It’s your birthday and dad wants to take a picture of you before you blow out the candles on your birthday cake. He lifts the camera to his eye and proceeds to shout, “Smile and say cheese!” You respond with a great big smile and the simple word, “Cheese.” Suddenly a dazzling light from the camera’s flash bulb brightens the room with so much light, it seems brighter than daylight. The flash momentarily “blinds” you and you can see nothing but the glow of the camera’s bulb in your eyesight – an image of the actual flash seems to be imprinted on your eyes. For the moment, this transparent image makes it difficult to see the room clearly as you see the “flash spot” wherever you look; but just as quickly as the flash filled the space, the normal dullness of the room returns and you proceed to blow out the candles as your family and friends sing “Happy Birthday.”
Does this sound familiar? Have you ever had a “flash” of light that seemed to blind you for a moment? Maybe a car on a dark highway has its “brights” on as it approaches your car or maybe a lightning bolt flashes across a darkened sky and catches you off guard.
In our Bible stories for today, we read about two times were God’s followers climbed a mountain and saw the “Glory of God.” In both cases, God’s Glory caused a brightness and radiance which exceeded any “flash” from a camera.
When Moses went up to be with God, God initially used a cloud to represent His presence, or his “Glory” before the people. Many chapters later (Exodus 34:29), we read about how when Moses stood before God again, God’s presence caused Moses’ face to glow. This radiance or brightness scared many of the people, so whenever Moses came down from the mountain he wore a vale, a piece of cloth, over his face. This brightness was caused by the “perfect ness and power” of God. It was simply because Moses was in God’s presence. The “Glory of God” caused Moses’ radiance.
Almost 1500 years later, Jesus’ disciples also saw this brightness or “God’s Glory” when they were with Jesus on the mountain praying. The word used in the Bible is “transfigured” which simply means that Jesus “changed.” For a moment, Jesus’ clothes became as bright as the sun or a lightning bolt, brighter than any camera flash. In that moment, the disciples saw God’s Glory in Jesus. Jesus, who lived with the disciples as a man, was really God. He chose to take the form of a man, because He wanted to live the perfect life we could not live. When Moses came down from the mountain, we learned that if we could not be perfect, we could not go to Heaven; but God loved us so much that He lived the perfect life for us through Jesus and then died for our sinfulness, our imperfectness, on the cross. He took upon Himself our darkness so that we could experience His brightness someday in Heaven. So the next time you see a bright light, think of the brightness of the Glory of God, which we will see someday in heaven.
How do we share the “light” of Christ with others?
What can we do to let “God’s Glory” shine through us?
Dear God, Thank you for the “light” of Jesus. Thank you that because of your love for us, we will someday experience your “radiance” in heaven. Please help us to “shine” the light of Jesus to others around us. May we be your bright lights in a darkened world. In Jesus name, Amen.
"We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (I John 3:2)
Glen Dawursk, Jr.
The door was closed when we were born;
No way to get in.
Real life was lost and we had died,
Due to our sin;
Due to our sin;
Due to our sin.
But then a light from God above,
Came shining through the door.
Jesus is the key to life,
And faith has opened the door;
Yes, faith has opened the door,
‘Cause Jesus opens the door.
The world gives us a window,
And claims that we’ll see more.
And we desire that window,
When God gives us a door;
When God gives us a door;
When God gives us a door.
So praise our Heavenly Father
And Jesus, His own son,
And glorify His spirit,
For He makes us one;
Yes, He makes us one.
Trinity is one.
And praise Him for the light above,
Which shines through our doors.
For God has given us new life,
And faith has opened our doors;
Yes, faith has opened our doors.
Jesus opened our doors.
Today’s Memory Verse:
Narrator: It was
a peaceful quiet day the town of
Gramps: (Pops up his head) Hey did you
say something about a pie?
I simply love pie. What kind of pie is it anyway?
Narrator: Pie? No not pie, I said the city was named Caesarea Philippi.
Gramps: Oh, sorry, I thought you said pie. I love pie.
Narrator: Well, anyway it was a peaceful day and
Jesus and three of His disciples, Peter, James and John decided to hike up
Gramps: PLAY on a mountain? Why would you PLAY football or baseball on a mountain? The ball goes flying off and then you have to hike back down to get the ball. Well you know what I mean. It just doesn’t sound too safe too me. Playing on a mountain.
Narrator: No, No, not PLAY, PRAY! They went up the mountain to pray!
