Sermon Notes - August 6
Introduction: What life event has changed you? All of us have experienced times in our lives when we have chosen to do something, such as take that job, go to school, get married that has changed us forever. These experiences are certainly pivotal in their life changing effect upon us. What I am thinking about are those experiences which may not seemingly be as important because they do not have the overt significance of these events. Nonetheless, there are moments that shape us that at the time may seem insignificant, but later on can take a whole new meaning.
I). At the beginning of this passage, one commentator notes that the Greek could be translated that Jesus ‘happened’ to take his disciples up the mountain to pray. Initially, this perplexed me, my view of Jesus is that he always had a plan and that he followed this plan according to what he understood his Father’s call. If we accept this translation then we must grapple with just how God works, does he meet us in unexpected ways and circumstances that in turn we may not always gain the proper insight until later on.
II). Due to the disciples falling asleep we might think that this event occurred at night. When Peter, James and John witnessed this event they may have been uncertain just what exactly they had seen. The reason that Peter may have gone on to deny Jesus three times in the not too distant future may have been that he was unable to make sense of just what he and the others had experienced, much like at Jesus’ baptism.
III). The Transfiguration may have seemed so ‘other worldly’ that the disciples had no context they could put it into. All of their experience up to this point may not have prepared them to experience Jesus in this context of having Moses and Elijah appear with him and what this truly meant. Herod, earlier in the chapter, had expressed his confusion over who this Jesus was, after all he had killed John the Baptist, who some had claimed Jesus now was raised from the dead, and still others thought he was Elijah or one of the ancient prophets. Instead of this making the picture crystal clear as Jesus now was revealed in his ‘glory’, instead it may have made things all the more strange since this vision they had shared was one they evidently did not even talk about, so uncomfortable were they about what they had experienced until after the resurrection.