Luke 9:28-43

28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. 40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

The transfiguration story is written and recorded because Luke (and God) wants to describe what happens when the disciples encounter the glory of Jesus. Peter said in an almost stupefied state “Master, it is good that we are here!” I don’t want to leave. There’s no other place I’d rather be. Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophet) arrive on the scene. “And they (the disciples) were afraid as they entered the cloud.” 

In a recent article, Francis Chan makes the argument that the shocking glory of God’s presence (as Moses experienced on Mount Sinai) has becoming an ordinary, bland, obligatory experience for us. He argues that we, sinful broken needy human beings, can actually encounter the glory of God like Moses encountered the glory of God, every single day.

Here are three points to consider this morning:

  1. First, you and I and all believers can literally come before the holy throne and presence of God this morning, every morning, by the blood and cross of Christ. The veil is torn. We can enter the holy of holies. And fear, shock, awe, peace can come over us as we are cleansed and loved and embraced by God. It sounds scandalous, and it is. The transfiguration is just a glimpse pointing to the fullness of God's glory.
  2. Second, a tub of ice cream before dinner never adds to enjoying a good hearty dinner. We (and the lies of sin and the enemy) think a little junk food here and there will do little harm for our tastebuds (and our waistlines). But both in the moment and over time, it can have devestating consequences. Would it be wrong to skip a meal or have a light salad for lunch (leaving you hungry) prior to dinner at the best and most expensive restaurant in the city? No! You might even say it’s necessary. Our efforts to tame our “junking out” throughout the day are daresay necessary to long for and be satisfied by God. And we need the grace and Holy Spirit of God to come behind those efforts. Paul was wise to use metaphors of the athlete and the soldier. 
  3. Third, we need reminders of who we really are and what we really long for. We need songs like “What A Beautiful Name” (by Hillsong) to remind us who God truly is and what we truly desire (Him), we need stories, we need books, we need moments in the closet on our knees, we need to mine and study His Word, we need true fellowship, we need the body. These are means of grace to the unwasted life.


Posted by Robert Han on 11/21/2016


How could I ever experience God's glory? I feel like the sinner in the back of the temple beating my chest crying out, "Who will save me from this life of sin?!" But God is love. God loves me. God invites me because He loves me to come before Him and sit at His feet and just BE with Him. That's love. God dusts off all the gunk of the world from me when I don't deserve it. He is inviting us to experience His love. It's pretty much an offer that you would be crazy to refuse.

Diana Lim on 11/22/2016 at 8:49 AM