This message was preached by Trevor Pyane at The glorious church Conference held in Mumbai.
To listen to the audio please click here
When Jesus has something important to say, he says ‘verily, verily’. When he wants to explain something he says it twice. So we’ll talk about the transfiguration and the Glorious Church.
Luke 9:32- Peter and his companions went to sleep! That’s incredible. They had just walked 9000ft up the mountain. They must have been tired. The gospels don’t tell us who woke up first, but they woke up with a start and woke up the others. There before them was a familiar face but it was the most glorious scene. The gospel writers find it hard to describe that moment.
His clothes were dazzling white- Mark describes it as bleach white. Luke says his face was shining and clothes were shining. They are trying to describe something indescribable. Matthew says his face shone like the sun.
Even Paul on the road to Damascus was blinded. Acts 22- a bright light from heaven that eclipsed the mid-day sun. On Patmos, John saw Jesus- the same radiance- Revelation 1:6. His face was shining like the sun in all its brilliance. Nothing can compare with the glory of Jesus. Such brilliance- how far do you think it could be seen? People down in the fields could see it and fishermen in the sea could see it.
One day everyone who has ever lived will stand face to face with that glory. The three disciples saw it. John says ‘we have seen the glory of the one and only’.
Verse 31 tells us what they were talking about, about Jesus’ departure. Elijah, Jesus and Moses were talking about his cross, the ultimate sacrifice- his death. The book indicates that this was a long conversation and Peter, James and John were listening in. This was Jesus, their rabbi who walked up the mountain with them, their friend and now he is talking to Moses who was dead 1400 years ago and Elijah 900 years ago. Is ever there was a time for silence, this was it. Jesus did not come to abolish the law and prophets but to fulfill it. He must have been explaining to them fulfillment- fulfillment of every Messianic prophesy from the ages. Just to hear a fragment of that conversation!!
But not for Peter- he had to say something. He was babbling- he was so frightened.
How did Jesus answer Peter? With, nothing. And then a cloud came. The cloud was always a symbol of the manifest presence of God. The same cloud that led the people of Israel, that Moses walked into, that filled the Temple, that Ezekiel saw lift off Jesus and depart to Babylon. It had not been seen in Israel for 600 years and now it came upon these 6 people- to say that now the manifest presence of God is back on the earth. Now peter keeps quiet.
The shekaniah glory came. They heard the voice of God in that. In Psalm 29- David tries to describe God. It’s thundering and powerful. When Elijah heard it, it was still and small. “This is my son whom I love, listen to him”. Same voice was heard at the baptism and John 12, where it says the same thing. Some say it thundered. It was not something in their imagination. It was an audible voice of God.
Years later, Peter describes it in this way- 2 Peter 1:16- this is a command to the nations. All this was a partial revelation. Now the time had come for the last words. Hebrews 1:1-2 Jesus is the ultimate truth and the only voice to be heard. A few days earlier, Peter argued about the necessity of Jesus’ death.
Then Jesus comes and takes them by the arm and says ‘Don’t be afraid’. At a moment of great revelation Jesus bends down and comforts them. At that moment the cloud, Moses and Elijah and the radiance was gone. And there He was, Jesus- but they would never look at him the same way again. Jesus took them up the mountain for an encounter, to inspire them and encourage them so that no matter what happened, what difficulty they faces, etc. they knew right inside that he is with them and he is the King of Glory.
That call- to live in the light of glory of Jesus. This should be the personal experience of everyone. Towards the end of his life, Jesus was in the feast of tabernacles. As part of that festival, each corner of the temple courts had 4 big golden candles that had bowls of oil (65 ltrs) and these were lit. This illuminated not only the temple but the whole of Jerusalem. It was the festival of lights. One morning Jesus came just as the wicks were being snuffed out and said “I am the light of the world”.
God wants us to grasp another vital aspect revealed in this story.
1. Those disciples really needed a revelation of Jesus and who he really was. But they needed another revelation.
2.Who they were in Christ- as the gathered people of God- the glorious church, because the splendor of Jesus is what he wants to display in us. Jesus is speaking to us. You are the light of the world.
God wants us to have a fresh revelation of how beautiful we are to Him. We are the ones he came to win for himself. His beautiful, radiant bride.
Heb 12:2-4 for the joy set before him, endured the cross. We the bride, the church gathered to himself clothed in might, cleansed by his blood.
Its time for the church to wake up! Do you know how beautiful you are! The splendor of the world,that we should take that radiance wherever we go.
John was allowed to see the full glory of the church in Rev 21.
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