Summary: The Transfiguration of our Lord.
“We Are Not Spare Parts”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newpot News, VA
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning we see that Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain...
...and this was the place where Jesus “was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than
anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking to
And Peter, James and John, who were just mere mortals like you and I...well...they didn’t know what to
say...they were so frightened!
But we must remember that Elijah and Moses had been mortals as well, but each of these men had had an
experience with the Almighty God which had caused them to become immortal!!!
They were ordinary people with ordinary problems and insecurities, but God transfigured them and
used them in extraordinary ways.
And this is what God wants to do with each of our lives. He wants to transfigure us, give us His Holy
Spirit which will cause us to never even taste death, and to use our lives as a witness to others.
Moses and Elijah were two of the great “heros” of the Jewish faith...
...and for the three disciples to see them speaking to Jesus on that mountaintop was dramatic indeed!
It was like having a ring-side seat to heaven.
To help visualize the drama, imagine that your third grade teacher took you to the top of a mountain
where he or she was suddenly joined by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
This is the kind of drama we’re talking about...but Elijah and Moses were even much greater heroes than
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln!
Both of these heroes had an experience of the magnificence of God’s glory that became immensely
important to the entire community of faith.
Moses’ experience also took place on a mountaintop---on Mount Sinai where God gave him the Ten
On that mountain the lightening flashed and the thunder rolled and the whole mountain was covered with
the fiery glory of God.
And when Moses came down from the mountain, his face glowed brightly because he had been in the
direct presence of the glory of God.
And Moses was again on a mountain when God allowed him to see the promised land which he never
would be able to enter because of his sin.
And soon after that, Moses died.
But in the New Testament Book of Jude we are told that the archangel Michael had a dispute with the
devil over the body of Moses. The devil wanted to lay claim to Moses’ body because of his sin...but the archangel
said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you!”
Moses had passed under the dominion of death, but he was not to remain in the tomb.
Moses standing on the mount of Transfiguration represents to us all those who shall come forth from the
grave at the resurrection of the dead...at Christ’s second coming.
But Jesus wasn’t just talking with Moses...He was talking with Elijah as well.
As we read in our Old Testament Lesson for this morning, we see that Elijah the prophet was walking
along with Elisha who had worked in the shadow of the ministry of Elijah for ten long years.
And “As they were walking and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and
separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.”
Like Enoch before him, Elijah was taken up to heaven bodily without experiencing death.
Elijah standing on the Mount of Transfiguration represents to us all those who will still be living on the
earth at Christ’s second coming...
...those who will be “changed---in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.”
Many people refer to this as the “rapture.”
Upon the Mount of Transfiguration the future kingdom of glory is represented to us--in miniature....
...There is Christ the King, there is Moses--a representative of the risen believers, and Elijah--a representative of
those who will still be alive when Christ returns!
And Peter, James and John were there to witness this magnificent event!
But they couldn’t comprehend the scene.
Have you ever been in a group of people where someone told a joke and everyone laughed except you?
“I don’t get it. I missed the point.”
Or have you ever been in the middle of a discussion where another person makes some persuasive point
and everyone else nods their heads in agreement--except you?
“I don’t get it. I missed the point.”
Well, Peter, James and John missed the point as well.
They believed that Elijah had come to announce the Messiah’s reign, and that the kingdom of Christ