This sermon was preached at Red Rocks Baptist Church (14711 W. Morrison Rd. Morrison, CO 80465) on September 2, 2012 by Pastor Les Heinze. These notes are provided as a recap and for further study into the message from God’s Word.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF YOU
A popular television show, The Biggest Loser, attracts millions of viewers each week because they are able to witness the participants undergo a physical, often life-changing transformation. Through guided exercise, a healthy diet, and constant encouragement participants release the real person hidden under the exterior.
Mark 9:1-13 graphically describes for us a far more spectacular and important transformation – the transfiguration of Jesus, which has important implications for those who follow him. His transfiguration is a pattern for our transformation into a complete, mature disciple (Matthew 5:48). We will never be completely transformed (perfect) here on earth, but consider the following principles from Mark that will put us well along the path.
1. Transformation doesn’t come without placing ourselves voluntarily in the most advantageous position to bring it about. While Jesus time on earth and his eventual crucifixion were part of God’s eternal plan, Jesus voluntarily participated. In his own words, “I have come to do your will”. (Hebrews 10:7) When you voluntarily place yourself in a position to be dramatically changed, God will honor your desire. In a context of spiritual cleansing and change, James reminds us: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Is that where you truly want to be? God won’t force the issue – you should.
2. Transformation doesn’t come without difficulties and challenges. The glimpse that Peter, James, and John had into the true glory of Jesus was muted. It was only the promise a final glory would only happen after the Cross and Resurrection. Jesus himself recognized that, which had previously led him to pray an insightful, instructive prayer recorded in John 17:1-5. In asking his heavenly Father to glorify him, he affirmed it would only take place because of the completion of the ‘work’ he had to do, the work of the Cross. The lesson should be transparent for us. Ultimate transformation and glory will only come after we have been gradually changed and molded by the sufferings of our own cross. Our cross is comprised of trials that come from being a committed, intentional disciple (Mark 8:34 ff). But future glory is always worth present difficulties.
3. Transformation doesn’t come without frequent, prolonged exposure to God through his Word. 2 Corinthians 3:18 explains that the reflection of God’s glory in us can only happen if we have ‘unveiled faces’. This is a reference to the contemporary Jews refusing to accept Jesus for who he was (God), therefore a veil was drawn across their understanding. The only way we can most completely see God for who he is, is through his Word. No visions, no esoteric experiences, no ephemeral feelings – only appreciating and assimilating scriptural truth about God. Do you spend time gazing into the Word of God, allowing the Spirit of God to change you into the image of the Son of God? That will be your ‘Mount of Transfiguration’.