Sunday, February 13, 2005


Intro: There are times I am really am amazed at life around me.

  1. This week I looked out our kitchen window and I saw brightest red cardinal that I had ever seen.

  2. Another time I was driving down 204 – a short freeway spur that runs between 490 and Chili Avenue. There in a small field just off the freeway were a mother and two fawns. If I had not been on the freeway, I would have been tempted to stop and admire the scene for a few minutes.

  3. This week as my wife and I left work, I looked to the East. As I looked at the clouds in the eastern sky, I could almost swear that I saw mountains on the horizon. Amazing, truly amazing.

  4. Today's passage is one of those kind of times. If I had seen it, I would have wanted to pull over and admire the event for just a few minutes. I expect that it would be true for you as well.

Read Mark 9:2-10


T.S. The transfiguration was a remarkable event.

I. The transfiguration was for ordinary people.

      1. I have not reason to think that this day was any different than any other.

      2. Jesus selected three of His disciples to join Him in prayer.

(Ill.) This wasn't the first time he had asked his disciples to pray with Him it had happened on the day that Peter had uttered those insightful words, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” – and it would also happen again on the night when Jesus was betrayed. On that night Jesus asked his disciples to pray with Him, but for whatever reason it was a difficult request, and they could only sleep.

      1. So Jesus chooses Peter, James, and John to accompany him up a high mountain. Twenty miles north of the Sea of Galilee are the head waters of the Jordan River which lie along the foothills of Mount Hermon. It was this mountain, which raises 9200 feet above the Mediterranean, that Jesus climbed with Peter, James, and John that morning.

(Appl.) Jesus knew that His ministry took more than just Him. He chose twelve, today he asks three of those twelve to accompany Him. Ministry is never to be done in isolation – it is a team effort. It was a team effort for Jesus – it is still a team effort.

(Ill.) I am not much of a sports fan – but I have occasionally watched a hockey game. Hockey handles penalties in a strange way. When there is a foul, the player who committed the foul is placed into the penalty box for a period of time to be determined by the referee. During the time that the player is in the penalty box, the team is short handed. They are playing with four players, while the team not committing the foul plays with five players. It is at that point that they realize that hockey is a team sport. And so is the church and we cannot afford to play with a missing player. We cannot afford to play without you.

      1. And so Jesus and His three disciples arrive on that high mountain. It is going to be a peaceful, quiet time of prayer. Jesus and the three of them – they are alone.

  1. The transfiguration was about one extraordinary person.

    1. But two things take place that guarantee that this will never again be remembered as an ordinary day.

    2. First, Mark tells us, Jesus was “Transfigured”

(Ill.) The Greek work is “Metamorphis” - his face shone like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. Have you ever seen those commercials for Tide or Cheer. Do you remember that last scene in those commercials where the white sheets are flapping in the wind and there is this little sparkle in the corner. In real life, regardless of how much we wash our clothes, they never get that sparkle. But that day, that time, Jesus and his clothes had that sparkle. Now Jesus' transfiguration is more than clean clothes, but that is the picture I get in my head.

(Appl.) Actually, Jesus' transfiguration was just a precursor of future events. Romans 12:2 uses the same word for the changes that are to be part of our lives - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But our transformation does not end there. The time will come our transfiguration will be complete. I Corinthians 15:51-52 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed. in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. As believers we are in the midst of our own transformation.

    1. But something else happens – two more men appear on the scene – Moses and Elijah.

(Ill.) When I get to heaven there are a lot of questions I want to ask God. And there are several that were raised by this passage as I studied this week: Questions like Why Moses and Elijah? Why not Noah or Abraham or David? Why were they there? They didn't say anything. How did Peter, James, and John recognize them? Moses had lived 1400 years before. Elijah died 850 years earlier. How could Peter, James, and John recognize them? I have questions.

    1. Now here is where it gets a bit out of hand. Peter is excited. He wants to build three booths or tents to honor Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.

    2. But from someplace comes a voice, “This is my son, the Beloved, listen to Him.”

(Ill.) When I was in college, I took one course that had absolutely nothing to do with my degree in chemistry or my plans to go to seminary. I took a course in “Theatrical Lighting”. I can imagin the lighting that might be used on this scene. It is the middle of the day. The sun is shining. But as Jesus begins to glow like the sun and his clothes begin to dazzle – the light shifts. It begins to narrow – the focus is now on three men – Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.

And then Peter begins to get excited. And after he makes his request known, God begins to speak. And the light refocuses again – this time it is clear that the focus, the spot light, is on Jesus.

    1. Peter had a lesson to learn. The gospel is about Jesus. It was not about him, it was not about Moses or Elija. It was about Jesus.

(Appl.) It is also a lesson we all need to learn. The gospel is not about us. It is not about our church. It is not about its pastor. Rather, the gospel is about Jesus Christ. And we need to listen to God's voice. We may not have a quiet hill, we may not see Jesus transfigured with Moses and Elijah standing before us. But we do need to hear the voice of the Father, “This is my son, the Beloved, listen to Him.”

  1. The transfiguration had extra-ordinary results

    1. And then suddenly, there is quiet. Jesus and the disciples are left alone on that hill.

    2. And they had to return to the other disciples. They were commanded to say nothing till after Jesus had risen from the grave.

    3. Yet these three men were even now beginning their own transformation. They could never be the same.

    4. And when we meet Jesus – we will never be the same.

Conclusion: Let me conclude by asking a question:

  1. Do you need a transformation?

  2. Do you need God to begin the process of completing a transfiguration in your life?

But another question is also appropriate here.

  1. God may have meant something more to you in the past.

  2. But it has been awhile since you have made sensed that he was an important part of your life.

Whichever set of questions you need to answer, it would seem that this lenten season might be a good time to find that relationship with God that you desire.

Join me in singing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. If you need to feel free to approach the altar.

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