DCLM Search The Scripture Youth & Adult For September 25, 2022 : Topic – The Transfiguration Of Christ
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST
TEXT: Matthew 17:1-27; Mark 9:1-29; Luke 9:28-45
MEMORY VERSE: “And was transfigure d before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).
In the previous chapter, Christ revealed to His disciples the suffering He was bound to go through, and also expounded to them, sacrifices they needed to make to be able to overcome the suffering and trials of life (Matthew 16: 21-27). In the passage under consideration, Christ went further to give them a foretaste of His coming glory. Peter, James and John had the singular privilege of this vision of Christ’s transfiguratiom The Scripture records: “as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment wass white and glistering” (Luke 9:29). No doubt then, the transfiguration of Christ was not only for the purpose of teaching the disciples, but also to them. It was also to encourage Christ as He marched towards the Gethsemane of agony, shame and death.
Question 1: Explain the purpose of the Transfiguration of Christ.
THE INTENT AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST (Matthew 17:1-5; Luke 9:28-32; 2 Peter 1:16-18; Philippians 2:5-7; John 17:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:12-14)
The account of the Transfiguration of Christ was a true story as recorded in the Scriptures. It should not be taken as a mere vision. The Holy Bible records thus: “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” (Matthew 17:1,2). It was on record that while Christ was being transfigured, Moses and Elijah appeared to him, discussing the death on the cross He was about accomplishing and His disciples, who initially were asleep later woke up to hear and witness the major part of the transfiguration. While Peter was so overwhelmed and proposing their desire to remain on the mountain top by having three tabernacles built for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, a cloud came and overshadow them and God’s voice came forth out of the clouds saying, “This is my beloved Son, …hear ye him”. When the disciples heard the voice, they were sore afraid but Jesus came and touched them, and when they lifted up their eyes they saw no one but Jesus.
Question 2: Outline various lessons we can draw from the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
There are pertinent lessons to be drawn from the account of the Transfiguration of Christ. One, it was while Christ was praying that He was transfigured. Jesus, no doubt, devoted more time to prayer, such as; at His baptism, during His temptations in the wilderness, before and after every great event (Mark 1:35; Luke 11: 1; Matthew 26:40-45). Thus, engagement in consistent prayer unto God may go a long way to transforming believing youths from grace to grace and from glory to glory. The presence of God in the life of a believing youth has the power to make such a youth glow in countenance (Exodus 34:29-35). Two, the appearance of Moses and Elijah affirmed the unity of God’s word; for Moses and Elijah represented the law and the prophet respectively. on this, the Scripture records: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Peter, re-emphasizing the supremacy and finality of God’s word said: “And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1 : 18, 19). Three, we observed that Moses and Elijah spoke about His death, and of course His resurrection. We learn that the main focus of Christ’s first coming was to accomplish the great sacrifice on the cross for the salvation of mankind. For Christ Himself says, “…for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9: 13b). As Christian youths, we must endeavour wherever we find ourselves, be it at schools or in the neighbourhood, to reach out to souls that are yet to receive Christ as their Lord and personal Saviour. Four, the fact that Moses and Elijah left the scene and Jesus was found alone, is an attestation to Christ’s deity; He being God in human flesh. Thus, Paul the apostle writing through God’s inspiration to the Hebrew Christians enjoined believers to look on to Jesus alone; being the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). As saved boys and girls, our gaze must be on Jesus in all matters of life, and not on angels, men and women, dreams and vision. Note, that God’s voice from the cloud enjoined all to hear him’. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Peter re-echoed this when he said “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12). Five, beholding the glory of God calls for divine revelation; and divine revelation is not just given without sacrifice. God said in His word: “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice (Psalm 50:5). Peter, James and John, no doubt, might have earned this rare privilege of being with Christ in His Transfiguration through sacrifice; for Christ knows the heart of all men. As Christian youths, if we must grow from grace to grace and from glory to glory, then we must be entirely devoted to God.
Question 3: Mention the significance of the Transfiguration of Christ.