Gramps: Did you say PRAY?
Gramps: Yep, I do it all the time. Praying is a great way to talk to God.
Narrator: Well that is true. Anyway, while they were on the mountain, Jesus “changed.”
Gramps: Changed? You mean He brought different clothes along and changed into his PRAY clothes? (laughs at his own joke) You get it, Instead of PLAY clothes, I said PRAY clothes?
Narrator: No, No, No, No! Jesus changed – He became transfigured!
Gramps: Yeah, my wife is trying to change her FIGURE too. Got a little big from eating all those pies.
Narrator: Listen, the word is “transfigured”. It means that Jesus, who was 100% man, showed for a moment that He is also 100% God. His human appearance “changed” for a moment.
Gramps: It did? He changed how He looked? How did He change?
Did He shave off His beard or something?
Narrator: Well, the Bible tells us that His clothes became as bright as lightning or as bright as the sun.
Gramps: Wow, I sure hope those disciples remembered their sunglasses. Bright lights are murder on my eyes. They got a name for that brightness thing?
Narrator: Well, we call it the “Glory of God.”
Gramps: The “Story of Cod”, huh? I just love a good fishing tale.
Narrator: No, the “Glory of God.” You see they were in the presence of God. Jesus is God.
Gramps: Bet they were real surprised.
Narrator: They wear very surprised and not only was the bright light from Jesus’ clothes hard on their eyes, but then something even more fantastic happened?
Gramps: Oh, I know, let me guess, they all ate pie and went fishing. Right?
Narrator: No, that’s not right at all. While Jesus was glowing with the Glory of God, two special visitors suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
Gramps: Yep I figured as much, two thieves showed up looking’ to steal their fish and pies?
Narrator: No, no, no – There was no fish and pies.
Gramps: Of course not, they stole them.
Narrator: There were no fish and pies on the mountain – just Jesus and the three disciples…
Gramps: …and the thieves.
Narrator: No the men who appeared weren’t even alive.
Gramps: You mean they were dead thieves?
Narrator: They weren’t thieves at all, they were Godly men who had already died and gone to heaven.
Gramps: You mean some dead guys just (snap fingers) showed up uninvited and all?
Narrator: Hmmm (Nods head) Moses and Elijah suddenly appeared next to
Gramps: Just zapped out of nowhere huh? Kind of like an X-File Episode. Do, de, do do, do de, do, do (Hums Twilight Zone theme) Scarey! Whoa. I love that stuff.
Narrator: Peter, one of the disciples even wanted to put up tents for the men. Then a voice from heaven scared the disciples. They fell to the ground and tried to hide. It said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” It was God the Father speaking about His Son, Jesus.
Gramps: Wow, sort of a family reunion.
Narrator: But just as quickly as the men appeared, they soon disappeared. They were gone.
Gramps: Off course they were gone, sounds like they wanted some fish and pie to me – and you didn’t have any. Some family reunion you planned. Without any food, I’m surprised anybody showed up.
Narrator: Moses represented the Law or the Ten Commandments and Elijah represented the Prophets who predicted the Jesus’ birth. Jesus is the fulfillment of the “Law and the Prophets.” Jesus told the disciples “Do not be afraid.” Because of Jesus, we also do not have to be afraid. He is God and He is with us always and someday we will all have a family reunion with Him in Heaven.
Gramps: Well, maybe there’ll be fish and pie at that Family reunion! Mmmm, you think there’ll be pie in heaven? I do. Maybe Chicken pie, or maybe Fish Pie, or maybe “pie squared”. Yah get it? Pi-squared.
Narrator: Oh no, not again! (Exits)
Gramps: I just crack myself up. Hey come back here I want to talk more about this “transfigured” stuff. (Exits)
· This Little Gospel Light of Mine (I’m Gonna Let It Shine)
· Shine Jesus Shine
· Jesus is the Light, He is the Light of the World
We praise you for being God and
It is amazing to me how our society’s conveniences have shaped who we are and how we live. I came across a commentary on the Internet the other day that demonstrated this. The writer, David Roher talks about how society has even changed how we camp.
The author then goes on to say that “the adventure of new life in Christ begins when the comfortable patterns of the old life are left behind.” To me this is a perfect application of Transfiguration Sunday.
