Luke 9: 28 – 36
28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, 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 terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Who, where, what, why,
Who: Jesus, Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, God
Moses – Exodus 34:29-35
Elijah – 2 Kings 2: 11-12
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; 34 but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining; and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
2 Kings 2: 11-12
11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
- Elijah was the most famous prophet of Old Testament Times, and Moses was the one who had gone up Mount Sinai to get the Ten Commandments. Together they represent the Law and the Prophets – everything that Jesus and his disciples valued about their religious tradition. In this story, God shows that in Jesus he is doing a new thing, but it’s a think that’s completely in continuity with the past.
Where: Up the mountain – other examples of mountains in the bible.
– when have you had an amazing experience with God? Where was it and how long did it last?
What: dazzling white, cloud, voice from heaven
– tell this story to each other in 1-2 minutes
When: 6 days after, just before
Why: the purpose of the transfiguration of Christ into at least a part of His heavenly glory was so that the “inner circle” of His disciples could gain a greater understanding of who Jesus was. The disciples, who had only known Him in His human body, now had a greater realization of the deity of Christ, though they could not fully comprehend it. That gave them the reassurance they needed after hearing the shocking news of His coming death.
the scene with Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah revealed Jesus as someone who already knew these men of God. As Jesus would later say, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). This event highlights the deity of Jesus.
We spend a great deal of energy as people trying to transform Jesus. We try to morph and manipulate him into something he’s not, something that fits our agenda. And it’s good for us to be confronted with the truth that Jesus is not who we’ve made him out to be. Not even close. He’s greater than we’ve assumed. He’s holier than we give him credit for and better than we’ve imagined. We need the transfiguration because it breaks our idolatrous and self-serving ideas of Jesus and brings us back to the jaw-dropping, breathtaking truth of Jesus.
What effect might this episode have had on Jesus?
Light example – I want you to imagine for a moment that you have come from a country where there is no electricity and that you have never seen a thing like this before.
Describe what you see
Switch the lamp on – now what do you see
1. Optical Illusions – holographic picture
– how can we see Jesus and our lives differently
Why is it hard for us to see Jesus for what he is?
Sometimes transforming or changing is easily done and accomplished without too much trouble and sometimes it is more difficult. As people who follow Jesus, we are transformed because Jesus is in our lives. How are we different from other people because we follow Jesus?
It is not always easy to follow Jesus. Sometimes it is easier to keep quiet and not speak out for someone else. But we are transformed into new people because of the love of Jesus, just like our transformer toy is transformed into something new and different.
Choose another person to read the following Philippians 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
We are not God’s toys. But we are a little like His Transformers. We will be transformed.
Choose another person to read the prayer
Let’s Pray “Thank you, Jesus, for loving us into new people. Help us to follow you in all that we do. Please transform us into the people that you would want us to be. Amen.”
3. Transformer craft sheet
4. Fold a piece of ordinary paper in half, and draw beautiful things on one half – rainbows, hearts, people, stripes, even scribbles. Then fold the paper over the cover the drawing. Dip your finger in cooking oil, and draw something on the blank ‘cover page’ – the oil turns the paper transparent, so your beautiful drawing will shine through. In the same way, Jesus’ friends saw the glory of God shining out from Jesus in a way they hadn’t seen before.
Wax candle or crayon – write a message and then lightly paint over the paper to reveal the message.
5. Mirror – candles
Place a large mirror in a dim part of your church and put the lighted Christ candle on it. Give each person a tea light. Ask them to light their tea lights from the Christ candle and place them on the mirror and pray for other people or the world.
Key take away from this story – Listen to him
1. Listen to the stories of Jesus – Lenten bible readings
2. Listen to God i.e. pray
Challenge each household to pray the Lord’s Prayer together each day during Lent. Explore different times when it might be done – before or after meals, bedtime, even in the car (if that is when you have quality time together).
3. Listen to other people around you and around the world
Jesus listened and responded to the people around him and calls us to listen to the people around us and those all around the world who need us to hear them.
So the death that Paul is talking about here is the death that happens when sin touches things. It is corruption, demise, damage, it is the thing that James writes about.