transfiguration there are lessons we can learn about our transformation
His and Ours
MATTHEW 17: 1-8
Today I want to talk to you about TRANSFORMATION. Most of you don't understand what that means.
Many of us think of the caterpillar and the butterfly. But that is not truly transformation. Why?
Because what happens to the butterfly is only EXTERNAL! He loses a bunch of legs and gains wings. His outsides are changed ... but his insides are the same as before.
True transformation is an inward change that radiates from the inside out and changes the outside.
Most "Christian" transformation is not truly transformation either. For them it is an outward change.
They stop doing some things or they start doing some things.
But it is just external.
It does not last because it is external; they are working to change it, to hold up the facade. But the inside change has not happened so the strain gets too strong and the person gives up.... and goes back to their old ways.
One of the surest signs is true transformation is IT LASTS!!!
Anyone can keep up the game for a while ... a few can even keep it up forever. .. they even fool themselves.
But most of the false ones will eventually show their true colors.
Today I want to talk about Christ's transformation and see what lessons we can draw from it.
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the brothers James and John with him. They went up on a very high mountain where they could be alone. 2 There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed His face was shining like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
3 All at once Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus. 4 So Peter said to him, "Lord, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. "
5 While Peter was still speaking, the shadow of a bright cloud passed over them. From the cloud a voice said, "This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him. Listen to what he says!"
6 When the disciples heard the voice, they were so afraid that they fell flat on the ground
7 But Jesus came over and touched them. He said, "Get up and don’t be afraid! 8 When they opened their eyes, they saw only Jesus.
Jesus did something here that many people have trouble understanding ... he showed blatant favoritism. He chose three out of the twelve and took them to a special place and allowed them to have this unique experience.
What did that say to the others? What did that indicate about the others? How did the others feel? How did this affect the group dynamic?
DID JESUS PLAY FAVORITES?
That may shock some of you. Your response may be something like, "But I thought Jesus was no respecter of persons.
HE ISN'T. .... IN SOME WAYS!
He does not relate on the basis of race, sex, nationality, social status, or any other basis over which you have no control.
He does not judge as a man judges.
But if you think God does not have "favorites" YOU ARE WRONG.
Not favorites in the sense of those he loves more ... but favorites in the sense of those he prefers to use and fellowship with.
In God's eyes HE LOVES ALL PEOPLE EQUALLY.
BUT ALL ARE NOT EQUAL!!!!
Some are more useful than others because they are better prepared or more submissive and obedient.
Some are more useful because they are more knowledgeable or something else.
SOME ARE MORE TRANSFORMED THAN OTHERS!!!!
Some have spent more time on the road, spent more effort on the way, surrendered more of themselves, and experienced more of His presence and transforming touch.
Jesus took these three, I believe, because of something special in his relationship with each.
Peter He was easy to like because of his spiritual insights.
Long before the rest caught on, Peter confess Jesus as "The Christ"
John This was "The disciple Jesus loved." Obviously Jesus and John had a union of heart that surpassed the rest.
James For his obedience… he wanted people to put your actions where your mouth is.
These three had seen Jesus most clearly, had greater spiritual insights and understanding.
I believe these three spent the most time with him.
These three had a previous experience where they were singled out
They were with him when he raised a dead girl to life- they saw him as
superior to death (Mk 5:37-43)
I would like to tell you that we all have the same chance to experience more of Christ, to see him more fully.
BUT WE DON'T. ... some of you are more prepared ... further along in your transformation ... more prepared to receive more.