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April 12: A Display of Glory (Matthew 17:1-13)

Adult Education: This Sunday at 9:00am, we will have the unique opportunity of having Dr. Jason DeRouchie give an overview of Zephaniah during our adult education at 9:00am. Dr. DeRouchie is professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem Seminary in Minneapolis, MN. He has been worshipping with our church over the past several months while in Raleigh on sabbatical writing two commentaries on Zephaniah. This class will be one week only, meeting in the sanctuary; it will be recorded for the benefit of those not able to attend.

**The Gospel Project (with Ray Rutledge) and Discovering Christ Covenant (for prospective members) will still meet as normal at 9:00am on April 12.

 

Matthew 17:1-13

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (ESV)

 

Sermon Summary

Three weeks ago, we saw in Matt 16:24-28 that true discipleship is reflected in a life of denial, taking up your cross daily and following Jesus, even willing to suffer loss for Jesus’ sake. Jesus even gave us reasons to persevere. In this week's passage (Matt 17:1-13), God reveals Jesus in such glory and worth that following him in true biblical discipleship appears wise beyond measure. This revelation was intended to encourage the fainthearted to follow in obedience and not shrink back in fear. God will pull back the curtain for a moment to let us see the glory of Jesus. He does this prior to his final work on the cross showing that the gospel of the kingdom of glory is also the gospel of the cross. The transfiguration of Jesus is unique and meant to be a balm for the wounds of this life. By beholding Jesus, we will experience great transformation, incrementally and assuredly.

 

Review and Apply

  1. Speak to how mountains are often used in scripture.
  2. What does the transfiguration reveal about Jesus that demands a response of faith?
  3. How can the transfiguration lead to deeper worship?
  4. Explain the difference and effect of respecting and admiring Jesus but not worshiping or understanding him?
  5. How does this passage ready you for suffering, death or heaven?
  6. What are some things that need to change in your life for you to begin beholding the glory of Jesus?