It is a pleasant
day for a hike, and Jesus leads three of His disciples up
Moses, representing the old covenant and the need for a savior, and Elijah, the prophet who was called the “restorer of all things” (Malachi 4:5-6) appeared with Jesus. The Jewish concept of the scriptures being the “Law and Prophets” was being represented on this mountain top; but even more, the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets” was represented through Jesus. But the story does not end here. After Peter offers to put-up some tents for the visitors, God the Father speaks to the disciples with a booming voice from heaven: “This is my son…listen to Him.” Just as quickly as this “change” took place, it was over and the disciples were left with obvious amazement and extreme trepidation. Knowing their hearts, Jesus touched them and comforted them saying, “Do not fear.”
God consistently offered “mountain top” experiences to His people throughout scripture. They are examples of God’s manifestation and Jesus’ glory and demonstrate the “power of God,” and more importantly demonstrate the fulfillment of the law in Jesus Christ. He is the “mountain top” experience for all believers. Through Him, we can all receive a “transformation” from our sinful condition toward the glory He has prepared for us. These examples of “glory” are significant. In the Old Testament, I firmly believe that Moses did not want to leave the presence of God on the mountain. Even Peter was prepared to put up tents. He wanted to stay on the mountain. Can we blame him? We want to stay on the mountain also? Who would want to leave the presence of God? Not me.
So what does a motor home camper have to do with Transfiguration? Simply, they both involved a “transformation.” While Jesus was affirming His God-side, I think He was also emphasizing our need for a “transfiguration” in our lives and then in our ministry approaches.
The theme of the Transfiguration is not simply the majesty and glory of God, or the fulfillment of the Law in Jesus, but more importantly the fact that God’s disciples had to return to earth. God does not want for us to simply and exclusively dwell in the presence of the Glory of God on the mountain – at least not now. Why? Simply stated, ministry takes place at the base of the mountain. This starts when we are willing to demonstrate the “transfiguration” in our lives to others. We must show that Jesus is apart of us; that the glow of our lives is from the source of all power and light, God himself.
What is the real focus of our church’s ministry? Are we making every effort to “touch” people as Jesus did? Are we seeking to offer relief from their fear? This type of ministry makes Jesus real not just to our members, but also to our community. Are we willing to minister within our church’s wilderness, or are we still seeking the inward comforts of our traditional “church motor home”. Does our board seek to teach faith formation within the context of the needs and experiences of the people we minister to now, or is it tied to the traditions and culture of 20 or 30 years ago?
Just like the motor home analogy, true ministry and Christian education begin “when the comfortable patterns of the old life are left behind.” The message of these verses is the necessity to meet the needs of people who desire to meet God on the mountain. To seek God, but know that touching lives and real ministry takes place at the base of the mountain. Here we will see people transformed, as the glory of God is made known to them. May it be so within this board and throughout our church for Jesus sake. Amen.
Thank you for the
new life we receive through your Son Jesus Christ. We come before you tonight, asking that your
Holy Spirit would empower us to make decisions that are pleasing to you. May we as a board seek out ways to
demonstrate to others the “change” you have made in our lives. May we “touch” others the way you touched us
and may we be used by your Holy Spirit to be Jesus with “skin on” to a
community in need of your love and salvation.
Thank you Father. In your Son’s name, Jesus, we pray.
While Genesis concentrated
predominately upon the family of Abraham and his descendants, Exodus’ focus is
upon the “redemption” of a nation of chosen people – namely,
of Exodus was written by Moses (; 24:4;
34:27) as part of the “Law” or Pentateuch, one of the first five books
of the Torah and is included in the Old Testament cannon. It is believed that the Exodus took place
about 1446 BC (1 Kings 6:1). It clearly
points to God’s fulfillment of several promises and gives credibility to the
ones still to be fulfilled. Someday, if
we maintain our relationship with God while here on earth, we too will
experience a “
be split into two sections: the first
dealing with the historical aspects of the nation or “church” of
However, the blood that was sprinkled upon the altar, book and people could only assure the salvation of God’s people within the promise that Jesus would fulfill it upon the cross. God already knew that His people could not obey His laws. He had a plan from the beginning to assure His relationship with His people. God’s grace or gospel message is even sprinkled within the Law He gave them.
His presence is not simply a quiet and hidden event, but instead His presence is one of “spectacle” and a manifestation of His greatness. How amazing the faith of Moses, that he willingly trusted God’s invitation to join Him on the mountain. What fear and intrepidation most people would feel in the presence of God. It is here that God finalizes the covenant deal by putting His ‘laws” into writing. Offering two copies – as any good Jewish contract would (Exodus 31:18; 32:15-16; 34:1).
