The Transfiguration

40 weeks of Discipleship  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:44
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Heb 8:1-6 “Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.”
What is the transfiguration?
It means to change in a manner visible to others.
After Jesus gave the disciples a definition of discipleship he took them up on a mountain and transformed Himself before them.
When I say transformed, I mean His earthly body took on a heavenly appearance
This is one of the most difficult passages of Scripture for us because we know so little about the afterlife
But there are some important lessons in here, and the entire event was for the benefit of the disciples
So turn with me to Matthew chapter 17 and we are going to look at the Transfiguration of Jesus
Matthew 17:1–3 NASB95
Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
Jesus took the disciples up on a high mountain to show them his transfiguration for their benefit
“Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John...”
“He was transfigured before “them”
In verse 5 the voice of God spoke directly to “them”
So what Jesus did was done for the benefit of the disciples
Why do you think it was only these disciples!
Why only three?
Do you think God has favorites?
I don’t think He has favorites, but I do think there are some who are closer to the Lord Jesus than others
And those who know Him more intimately experience more of Him on this earth
And I think that is what we see here.
Transfigured means to be transformed
It’s not just an inner transformation, but a total transformation
What is on the inside comes to the outside
It is a visible transformation that can be seen with the eyes
The question then is why did Jesus want them to see Him transformed
I think so they could get a glimpse of the glory they would share in IF THEY CONTINUE ON WITH JESUS AND TRUST HIM WITH THEIR LIVES
Last week we talked about discipleship
And what Jesus defines as discipleship is giving our whole lives to Jesus just as He gave His whole life for us
And I don’t think that was any easier then as it is now
Does anyone else struggle with picking up their cross daily?
Does anyone else struggle with the suffering that accompanies the Christian life?
Does anyone else struggle with denying yourself?
And we should know that Jesus understands
So I see this Event as a form of encouragement
I think it was to give them a glimpse of the heavenly so that they would be more willing to trust Jesus with their lives

This was encouragement to them and to us that their is a greater life coming when we leave this world

Hebrews 2:10 NLT
God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.
Jesus pioneered the way for us!
He was the first fruits, the first to rise from the dead!
And we know because He rose from the dead we will too rise
And we know also that we have glorified bodies when we leave this place
How do we know this really happened?
How do we know this is not just something that Matthew made up
Doesn’t it seem like something unbelievable?
Because Peter testified of it by his own hand in his own letter
2 Peter 1:16–17 NASB95
For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”—
Peter said, “I was there!”
I heard the voice of God that day!
I saw Jesus transfigured and I know that there is coming day when I too will be changed!
And Peter would give his life for his faith in Christ!
They crucified him upside down because he said he was not worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus!
And what we do with our lives speaks far more about what we believe that what we say with words!
Peter knew it would all be worth it, the following, the suffering, the taking up your cross daily, the turning away from this world, because He knew there something so much greater coming
There is A Day is coming when the present reality will be gone and a future existence will be all that matters
There is coming a day when we are going to leave these earthly bodies, and all the things that we thought were so important here on earth will mean nothing then!
There is so much more to live for than the here and now!
There is coming a day when everything WILL CHANGE
The sky will be rolled up like a scroll
Jesus will return and close down this world
And the true reality that we cannot see now, will become visible to all
Revelation 6:14 NASB95
The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
John describes the second coming of Christ like “a scroll when it is rolled up” (Rev. 6:14).
When Jesus returns it will not be an appearing in the sky, but the present reality that we know and understand will be removed and the veil will be lifted.
It will be as a stage curtain opening to reveal the actors behind it.
This is what we are seeing here with Jesus!
The humanity seen by the human eyes only veils the glory inside!
And what Jesus does on this Mountain is remove the veil and allows the disciples to see his divine nature!
And what we must keep in mind, is that everything is leading to that.
They are not only encouraged by what they SEE, but they are instructed by what they hear
Matthew 17:4–5 NASB95
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
Peter speaks up like usual
He is always the spokesman for the group whether it is three or 12. And here Peter pipes up because he just cannot seem to control himself and says, “hey we’ll make you all a tabernacle”.
Now I really do not know why Peter wanted to make tabernacles.
Perhaps he wanted to extend the heavenly experience he was having.
Maybe there is a reference back to the Feast of Booths in the OT.
Perhaps Peter just thought he should be doing something and that is the the first thing that popped in His mind.
Regardless of his reasoning, what really matters is not what Peter said, but what God said: “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him”
In other words, Peter stop worrying about what to do and just listen to what Jesus has to say.
Peter, stop piping up every time a thought pops in your head, and listen to Jesus
Peter, just be still and listen to the Son of God
Why is this important?
We do not hear God the Father speaking audibly very much in the New Testament.
In fact, to my knowledge only three times does God speak
And this is the only time that there is a command for the disciples
So I think this command to listen is really significant for us today
I want you to listen to what Peter 's own testimony about this he wrote about in His letter
2 Peter 1:18–19 NASB95
and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
Peter says, “You must pay attention!”
He said because of his experience he has even more confidence in the Word of God!
It is not a matter of choice, but a matter of eternity!
Could there be a more serious issue in the life of a human soul than to hear and not listen?

