Have you ever had the experience of seeing someone you know well in a new light? This is exactly what we see here in our text. Peter, James, and John are friends of Jesus, but they're not just friends they have committed their lives to following him and his teaching.
A few weeks ago, as we were studying Luke Chapter 9, we talked about how Herod, Ask the question of Jesus “who is this?”
Last week, we talked about how Jesus asked a similar question, “who do the crowds say that I am.”
The followers of Jesus spoke up and said, “some people think that you were John the Baptist risen from the dead. Others think that you are Elijah, or one or the other Old Testament prophets.”
But then Jesus turns to his disciples and ask them who do you say that I am. And then Peter speaks up, through the power of the Holy Spirit says Jesus is “the Christ of God”.
After the story of Herod, told here in Luke 9, much of this chapter is spent trying to answer the question that Herod asks, “who is this man?”
After we read about Herod’s question Luke immediately tells us about the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. In doing so Luke is telling us that Jesus is the great provider:
- He provides what we cannot provide for ourselves.
- and what he provides is more than enough.
And then Luke tells us the story Peters great confession, Jesus is the “Christ of God” which means he is worthy of our sacrifice.
The story before us today Is another attempt of Luke to tell us exactly who Jesus is:
- not only is Jesus the great provider, who provides what we cannot provide for ourselves, and provides more than enough.
- Jesus is God's chosen one who is worthy of our sacrifice.
Here, we see that Jesus is God's Son in whom he is well pleased.
This story does two things:
- It gives us a preview of the true nature of Jesus,
- Then it states and emphatically that Jesus is the final word concerning salvation.
A preview of the true nature of Jesus.
Luk 9:29 “And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.”
Luk 9:30 “And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:”
Luk 9:31 “Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.”
Luk 9:32 “But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.”
Up until this point in our story the disciples have witness many wonderful things.
- They've witnessed Jesus heal the sick.
- They've witnessed Jesus give sight to the blind.
- They've witnessed Jesus raise the dead.
- They've witnessed Jesus feed the 5000, with two fish and five small loaves of bread.
All these things were done by someone who appeared to be an ordinary man. But now they see Jesus transformed into something beyond their imagination.
The word translated “glistering” in the King James meant that light was emanating through him.
It wasn't that the light was shining on him, he was the source of the light.
Matthew’s account uses the word “transfigured” Which in the Greek language is the root of our word “metamorphosized.”
They've never seen Jesus like this. These men have witnessed Jesus interact with everyday people, they've seen his love and compassion towards people.
They have witnessed His Holiness and have experienced the power and authority of his preaching.
However, here they see Jesus in a new light.
It wasn't that all the things they have seen were not the real Jesus and now they're seeing him as he really is.
No, all those things were only a part of who he is, but now he has more fully revealed himself to them.
This mirrors our relationship with Jesus.
- When we get saved, we know Jesus as savior, he saved us from a life of brokenness and darkness.
- And then after we've been walking with the Lord for a little while, we get to know Jesus as a friend of sinners. When we fail, we come to our friend Jesus, and he forgives us.
- We get to know Jesus even more and he becomes our example, and we begin to pattern our lives after his life.
- And then Jesus becomes a confidant, who we go to with our deepest wounds, and he gives us comfort.
But one day we will see Jesus as Peter, James, and john saw him in his glory and we will worship him.
We will see by sight what we have believed by faith.
This brings up the question, “why is Jesus doing this here and now?” Remember, he has just told them that he must go to Jerusalem to be arrested and crucified.
So, Jesus shows his inner circles his true glory to encourage them to keep moving forward.
This is a beautiful thought. This is something we all long for, but to see Jesus in his glory, we must accept Jesus and his cross. We cannot have one with the other.
For Jesus the road to glory led him to the cross, he was humiliated and then he was exalted.
Php 2:8 “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Php 2:9 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”
This seems upside down and backwards. However, it is a timeless, eternal truth that to be exalted with Jesus, we must first take our cross.
One day we see Jesus in his glory and receive a crown.
This is the pattern of eternity, trials now, triumphs later. This means all your hardships mean something!
Perfect example of this is found in Hebrews chapter 12.
The first part of this chapter we see that people go through trials but then they triumph.
The second part of the chapter it talks about people being eaten by lions, and preachers being put inside of hollow logs and sawn in half.
What we tend to do is to look at the first section and call them the winners, which obviously makes the second section the losers.
But that's not how the Kingdom of God works!
Following Jesus can take you to some dark places.
- But just because you're down doesn't mean you're out.
- and just because the world thinks you're a failure doesn't mean God thinks you're a failure.
You may not have the things that the world says makes you a success but if you are following the Lord Jesus Christ you are a success.
And when you get to heaven the Father will look at you and say, “well done my good and faithful servant.”
Do you see the pattern? Trials and then triumph. A cross and then a crown.
Jesus is the final word concerning salvation.
Luk 9:34 “While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.”
Luk 9:35 “And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.”
I want us to notice that while Peter was speaking, and then the Father interrupts.
The reason I bring that up is that sometimes while we are giving our opinion on the Bible God interrupts.
No, I'm not saying we will hear a voice from heaven.
But often someone who is a little more mature, and a little more knowledgeable about the things of God will politely say, “no I think that's not what the Bible means.”
However, here God himself interrupts what Peter is saying.
The king James says, “this is my beloved son, listen to him” newer translations say, “this is my beloved son. My chosen One. Listen to him.”
The Father is saying, “Keep your plans to yourself and listen to Jesus, my Son”
The point here is the Father has chosen Jesus to bring Salvation to the World.
Throughout the years there have been Christians who have been overly obsessed with the Old Testament.
Who try to celebrate the Old Testament feasts and festivals, in doing this they miss the point.
All those things point to Jesus, The Father’s Beloved Son, His chosen One.
This means He is the final word concerning Salvation. The Father tells the Apostles to listen to Jesus, in other words, “I have given him the final authority.”
As God's son, Jesus has God's power and authority, this means the words of Jesus are the final authority.
Heb 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”
Heb 3:2 “Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.”
Heb 3:3 “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”
Heb 3:4 “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.”
To the Jewish religion, there was no authority higher than Moses, but the writer here says that Jesus is greater than Moses.
He says that Jesus deserves more glory than Moses, for the same reason the builder of the house deserves more honor than the house.
You will also notice that Jesus is referred to as the Apostle and High Priest. As we've mentioned in previous studies an apostle is someone who was sent and has the same power and authority as the one who sent him.
This means that Jesus is the final authority regarding all life and especially eternal life.
What we have done in our country is we have personalized everything. We have a personal opinion about everything under the sun.
- We have a personal opinion about politics.
- We have a personal opinion about religion.
- We have a personal opinion about what it takes to go to heaven.
And what we find out here is that all those opinions mean nothing because Jesus is the final word.
Are you depending on your opinion or are you depending on Jesus?
The question of who Jesus is this is the most important question in the history of the world.
- You can know Jesus as the great provider.
- You can know Jesus as a miracle worker.
- You can know Jesus as a moral philosopher.
But if you do not know Jesus as he has revealed himself in scripture you are doomed.