Lessons From The Transfiguration Scripture Text: Mark 9:2-13 (with parallel views in Matthew 17 and Luke 9); 2 Corinthians 3-6; Romans

12:1-2 Objective: At the end of this message, congregation must: 1. Able to discuss the meaning and significance of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13). 2. Encouraged to become effective reflectors of Christ (2 Cor. 3-6) 3. Commit to daily renewing of the mind with the help of the Spirit (Romans 12:1-2).

Intro: If you are following our bible reading plan, you will come across the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration tomorrow. If you will check the gospels, you will find that the Transfiguration account is recorded in all of the synoptic gospels. *Whenever there are repeated words or phrases in the Bible, readers must pay close attention because there is an important message to be learned. This makes the story of the Transfiguration a very interesting topic. What is so important in this particular story that the authors of the synoptic gospels all made sure to include it in their writings? Scripture Reading: Mark 9:2-7 Prayer

Background: 1. Peter’s confession of the Christ* (Mk.8:27-30). The Greek word Christos (NT:5547) and the Hebrew word mashiyach (OT:4899)i both mean “the Anointed One”ii. 2. Jesus begins to talk about the suffering, death and resurrection that that he is about to go through (Mk.8:31). 3. Peter rebukes Jesus (Mk.8:32). The idea that the Messiah they have long been waiting for will have to suffer and die was just too incomprehensible that Peter had to rebuke Jesus. The Jews’ perception of the promised Christ is that he will be their Savior from oppression (political victory). 4. Jesus tells them otherwise (see #2). And He went even further and told them that to be His true disciples they must be ready to deny themselves1, take up their cross and follow Him. They had to be willing to give their life for Him and for the sake of the gospel (Mk. 8:34-35). 5. Six (or eight, according to Luke) days later, the Transfiguration happens.

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Note: words with pink highlight - to be elaborated later in application part

Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain and there He was transfigured (Mk.9:2). The word "transfigured" is the translation of metamorphoomai. The simple verb refers to the act of giving outward expression of one's inner character, that outward expression coming from and being truly representative of that inner character. The prefixed preposition signifies a change, here of the outward expression. The translation expanded, thus reads, "The manner of His outward expression was changed before them, that outward expression coming from and being truly representative of His inner nature."iii Thus, this change in Jesus’ appearance was a glimpse of His divine splendor and gloryiv. It was a temporary unveiling of the Son of God’s eternal glory.v God allowed Peter, James, and John to get a glimpse of the glorious image of the Christ, perhaps to affirm that they were on the right track when they confessed that Jesus is the Christ just days ago. The heavenly light that shone forth from Jesus at that moment was a sign that the three disciples needed to see, so that they can honestly say they have seen the glory of the divine nature of Jesus Christ - that Jesus really is from God and that He is God.vi -In Luke’s account of the Transfiguration we learn why Jesus took the three disciples up on the mountain: to pray (Lk.9:28). It was while praying that Jesus was transfigured before them (Lk. 9:29). In the Old Testament, Moses’ face became radiant after he spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt. Sinai with the Lord. And every time he goes into the presence of the Lord, his face becomes radiant (Exo.34:28-35). In the same way, it is when we spend time with God that we are transformed. #1. We must be transformed. (LESSON #1) The Greek term used in the Transfiguration (metamorphoomai) is the same word used in Romans 12:2 and in 2 Corinthians 3:18. Romans 12:2(NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. "Conformed" is sunschēmatizō. Schematize refers to the act of an individual assuming an outward expression that does not come from within him, nor is it representative of his inner heart life. The prefixed preposition sun adds to the meaning of the verb the idea of assuming an expression that is patterned after some definite thing. The verb is present imperative with me, the negative, which construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on. Paul exhorts the saints, "Stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after this world, an

expression which does not come from, nor is it representative of what you are in your inner being as a regenerated child of God." One could translate, "Stop masquerading in the habiliments of this world, its mannerisms, speech expressions, styles, habits." Instead of masquerading in the habiliments of this age, Paul exhorts the saints to be transformed. The word is metamorphoomai, which speaks of the act of a person changing his outward expression from that which he has to a different one, an expression which comes from and is representative of his inner being. The word is used in Matt 17:2 where it is translated "transfigured." The translation could read, "The manner of His outward expression was changed before them, and His face shone as the sun, and His clothing was white as the light." Thee usual manner of our Lord's outward expression during His humiliation was that of the Man Christ Jesus, a Man of sorrows and of grief, the itinerant preacher and teacher from Nazareth dressed in the homespun of a Galilean peasant. But here, our Lord allows the glory of the essence of His deity that came from His inner being as deity and was representative of Him as such, to shine through His human body. This radiance caused His face to shine and His garments to appear white as the sun. Paul therefore says in effect to the saints, "Change your outward expression from that which you had before salvation, an expression which came from your totally depraved nature and was representative of it, to an expression which comes from your regenerated inner being and is representative of it." The saint is to do this by the renewing of his mind. "Renewing" is anakainōsis, which Trench defines as "the gradual conforming of the man more and more to that new spiritual world into which he has been introduced, and in which he now lives and moves; the restoration of the divine image; and in all this so far from being passive, he must be a fellow-worker with God." Thayer defines the word, "a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better." That is, the change of outward expression is dependent upon the renovation, the complete change for the better of the believer's mental process. This is accomplished through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who when definitely, and intelligently, and habitually yielded to puts sin out of the believer's life and produces His own fruit. He does that by controlling the mental processes of the believer. It is the prescription of the apostle. "Habitually be ordering your behavior within the sphere and by means of the Spirit, and you will positively not fulfil the desire of the flesh (evil nature)" (Gal 5:16).vii What areas of your life need changing? What areas of your life need a renewed mindset?

