2017 03 12 Lorna Laister The Transfiguration

2017 03 12 Lorna Laister The Transfiguration
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Create DateMarch 18, 2017
Last UpdatedMarch 18, 2017


Sermon summary (Click on the title) The Transfiguration Luke 9:28-32 Lorna Laister When we get caught up in the pageantry of a wedding We lose sight of the significance of the moment....

The Transfiguration The significance of the moment  

Luke 9:28-36


March 12 2017  Lorna Laister  Read Luke 9:28-36


Most people love a wedding. Families can plan for months getting the right venue, the right guest list and ooooh the right dress!!!

The bride will talk about her colour scheme for months and the decorations must be bought and the present list drawn up. Then there’s the emotions and and and…..then there’s the photos!!

With a wedding we can get so caught up with the pageantry the display and the traditions, that we can lose sight of the fact that – really – we come together to BLESS the marriage, not have a wedding!! And the blessing? About 10 minutes. The wedding? Hours!

We lose sight of the significance of the moment.

It gets obscured by the show


This is what happened with the three disciples when they went up the mountain with Jesus. Like the wedding with all its paraphernalia, The 2 disciples got caught up in the pageant of the Transfiguration.


So this season that we are in now, which is called Lent (A time of reflection – of self-examination – and preparation), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter, is about our rescue from darkness.

Galatians 1:3-4

The Transfiguration-what can we learn from this amazing event? Matthew 17. Mark 9. Luke 9

So we see Jesus appear in glory to his disciples and the appearance of Elijah and Moses.

But they missed the point!

They lost sight of the significance of the moment.

They had just been given the terrible news that Jesus was leaving them. Jesus is working hard with the disciples. They have a lot to learn and not much time left to learn it.

Bad news – good news – Then the Transfiguration

The disciples had already seen some of the power of God’s kingdom. Whenever Jesus cast out demons and healed the sick, the power of the kingdom was at work (Matthew 12:28 (link is external)). The disciples saw the power of the kingdom on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). They saw it in miracles

The transfiguration showed 1. That Jesus was God’s son (they heard God’s voice) 2. The Transfiguration also shows that God’s kingdom transcends human kingdoms. God’s reign is not just a bigger and better empire, and the leaders in the kingdom are not just kinder and stronger versions of Roman or Judean kings. 3. The Transfiguration gave them a glimpse of the glory that Jesus had, and the glory that he would share with all who took up the cross to follow Jesus into the valley of the shadow of death.

We all know that Moses is responsible for giving the Hebrews the Ten Commandments and all the Law, the ways of God. And many remember Elijah as the great prophet of God. The disciples knew that they were seeing something supernatural, something beyond normal human experience.  Here was Jesus revealed in his glory as the Son of God, along with two of the greatest men of the Bible: Moses, who brought God's law to the world, and Elijah, the greatest of the prophets.


What is so interesting is how Mark records the staging of the event. What do I mean by staging? Why is Jesus depicted this way? Well look at the picture. See Jesus there Christ standing at the centre between Moses and Elijah. It’s a drama. Right here we’re given a picture of who Christ is – Moses and Elijah - each of them points to Christ as the fulfilment of their own mission, or service. In a way, they are passing the baton to Jesus. And it is Christ who joins and completes in his own person their ministries. But he also transcends them and is not to be confused with them as merely another human servant in the whole line of Israel’s leaders.


Moslems believe in Jesus as a prophet. Just another in the long line of prophets. But our Jesus – he is God.


To make sure we understood this point, Mark tells us that “a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is My Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’” (Mark 9:7).


The Transfiguration isn’t simply an event in the life of Christ. It’s an invitation to a deeper understanding of his redeeming identity – and our own partnership in his continually atoning grace.

So what about us?

The transfiguration is not just about something that happened to Jesus. It shows us our destiny. The destiny of the human nature: to be radiant with the glory of God. It’s why we exist, and why we are called, and Jesus made it possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

But just as the transfiguration came before Jesus’s suffering and death, we tend to celebrate it before Lent. What do I mean? Well Lent is a tradition of the Christian church (Doesn’t mean catholic or protestant) and it’s like a journey - a time of reflection. A time of self-examination. It’s a time of preparation for the Passion of Jesus which is just a few weeks away. It is a time to draw closer to God. Sometimes people give up something they love –coffee TV etc; not because we’re somehow scoring points with God, but because we are journeying in fellowship with Jesus who suffered, died, and was raised for us and for our salvation. So the process is like this SLIDE and this is because we are walking with him or rather he is walking with us!


For Jesus:

Transfiguration               suffering  death      resurrection

For us:

Transfiguration               Lent                          Easter

This account is important to you because in it, Jesus shows you that he is God's Son, and that his words are true.


When we hear God's words, "Listen to him," we feel some of those disciples' fear.  We know that we are sin just as they did.  We are imperfect and unholy before God.  We too have doubted Jesus' message, we've doubted God's Word and disobeyed his commands.  God tells us what to believe, and we don't want to believe it.  God tells us how to live, and we want to live our own way.


But Jesus didn’t laugh at them. Hr didn’t mock them. He touched them Matthew 17:6


What did Peter James and John miss?


  • The miracle showing them their destiny of glory
  • The affirmation that this was the Son of God
  • That Jesus’ words are true

This helps us to walk by faith because we are human too.

Teaches us to trust God in god times and bad

When miracles occur we shouldn’t be surprised but they should reinforce what we already know


DMM and our prayers. We know that the band can be a show. We know that it can be a spectacle. But we pray that we will not miss God on Thursday or Sunday.  That we will lead people into worship and they will see God

So next time you go to church – look out for God. So next time you wake up in the morning – look for those new mercies that come every day

So next time you go to a wedding look out for the blessing of the marriage – and – enjoy the wedding

So next time you go to a funeral look out for God’s grace as he ministers to the grieving – and grieve too

So next time God whispers “Go!” just do it. Believe that voice.


Don’t lose sight of the significance of the moment


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