The Transfiguration of Jesus.
Today's Gospel text revolves around the transfiguration of Jesus. What I will do first of all is to go over the standard things that one can get out of this passage and let you tick off the obvious things tat you know. Then I'll move on to the less obvious and hopefully you'll gain in one or two points and also be able to say “I knew that” in others!
So what are the obvious things that we know from the passage.
1. This incident comes just after Jesus tells the disciples that some of them would see the kingdom of God and serves to illustrate that statement. The disciples see Jesus glorified showing that the kingdom of God is in the true believer.
1a. There is a deep meaning for us as the scripture states in 2_Corinthians 3:18 where we read this.
2_Cor 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
So true believers who are becoming more and more like Jesus each day are being transformed from one degree of glory to another. If we are headed that way, as with Jesus, at some point it will show!
2. Next we note that two men appear with Him, Moses and Elijah. These represented the Old Covenant dispensation of which John the Baptist was the last and greatest prophet and which was soon to start fading away, to be superceded by the New Covenant.
2a. There is once again a deeper lesson that we can learn from this. In Matthew 11:11 Jesus says this. “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he”.
Those of us who are truly following Jesus are here said to be greater than John, Elijah and Moses. When we rise to that calling and it's not just potential but actuality, then we will truly be Christ's disciples.
3. One thing to note is that the Elijah and Moses communicated with Jesus and the topic of interest was His upcoming death and resurrection. They, it seems, wanted to know what God's plan entailed.
3a. The deeper thought that we should all have is that this should be our primary thought also. As Paul said in 1_Corinthians 2:2.
1 Cor 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
This is our witness to others and our hope for the future.
Jesus, crucified for us and risen to glory – Our salvation!
4. Now as Moses and Elijah were leaving Jesus, Peter decides he has to speak up! This is so fantastic he wants to build a booth for each of them! But by jumping in like that Peter missed something which God had to correct. The two men were leaving! They are not equal to Jesus!
A voice came from heaven to show them what God requires of us.
Our Father said out of the cloud, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
4a. We are to listen to Jesus only! We are not to be hung up on anyone other than Jesus. Their errors do not make you better than them and nor do their good deeds make you less valuable to God.
God has a perfect plan for each of us and if we listen to Jesus only, that plan will be brought to fruition by God.
The disciples who were with Jesus did not immediately tell the others what had happened.
But, God inspired them to pass the information on later and Luke wrote the eyewitness report down for our benefit.
So do you want to be part of the deeper meaning God has for us in His manual, the Bible?
A. Are we going to renew our minds and become more and more like Jesus and so grow from glory to glory.
B. Are we going to build a life based on upstaging the woman next door, or are we going to build our life based on our potential in Jesus to be greater than John the Baptist, or Moses or Elijah?
C. Is our central concern Jesus and Him crucified? Do we appreciate that it's not about us? It's not about our works; it's about Jesus' work!
D. Are we going to be bold enough to choose Jesus and put Him first and listen to Him over all others? Is our motivation, “What's in it for me?”, or is it “What would Jesus do here?”
If we make those four cornerstones of today's gospel reading our “Raison D'etre” we will at the end have Jesus say to us, “Well done good and faithful servant, I will make you ruler over many things!”