2 Cor 3:18 (NASB) But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

The mirrors of the ancient times were made of burnished metal, and they reflected images with great brilliancy and distinctness. When we look upon the Word, when we spend time with God, we could see His plans and His will as bright, clear and brilliant as in the light reflected from the burnished mirror. The glorious perfection of God shone from heaven, beamed upon the gospel, and is reflected to the eye and heart of the Christian, transforming them into the same image. It is the law of nature that we are moulded, in our moral feelings, by the persons with whom we associate, and by the objects we contemplate. Our own sentiments undergo a gradual change and we are likened to those with which in this manner we are conversant.viii In short: The more time we spend with God, the more we become like Him, the more we reflect His image, and the more we are being transformed into His likeness.

#2: We have something to look forward to! (LESSON #2) 2. As Jesus was transfigured, the disciples saw two men appear – Moses and Elijah - and they were talking with Jesus (Matt. 17:3; Mk. 9:4; Lk.9:30-31a). Luke’s account tells us what they were talking about: They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem (Lk.9:31b, NIV). If the disciples still had any doubt about Jesus’ Messiahship, the appearance of these two revered saints from the Old Testament as well as the topic of their conversation – his departure or exodus - show the validity of what Jesus has said about the suffering He had to go through, thus giving them another reassurance that Jesus is indeed from God. Theological Significance: The Transfiguration is to be understood within the context of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The topic of conversation between Jesus, Moses and Elijah – his “departure” or “exodus” which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem (Lk.9:31) – was indicative of the suffering and death that He was about to go through. Then His command to the disciples not to mention to anyone what they have just witnessed until after the resurrection (Mt.17:9, Mk.9:9) was indicative of His victory over death.

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Treasures in jars of clay (2Co4:7) – We are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body (2Co4:11) We are being renewed day by day for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. (2Co4:16-18). We groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling…for while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened… Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2Co5:2-5) The Transfiguration is a foreshadowing of the Parousia, or second coming of Christ in His full glory.ix When Jesus was transformed that night, his divine nature was revealed and the disciples were able to see a glimpse of the promise of his future glory. And this certainty of His glory should give us assurance that despite the sufferings and hardships that this world may bring, if we hold on to our faith in Christ the Messiah, then we too will be glorified when we see Him (2 Peter 1:3-4, 1 John 3:2).

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#3: We must listen to Jesus. (LESSON #3) 3. The next thing the disciples saw that night was the bright cloud (Matthew 17:5) that enveloped them (Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34). This cloud is reminiscent of the Shekinah glory in Exodus which signified the presence of God. Here in the New Testament, the cloud is again seen, signifying the presence of God has returned fully in the person of Jesus Christ.xxiix And God was indeed with them at that moment because as they entered the cloud, they heard a voice coming from it saying, “This is my Son, whom I love (Matt.17:5, Mk.9:7) / have chosen (Lk. 9:35); with him I am well pleased (Matt.17:5), listen to him.” Clearly, the disciples were given a message straight from the mouth of God himself, affirming Jesus‟ relationship to the Father (This is my Son, whom I love), his Messiahship (chosen), and his authority (listen to Him). If there was any doubt still lingering in the minds of the disciples with regard to what Jesus said to them days before regarding what the Messiah will have to go through, the Voice they heard from the Transfiguration experience was a clear indication of God‟s acknowledgment of Jesus as the Messiah. What He said to them regarding what He had to go through, no matter how radical and uncoventional it may seem to the disciples at that time, God was telling the disciples to listen to Him. - Whom are you listening to? Whose words do you believe? Theological Significance: The Transfiguration was not an accidental happening. Rather, it plays an important part in the ministry of Jesus Christ. It reiterates Jesus’ Messiahship. It acknowledges Jesus as the Chosen one of God the Father. It confirms His authority over everything and everyone else and we are to listen to Him.

We no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us (2Co5:15)  Jesus calls his disciples to deny themselves, take up his cross and follow him (Mk.8:34).  We are to listen to Him, as God the Father said when Jesus was transfigured.  Romans 12:1 – in view of God’s mercy to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is our spiritual act of worship.