The divine command from God to us is to LISTEN to what Jesus says

How do we hear the voice of God today?
From what He has already said in the Bible!
From the pages of Scripture!
And God also speaks to us through the Holy Spirit
My sheep hear my voice and I know them
But let me caution you on this: The Holy Spirit will not contradict what Jesus has said
So if someone comes up to me and says God told them this and it contradicts the Word of God, then I can tell you right now that is not the voice of God!
Be careful that you are not hearing your own thoughts! But are hearing God’s voice...
This could not be much more relevant for the church today. Do you know what we need most?
We need to stop trying to figure everything out on our own and listen to what God has to say to us
We get in such a rush to do something, to make some noise, to get some numbers down on paper, to get some ministries started and rarely do we take the time to stop and listen for instruction from God.
Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
“Be still, and know that I am God!”
We need a morning quiet time with God
We need a time set aside in our lives where we communicate with God
We read His Word and allow Him to speak with us
We pray and communicate with God
And then we listen!
We just be still and really try to hear the voice of God!
Is that part of your life?
If you w nat to be closer to the Lord Jesus, then you have got to make time for Him.
Matthew 17:6–9 NASB95
When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
As you could imagine, the disciples were terrified. Seeing Jesus completely transform, and then an audible voice from heaven give you a command would Make anyone afraid. But Jesus comes and calms their fears. He places His hand on them, and tells them to get up!
But then Jesus tells them to tell no one about what they saw Until he has risen from the dead.
Why did Jesus want to keep this secret?
If Jesus wanted people to know He was the Messiah, why not go and tell people plainly?
Why not transfigure before the entire nation of Israel?
Because His entire mission was to come and die
They already tried to make Him a worldly King when he fed the 5,000.
The crowds followed Him because of His miracles.
They wanted something from Him, but did not really understand what they truly needed
What they needed was to be freed from their sins
What they needed was a Messiah who could save them from their sins and give them eternal life
But what they wanted was a political ruler
They did not want to be oppressed by Rome any longer
So Jesus knew if His own disciples still did not get it, then the whole world would not either until He had resurrected from the dead.

Jesus has come to meet our greatest need not always give us what we want

Why is this important?
The greatest need a person will ever have is the blood of Jesus Christ covering their soul
This need is far greater than any other earthly need
What people need to be is forgiven
They need their sins to be somehow washed away…but only God can do that
And so what we see in this Transfiguration is God who took on human the flesh to give His life for the sins for the world.
Only blood can take away sin.
And only perfect human blood can take away sin
There has never been a perfect human in the history of man because we are all sinners all the way back to Adam and Eve
That is why Jesus came.
He came to meet our greatest needs, even if they didn’t understand it at that time
A relationship with God is not about what we want, but trust Him to give us what we need
Do not listen to the people who speak as if Jesu is our magic genie
He is Lord, and He knows far better than we do
Trust Him with your lives
God continues to work in our lives in such a way to meet our deepest needs.
Sometimes He allows tragedies to come because they get our attention
Sometimes he sends people with a clear message to tell us the gospel
Sometimes he brings us to a church service to hear the Word of God preached.
Scripture tells us that God pursues us
He calls us to Him
But He will not force us to follow Him, That is our decision
He will not make us repent and turn from our sins, that is our decision
Your needs can only be met by Jesus
If your here this morning, and you need hope, it’s Jesus
If your here and you need help, it’s Jesus
If your here this morning and you need direction, listen to Him
If your here and you need encouragement, draw near to Him
The Lord’s Supper
1 Cor 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
1 Cor 11:27-32 “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”
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