Read Together ‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here” #414 LSB
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here! Thy glory fills the night; Thy face and garments, like the sun, Shine with unborrowed light.
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here, Thy beauty to behold Where Moses and Elijah stand, Thy messengers of old.
Fulfiller of the past And hope of things to be, We hail Thy body glorified And our redemption see.
Before we taste of death, We see Thy kingdom come; We long to hold the vision bright And make this hill our home.
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here! Yet we may not remain’ But since Thou bidst us leave the mount, Come with us to the plain.
Into the Bible Matthew 17:1-13 Mark 9:2-13
If you look at the passage just before the Transfiguration, Jesus talked to his disciples about his death. What do you suppose the disciples were thinking when Jesus talked about his own death? (answers will vary but bottom line, the disciples were frightened, in denial, scared for Jesus, their beloved friend, and perhaps frightened by what may happen to each of them.)
Read Matthew 17:1 “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.”
What is the setting for this event? (1)just the four of them, Jesus and the three disciples (2) on a mountain – away from any crowd – where no one would experience except the four the event that would take place – isolated
Read Matthew 17:2 “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”
What thought might you have if your were one of the disciples? (answers will vary – unbelievable, awed by the brilliance of Jesus, mind-blowing experience, curious, etc)
Notice not only did Jesus’ clothes become as white as light, but also his face. Why did Jesus “shine?” This is the glory of God in Jesus. Remember Jesus was man but also God. In Exodus 33-34:28 we read about Moses on Mt. Sinai with God. Moses asks to see God’s glory, which God grants to Moses. Listen to what God said about His glory, “But you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” [Exodus 33:20] Moses did not see God’s face but did see His Glory. When he came down the mountain, “…his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.”[Exodus 34:29] Jesus chose to keep his glory hid so that people would not die.
What two men appeared with Jesus? (Moses and Elijah)
Why do you think these two men were with Jesus?
(Moses represented the old covenant and the promise of salvation which would soon be fulfilled in the death of Jesus. Elijah was the appointed restorer of all things. Malachi 4:5-6 “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Many people thought John the Baptist was Elijah, come back to life, to turn the hearts of man.
The three disciples witness the fulfillment of Law [Moses] and the Prophets [Elijah] in Jesus.)
Matthew 17:4 Peter said to Jesus,“Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Why do people build shelters? (to have a place to live)
Why do you think Peter wanted to build shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah? (He wanted to stay on the mountain. What a wonder-filled experience! Why would you want to leave?)
Matthew 17:5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped the, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Miraculous events keep happening. First – Jesus’ shines like the sun. Second – Moses and Elijah appear (remember – they lived long ago and were “dead”) Third – a voice from Heaven, the Heavenly Father speaks.
Let’s first look at what the Heavenly Father says; 1 – “This is my Son.” God, in heaven, is calling Jesus, Son. Jesus is the Son of God. 2 – “whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Jesus has lived accordingly to the Heavenly Father’s will. Jesus has lived a perfect life in his Father’s eyes. (Remember these words from Jesus’ Baptism?) 3 – “Listen to him!” God, the creator of all things, is telling the three men to listen to what Jesus has to say. Why? (Jesus speaks the truth of God)
Matthew 17:6-8When the disciples hear this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched the. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ When they looked up, they say no one except Jesus. What are some of the things that terrify you? (answers will vary)
Why did the disciples fall down to the ground? (perhaps their legs gave out from them – weak kneed. They realized they were in the presence of God. The disciples knew the Old Testament scriptures. They knew what God had said to Moses. for no one may see me and live. They had not seen God the Father but they heard his voice, They had seen God the Son. Perhaps they thought they may die so they hid their faces.)
These phenomenal events occur. Why did Jesus show His Heavenly Glory to these disciples? (Jesus had just talked about his suffering and death before his Transfiguration. He knew his disciples would be scared, uncertain that he, Jesus, was the promised Messiah. Times would be tough for the disciples after he ascended into heaven. The Transfiguration was a way to build up the courage and strengthen the faith of the leaders of God’s church on earth.)
Verse Matthew 17:5b This is my Son, whom I love’ with him I am well pleased. Listen to him! Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, we are often weak in our faith and doubtful of your truth. Place in our hearts the Glory of Jesus as shown in the Transfiguration that we may be strengthened in our faith. Let your glory show through us as we love the people you give us in our lives. Help us to listen to Jesus’ Words. In your dear Son’s name, Jesus, we bring this petition to you. Amen