Summary: This sermon is about the Transfiguration and the fact that we can’t stay on the mountain top forever.
Butterflies lay eggs. Usually they will put the egg on a leaf. A small larva will emerge from the egg. The larva of a butterfly is called a caterpillar. It will start eating the leaf. During its life it will molt a few times. Each time it becomes bigger. Then it will become a pupa. This pupa may be hanging on the plant in a small loop of silk. And after a few days the pupa turns into a beautiful butterfly.
This process is called metamorphosis. You probably learned that in 2nd grade. It always fascinated me. The whole process of how this ugly, little, fury, round creature became a beautiful butterfly. It’s an incredible transformation. The first time you heard or witnessed the process of metamorphosis, you were probably astounded. You may have said, “How can that happen? That’s impossible!” When you finally understood what was going on, you probably said, “WOW!”
Jesus three closest disciples, Peter, James and John, had such an experience on the top of mountain. This was an experience that left them saying, “WOW!”
Turn with me to Mark 9.
Read Mark 9:2-9.
Jesus is so much more that we realize.
Jesus’ true glory became evident to the disciples at this point. They were expecting a caterpillar, but they saw the butterfly.
They were terrified because they saw something they had never seen before. This is the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight. Imagine a fisherman standing my the ocean when he looks up and sees a airplane.
There was a couple that attended a Texas Rangers baseball game in 1992 against the Toronto Blue Jays, and they saw legend Nolan Ryan throw his seventh career no-hitter. They were spending their summer traveling around the country taking in baseball games, both minor and major league, and they just happened to come to Texas when Ryan pitched his seventh no-hitter.
Jesus offers more than we realize. Last week we looked at the paralyzed man. He sought physical healing, but wound up getting spiritual healing. The paralyzed man probably wanted to stay with Jesus forever, but Jesus sent him away.
We can’t stay on the mountain forever.
When I was seven, we took a vacation to Mount Rushmore. I didn’t want the vacation to end.
Peter didn’t want to leave the mountaintop. This is something that was new and glorious for him.
The fact of the matter is that most of our life is lived in the valley. That’s not meant to be depressing. Peter had to come down from the mountain. The paralyzed man had to head back out into the world.
We have work to do. Sunday is our mountaintop day, but Monday is coming, and we have to go back out.
Our job is to spread the message of the Cross.
The Cross is linked in every way to Jesus.
The Cross is the defining moment in the life of Jesus. That’s why he commanded Peter, James and John not to talk about what they had seen until after the resurrection.
Andy Griffith will always be recognized as Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry. No matter what else he does, that will be his defining thing of his career.
The Cross defines Jesus. Without the Cross, we are nowhere.