Moses was the “mediator” between God and man. Jesus was also the mediator for the New Covenant.
Just as interesting is the fact that the church celebrated a meal as part of the covenant. In 24:11, we see the “covenant meal” spoke about in Genesis (26:30; 31:54) being celebrated here also.
In both, it is God who inscribes the message of law on the tablet (and on our hearts) and prescribes Himself as the only fulfillment. For just as Moses attempted to “carry” God’s law (he too broke it coming down from God’s presence on the mountain), we are also not able to meet or maintain the glory of God. Only God can; God does it all.
As we experience glimpses of God’s glory in our life -- mountain top experiences – nothing will ever compare to the ultimate glory that will be ours on the “eternal mountain top,” heaven. I can imagine Moses telling God, “Do I have to go back? Can’t I just stay up here with you?” Who would want to leave the “glory” and presence of God?
Matthew (also called Levi) was originally a tax collector or “publican.” While himself a Jew, he specifically worked for the Roman government and therefore was hated by most Jews and was called a “sinner” or outcast (Matthew ,11; Mark ,16; Luke ).
Most scholars feel that Mathew was the first of the New
Testament gospels written possibly around 50-60 AD in
It is clearly an evangelical work with heavy emphasis on the grace and forgiveness of God available through believing in Jesus.
1. The "transfiguration" is the revelation of the _____________ of the Son of God. It will be fully revealed to us at the judgment.
2. There are just ___days between Peter's confession of faith in Matthew 16:13-20 and the transfiguration episode or ____ days total (including the first and last days) as is recorded by Luke . ____ days are often used to refer to a week in the Greek.
3. Peter, James and John are the same disciples who accompanied Jesus were very ____________ (Acts 3:1) and were present with Jesus at the healing of Jairus' daughter (Luke 8:51), at Gethsemane (Mark 14:33) and here.
We are not sure of where this took place, but in
Matthew , Peter's
Confession, it mentions Caesarea Philippi which was southwest of
5. Luke says the Jesus and the disciples went there to _____________.
6. Transfigured means that Jesus' appearance ____________. It is the climax of Christ's Epiphany (His revealing or "shining" on the world).
7. Transfigured comes from the Greek word "metamorphosis" which means to be changed in______________.
8. ________________ appearance was "like the sun", "white as light" (Matt. 17:2), "bright as a flash of lightning" (Luke ), and "dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them" (Mark 9:3).
9. ____________ represented the old covenant and the hope for a savior that Jesus fulfilled.
10. Malachi 4:5-6 calls ____________ the "restorer of all things."
11. This event symbolizes Jesus' fulfillment of His claim in Matthew 5:17. The Jews often referred to the scriptures as "The __________ and the Prophets." Together we have the Lawgiver, the Prophet and the fulfillment of them both, the Messiah.
12. The three talked about Jesus' ____________ or "departure". Exodus is the Greek word used in Luke 9:31.
13. __________ means "(my) teacher" in Hebrew.
14. Peter may have wanted to set up tents as a "place of meeting" as the Israelites did in the Old Testament. This was where God _______________ to His leaders. Check out Exodus 29:42.
15. Luke says Peter and his companions were "________________." Why is it whenever something significant happens to Jesus, the disciples want to fall asleep? What would we have done?
16. The ______________ of God the Father happens three times in the Gospels: at Jesus' Baptism (Luke ), here at His transfiguration, and also while Jesus visited the temple before His passion (John ).
The second epistle of Peter has been questioned for centuries as to whether Peter wrote it or possibly Jude. Some scholars have questioned its authorship, but its significance to the church is relevant.
The letter speaks specifically to “false teachers” whose way of life and cynicism about Christ’s return brought doubt to the church. The connection with the first epistle seems to be apparent as they both speak to the blessings God has given His church. In this letter, they are use these blessings to stand up against the wickedness of false teaching and the church is to look forward to the “glory” being prepared for them in heaven.
Note also that the words in verse 21 show us that God’s “inspiration” of scripture was not done as simply a “robot” cloning every word from God’s mouth. Instead, the verse implies a “cooperative effort:” God’s content; man’s syntax.
6. Cloud, fire
7. 40, 40
10. Obligation, Jesus’
2. 6, 8, 8