Conclusion: The Transfiguration story should remind us to reflect the Lord’s glory in our lives. The Transfiguration story should remind us that we have something to look forward to. The Transfiguration story should remind us that we must listen to Jesus. We are a letter from Christ, written with the Spirit of the living God, on tablets of human hearts (2Co3:3). Our lives must be that which bear the Good News of Christ - of hope, of love, of salvation.

What It Means For Us: The Greek word for transfigured used in the Transfiguration account is the same word used by Paul in Romans 12:2 and in 2 Corinthians 3:18: metamorphoo (NT:3339). This indicates the need for a change, a transformation, to be seen in the life of a believer. A real encounter with the Lord of Glory must have evidence to show in the life of the believer. Just as Moses’ face shone when he spent time with God on the mountain, and just as Jesus was transfigured as he was praying, so should we be transformed as we stay in the presence of the Lord.

Old self  old nature, what makes a man unclean: evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly (Mk.7:20-23) Born Again  new creation (2Co5:17)  The Spirit is in us; we are the temple of the living God (2Co6:16)  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2Co3:17) We are being transformed into his likeness We reflect the Lord’s glory (2Co3:18)*  God made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2Co4:6) o * But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.(2 Cor.3:18 NASB) o But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor.3:18 King James Bible) o Barnes’ Notes:  Beholding as in a glass - On the word "glass, and the sense in which it is used in the New Testament, see the note on 1 Corinthians 13:12. The word used here katoptrizomenoi has been very variously rendered. Macknight renders it, "we all reflecting as mirrors the glory of the Lord." Doddridge, "beholding as by a glass." Locke, "with open countenances as mirrors, reflecting the glory of the Lord." The word katoptri occurs no where else in the New Testament. It properly means to look in a mirror; to behold as in a mirror. The mirrors of the ancients were made of burnished metal, and they reflected images with great brilliancy and distinctness. And the meaning is, that the gospel reflected the glory of the Lord; it was, so to speak, the mirror - the polished, burnished substance in which the glory of the Lord shone, and where that glory was irradiated and reflected so that it might be seen by Christians. There was no veil over it; no obscurity; nothing to break its dazzling splendor, or to prevent its meeting the eye. Christians, by looking on the gospel, could see the glorious perfections and plans of God as bright, and clear, and brilliant as they could see a light reflected from the burnished surface of the mirror. So to

speak, the glorious perfections of God shone from heaven; beamed upon the gospel, and were thence reflected to the eye and the heart of the Christian, and had the effect of transforming them into the same image. This passage is one of great beauty, and is designed to set forth the gospel as being "the reflection" of the infinite glories of God to the minds and hearts of people. Are changed into the same image - It is possible that there may be an allusion here to the effect which was produced by looking into an ancient mirror. Such mirrors were made of burnished metal, and the reflection from them would be intense. If a strong light were thrown on them, the rays would be cast by reflection on the face of him who looked on the mirror, and it would be strongly illuminated. And the idea may be, that the glory of God, the splendor of the divine perfections, was thrown on the gospel, so to speak like a bright light on a polished mirror; and that that glory was reflected from the gospel on him who contemplated it, so that he appeared to be transformed into the same image. Locke renders it: "We are changed into his very image by a continued succession of glory, as it were, streaming upon us from the Lord." The figure is one of great beauty; and the idea is, that by placing ourselves within the light of the gospel; by contemplating the glory that shines there, we become changed into the likeness of the same glory, and conformed to that which shines there with so much splendor. By contemplating the resplendent face of the blessed Redeemer, we are changed into something of the same image. It is a law of our nature that we are moulded, in our moral feelings, by the persons with whom we associate, and by the objects which we contemplate. We become insensibly assimilated to those with whom we have social contact, and to the objects with which we are familiar. We imbibe the opinions, we copy the habits, we imitate the manners, we fall into rite customs of those with whom we have daily conversation, and whom we make our companions and friends. Their sentiments insensibly become our sentiments, and their ways our ways. It is thus with the books with which we are familiar. We are insensibly, but certainly moulded into conformity to the opinions, maxims, and feelings which are there expressed. Our own sentiments undergo a gradual change, and we are likened to those with which in this manner we are conversant.

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Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc. ii Full Life Study Bible – New Testament, Copyright © 1990 by Life Publishers International (Mark 8:29) iii Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, Copyright 1940-55 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Copyrights © renewed 1968-73 by Jeannette I. Wuest. All rights reserved. iv Bob Deffinbaugh, Highlights in the Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ [The Transfiguration, Lk.9:18-36, p.5], http://bible.org/seriespage/transfiguration-luke-918-36 v Daniel B. Wallace, The Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:1-10), http://bible.org/article/transfiguration-jesus-mark91-10-some-biblico-theological-reflections vi Douglas JW Milne, Let’s Study Luke, p.141 vii Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, Copyright 1940-55 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Copyrights © renewed 1968-73 by Jeannette I. Wuest. All rights reserved. viii Barnes’ Notes: 2 Corinthians 3:18 ix G.H. Boobyer, St. Mark and the Transfiguration Story (Journal of Theological Studies, XLI, 1940), pp. 119-40 x Daniel B. Wallace, The Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:1-10)

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