Posted by: gbake783 | November 18, 2011

Luke 9:28-36

Don’t think I’ve ever suggested this before, but before writing from a very narrow section of this week’s sermon, I thought I’d direct you to our church’s home page where you can listen to the whole sermon: fbcliberty.com. Our audio guy should put the sermon soon if it’s not up already.

It’s not that I think my sermon was exemplary, it’s just that the Transfiguration is such a unique event, I’d hate to give the impression that my sermon was limited to the narrow focus of this post. So, if you feel so inclined, I’d invite you to have a listen.

In Luke’s account of the Transformation, the star is not the transfiguration itself, but the topic driving it: Christ’s passion. Jesus had just predicted his suffering for the first time in the paragraph before. Jesus’ disciples, in fact, would follow His cross-bearing. Moses and Elijah could talk only of Jesus’ passion. Then, the disciples come off the mountain and see their Lord heal a young boy afflicted with a powerful demon only to hear this response from Jesus, “Let these words sink down deep into your ears: the Son of Man is about to delivered into the hands of men” (9:44).

It seems that Jesus wanted for these three men an unforgettable lesson: He was no victim of circumstance – the Lord of glory would voluntarily lay down his life. I’m sure that when the disciples saw the blazing white they thought of Daniel 7:9’s description of the Ancient of Days, “and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.” This man, the God-Man, the Ancient of Days in human form, had masked his glory from His disciples. And, here, in a moment the disciples were permitted a glimpse of light that corresponds to His glory. Make no mistake, Christ did not reveal His full splendor that day. Men simply don’t possess the capacity to comprehend our Creator’s glory. As D.A. Carson points out in his commentary on Matthew’s Transfiguration account – Jesus showed the three something that corresponds to His glory.

Regardless, one of the participants, and the one who put his foot in his mouth, helps us contextualize the event. Peter reflects later in life, “we did not follow cleverly devised myths . . . but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). Believers too often pine away, “Why can’t we see something of what the disciples saw.” Peter answers two verses later, “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). Peter assures us that even  if we were to share in the Transfiguration, God’s Word is still more sure. In fact, Peter assures us of this at the beginning of this chapter, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

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