HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE MOUNTAIN?

Sermon: PastorBryan


Introduction

Charles Spurgeon, once said “Every time I open the Bible I make a beeline for the cross.” This is so true when one considers all that God has done for us in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This means that everything in the Scriptures points to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. As we prepare for Easter, we find Jesus engaging His disciples in one encounter after another. It all pointed to the cross. He was preparing them for this greatest event ever. The transfiguration of the Lord Jesus was no exception. A closer look at exactly what happened between Jesus and His disciples on that mountain will help to enhance our understanding of the eternal significance of all that Jesus was about to do for sinful man when He gave His life for our sin on the cross. Jesus initiated this event because He wanted us to know His divine purpose for our redemption.

Defining Moment

 Have you ever had a defining moment in your spiritual walk? A moment when you saw things clearer than you had ever before? It may have been a conversion experience or something else. This would have been a moment in time that changed how you saw the world, how you saw God and how you saw yourself in relationship to God? Have you ever had a mountain top experience?

 Luke 9:28-36 Jesus Transfigured on the Mount

28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

Scripture Examined

 Luke 9:28

Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 

The scripture begins by pointing to the time after Christ predicts his death. It was also the time Jesus asked, “who do people say I am?”

Scripture never tells us why Peter James and John were the ones Jesus to up to the mountain to pray. We do know that they were His inner circle and were the ones closest to Jesus. Where ever you found Jesus, there they were.

Luke 9:29-31

As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 

It was during prayer when this transfiguration took place. Jesus was transformed here on earth to reveal His glory. Two men appeared by his side and discussed the upcoming events of the cross. These men were Moses and Elijah.

We may ask why these two men and why not two others? Why not Abraham and David or Jacob or any of the other heroes of the faith? Both Moses and Elijah were significant to the situation.

“Moses and Elijah are a natural pairing. They represent the two main divisions of the Old Testament: the Law and the Prophets. They also had similar ministries of freeing their people from oppression. They also were the only two to actually see God. Both were put in a cleft were able to see the glory of God pass by them. Those two events were on a mountain by the way”.

Jewish tradition also expected Moses and Elijah to return before the arrival of the Kingdom of God (Mal. 4:5-6).

Luke 9:32

32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 

Here we see Peter and the others sleeping. When they wake up they are witnesses to the glory of Jesus. They witness firsthand the God nature of Jesus. They are also witnesses to Moses and Elijah.

Luke 9:33

Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

At first glance it looks like Peter merely wants to honor Jesus and his two companions but the verse says, “not knowing what he said”. In His early ministry with Jesus Peter often spoke before thinking things through. This is a character trait many of us can relate to, open mouth, and insert foot. Peter wanted to make temples for the three of them yet only one was worthy or meant to be praised and worshiped, Jesus.

Luke 9: 34-35

34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 

To set things straight here comes God the father. It’s important to not God the father only spoke twice in the new testament and gave one command.

First time God spoke

When Jesus was baptized God spoke and said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mat 3:17).”

Second time God spoke

“This is My beloved Son. Hear Him! (Luke 9:35)” In this God the father also gave the only command he issued in the entire New Testament, “Hear Him!” Meaning Jesus speaks for God the Father as well as himself.

Luke 9: 36

36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

The last thing we see is they kept quiet about what they saw. Matthew records Jesus telling them not to tell what they saw until “He had risen from the dead” (Mat 17:9).

Four truths this scripture teaches us.
  1. It all starts with Jesus entering into prayer.

Prayer is one of the cornerstones of our relationship with God. It’s in prayer we seek to hear from God and see God in our life.

  1. Even those closest to Jesus failed from time to time.

This is reassuring knowing how we today struggle in our daily walk with the Lord. Even those we recognize as the heroes of faith struggled. Those closest to Jesus were sleeping when they were supposed to be praying. We also see Peter making a comment before thinking it through.

  1. God gives us a command to listen to Jesus.

No matter what we may see in this world or which way the world leans we are to listen to Jesus. Prior to this Mountain top event Jesus asked His disciples, who do people say I am? Or what does the world think of me?

The disciples said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets (Mat. 16:14).” Today they may be heard saying, some say you are a fairytale or a good man from the past, maybe a prophet, and even those who say those who believe in you are mentally ill.

What’s important though is who you say Jesus is. Peter made a bold statement of faith, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mat. 16:16).”

  1. We can only really see God’s glory when we are near to Him.

We live a great deal of our lives in the valley. When we have a mountain top experience it changes how we see God, how we see ourselves in relation to Him and how we see the world. We may be tempted as Peter was to setup camp and try and stay on the mountain but it is necessary to return to the valley. It’s those mountain top experiences that strengthen us for the valley.

~AMEN

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1
Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Carol lee
Guest
Carol lee

Beautiful! Your word picture brings it so alive, this face of our God. Contrasted against our own utter humanity! Thank you!