The transfiguration of Christ is of great significance to believers. Its significance is reflected in the assurance, encouragement and hope it stirs in us as we patiently wait for the Second Coming of Christ. Our hope, encouragement, assurance and strength is re-awakened as we draw on the transfiguration experience of Christ. Thus, its essence is deduced as follows: one, it gives us a glimpse of the glory that Christ laid aside to become a man of sorrow acquainted with grief, so that He could save mankind from sin. As believers, there is glorious hope, assurance and strength this can give us as we lay all on the altar so as to win Christ. Paul the apostle said, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3 : 8). Two, the transfiguration of Christ confirmed the immortality of the soul. The appearance of Moses and Elijah is an attestation and confirmation of life hereafter. The Scripture says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The fact of resurrection in Christ is a thing that gladdens the heart of every true believer. Therefore, whether caught up with the Lord in the rapture or the dead in Christ being caught up first, the believer is much more comforted. Paul the apostle said,”For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout… Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:14,16,18). Three, the transfiguration of Christ was an attestation and confirmation of the ‘Messiahship’ of Christ. God spoke from heaven testifying Christ to be the only begotten of God full grace and truth. Four, the transfiguration of Christ revealed of His divinity, just as His temptation in the wilderness revealed his humanity. Five, Christ’s transfiguration gives us, as children of God a re-assurance of our safety in the face of any challenging situation. When a bright cloud overshadowed the disciples and they heard the voice of God out of the cloud, they were sore afraid. “And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid” (Matthew 17:7). We learn from Christ’s soothing touch and comforting words that as children of God, our Lord Jesus is always ever ready and present to help us out of any challenging situation. God said, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). Be rest assured that we are secured in Him no matter the terrifying situation!
THE IMPLICATION OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST TO BELIEVERS (Matthew 17:6-13; 2 Corinthians 3: 18; Exodus 34:29-35; Romans 12:1,2; Philippians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Believers are the light of the world. They are expected to shine as light in this dark world of sins. Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14,16).
Question 4: What is the implication of the transfiguration of Christ to believers?
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep’ but we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51). The transfiguration is a foretaste of the future translation of believers into similar glory. At present, a true believer is imbued with grace through the Spirit renewal as he remains devoted and dedicated to God. Thus, there is a spiritual radiation that comes forth from him. “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 the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). At the rapture, the believer is “transfigured” to meet with the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4: 16, 17).
Question 5: How can a saved youth experience spiritual transfiguration?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12: 1 , 2). As Christian youths, we can also be transformed into this perfect image by spending much time in secret prayer and meditation on the word of God, and abiding therein in holiness.
IMPORTANCE OF FAITH AND THE BELIEVERS’ CIVIL DUTY (Matthew 17:14-27; Mark 9:17-29; Luke 9:28-45; Romans 13:5-8; Mark 12: 17; 1 Corinthians 10:32)
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20). Jesus here drives home the necessity of faith in Christian ministry and life. He associated the inability of His disciple to cast out the dumb and deaf spirit from the possessed boy to unbelief. Christianity is a life of faith; for we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8a). In Mark chapter eleven verse twenty-two, Jesus enjoined the disciple to have faith in God. Paul the apostle testified that: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus said, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). This confirms that as we fast and pray, our faith increases, and consequently God’s power is released to set free the captives. Christ, indeed came to set the captives free. Thus, as we consecrate our lives, and live in holiness, exercise faith in Christ’s finished work at Calvary, pray and fast, the possessed, oppressed, afflicted by the devil in our fellowships will be set free (Acts 6:4; Luke 10:17-19; 1 John 3:8)
Question 6: Faith in God, praying and fasting coupled with a life of holiness will bring down God’s power to set the captives free. True or False?
“Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shall find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee” (Matthew 17:27). We understand here that Christ does not want us to neglect our civic duties. As children of God, we are to be blameless in this present generation. In our schools, we are not to break the school rules and regulations. Believers are to pay their taxes and other legal dues as deemed right by the government (Romans 13:1-8; 1 Corinthians 10:32).