Matthew 17 So far Jesus has been healing and teaching. Most of it comforting but some of it confusing, difficult to accept, we are wondering how serious we are to take it. Religious leaders demand a sign - prove yourself Jesus, Peter declared Jesus to be the promised one - long awaited Messiah and Jesus lets them know that the Messiah will suffer and die. They can't accept it.
Matthew 17:1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus
Jesus gives a very exclusive invite - - Peter, James, and John - just them. Up a mountain (Moses and Elijah encountered God on a mountaintop too)
The importance of the transfiguration: confirms his identity. Connects Jesus with Moses and Elijah (prophets) and shows the glory of Jesus.
After 6 days: On the 7th day they climb. Whats the point of this?
Exodus 24:15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.
Exodus 34: 29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
Similar to Moses but also different. Moses had second hand radiance but not Jesus, Jesus is God, shining is as much as who he is as a Jewish carpenter - Human and Holy completely united in him
Transfigured - metamorphose, transformed, changed (Many of you are experiencing types of transformations in your life but do they transform you into different people.
The transfiguration of Jesus shows that transformation is possible!
All of his teachings, all of a sudden become real - (turning the other cheek, rejoice when persecuted, rejecting greed, loving your enemy, put the kingdom first, providing for the poor, finding the small gate and walk the narrow road that leads to life, and so many more challenging teachings) Not just exaggerations, or for effect - but are possible!
What does this mean for us?
Just as Jesus is transformed maybe there is hope that we too can join him. Being different - And not just at some time in the distant future in a place called heaven, but here and now!
2 other times this word metamorphose appears shows us how to transfigure.
Rom 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
We are transformed away from the patterns that this world lives by. What are they?
This age is passing away and it's trying to drag us with it. Don’t let it.
How have you breaking the mold that is being imposed on you? Are you still trying to be a winner by the definition of winner of this world or have you embraced that following Jesus means you will be a loser by the world standards.
So we are changed from an old way of being (from the way we are told the world works) to a new way of being a true human being
2 Cor 3:18 - And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
We are transformed into Him!
Following Jesus is about a metamorphosis - shedding the pattern of this world and taking the shape of the image of Jesus - the Lord (Spirit) power does the transforming. How do we allow God to transform us?
Give all of ourselves. The biblical call is that we cant give some to God, must be all. It is hard to do - but even harder not to. Why do some Christians end up bitter, angry with God? Because they want to maintain the old and at the same time become new = miserable life.
A caterpillar must change to become a butterfly - Transformation begins where Tim helped us see last week - the heart. If we want our lives to be different must go deep.
Go to the roots, beyond the surface.
If we want to resemble Jesus but continue to hold to the ways of the world (pride, violence, selfishness, loving money, or pursuing pleasure, ambition, or our ) then what are we doing?
We want to pick grapes from thornbushes. Like trying to fly while still crawling caterpillars.
Egg for example - its hard for an egg to become a bird - but impossible for it to fly while remaining an egg- Sometimes we’re eggs trying to fly. Egg won’t remain an egg - eventually it either becomes a bird or becomes rotten. We are like the egg
Complete surrender means the old must be put away entirely - something New is coming.
So for any of us who are still trying to keep it alive - it’s only a matter of time before you are a miserable Christian or not one at all. The better option, hard, confusing, and scary, is to embrace God’s power to change us.
The voice calls Jesus beloved Son and instructs us to listen to my him. They fall to the ground. the new can be terrifying.
The work of God can be scary as he exposes areas of our lives we’re not taking Jesus seriously in. In the beginning, listening to Jesus made me afraid. Do I still take his words to heart or have I stopped being converted. No matter our age we must continue to give up what we’ve worked for for years, identity, who you’ve build yourself to be, what others think of you, let go of your thoughts, reject your desires - is terrifying. I get it - doesn't just happen once must continue to happen to all of us. Must continue no matter how long you’ve been with Christ.
We are all afraid - but Jesus doesn't leave us there
Jesus came to them and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”
Jesus is right there with you. Don't be afraid of the new, of what God is doing, the changes, the call on your life to lose your old self, of stepping out of the boat, of what your career will look like, of pursuing God in whatver stage of life you're in. Make decisions that don’t make sense to this world, don’t fit into its pattern, but are the reflection of the image of Christ.
When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. No Moses/ Elijah - Just Jesus, his hand on them (healing), letting them know it's going to be ok.
Jesus remains as the one who shows us the way, who we will be like. But more than that, comforting you in whatever you're going through - whatever your situation- he's right there with you.
Jesus is the ultimate Hope - no matter where you are this morning - who you think you are, however you think or feel of yourself - you too can be transfigured. We can shine the Glory of God through our lives if only we listen and believe Jesus. Don't be afraid, let's get up and embrace a new way of being.