DATE: 14th February, 2021
THEME: IT IS GOOD WE ARE HERE
2nd Kings 2:1-12
2nd Corinthians 4:3-6
Psalter: Psalm 50:1-6
PREPARED BY: Osofo Yaw Dodd
“Lord, it is good we are here,” we say with Peter. It is good we are here, on top of a mountain with Jesus. Here, at the end of our Epiphany journey-from the MANGER to a MOUNTAINTOP. Travelling in the growing light – from the Star of Bethlehem to the glorious glow of heaven. Week by week the light has slowly revealed to us who Jesus is as we first watched Him splashing in the water of the Jordan. We learned what he valued, poor as he was, was tempted by want in the wilderness, watched him touch, lift and heal so many people, as we were introduced to a new world order as he spoke to the 5,000: “blessed are the poor…blessed are the hungry… blessed are those who weep…”.
On this mountain, more than revelation is happening. This is TRANSFIGURATION. This is physical change and no one can embrace this experience without being changed themselves. Jesus is encompassed within God’s glory. Jesus now stands in league with Moses and Elijah. There is no question to Peter, James and John that this is the Christ. When Jesus comes back down that mountainside, they head to Jerusalem, they are heading the Lenten way, the crucifixion way, the resurrection way and, unless our hearts have been transfigured on this mountain, we are not going to make it.
I. THE PLACE OF TRANSFIGURATION
This passage opens with the mention of a MOUNTAIN. We are not told what mountain it is, but most scholars believe that it is MOUNT HERMON. Mountains occupy a special place in the Word of God.
▪It was on a mountain called MORIAH that God manifested His grace to Abraham when he willingly offered up his son Isaac, Gen. 22.
▪It was on Mount SINAI that God handed down His Law to Moses, Ex. 19.
▪It was on Mount CARMEL that God demonstrated His power to Israel through Elijah, 1 Kings 18.
▪It was on Mount HOREB that God ministered peace to the troubled heart of Elijah, 1 Kings 19.
▪It was on Mount CALVARY that Jesus died for our sins on the cross, John 19.
▪It was from the Mount of Olives that Jesus ascended back into His heavenly glory, Acts 1:9-11.
Mountains occupy a special place in our own lives as well. I praise the Lord that He sets aside a few mountain top experiences along the way for you and me. We have our valley, our hardships, our sufferings, our sicknesses and our problems; but I praise God for the mountain tops of life. I am glad there are a few places along the way where we are allowed to see His glory and His power! I praise the Lord for those times when He led me into a “HIGH MOUNTAIN ”. We have been there before, enjoying the grace of God.
II. THE TRANSFIGURATION
The Bible tells us that Jesus was “TRANSFIGURED.” This word is translated from the same word that gives us “metamorphosis.” Nearly anyone who has ever taken biology knows what metamorphosis is. This is a compound word; “META,” which means “to change,” and “MORPH,” which means “form.” Therefore, a metamorphosis is a “change of FORM or APPEARANCE.” This term is used to refer to what happens to transform a caterpillar into a butterfly. That ugly caterpillar encloses itself within a cocoon and goes through a metamorphosis. It goes in a worm and comes out a butterfly. It goes in having to crawl; it comes out able to fly! It goes in a thing that is ugly and despised and it reappears as a thing of wonderful beauty.
This is what happened to the Lord Jesus on that mountain top that day. Up until that moment, He had appeared to be just another Jew Who did some pretty remarkable things, Isa. 53:2-3. But, on that mountain, the glory that was concealed inside His human body burst forth! In other words, Jesus changed form on the mountain. THE DARK MOUNTAIN WAS INSTANTLY BATHED A LIGHT BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN. The mountain was lit with the glory of God. It was a special presentation!
III. HOW TO RECOGNIZE A GOOD PLACE
a. You Can Examine His Glory
Every now and then as we pass through this life, we are privileged to catch a glimpse of His glory. I have never seen His back parts like Moses did, Ex. 33:23. I have never heard Him speak in an audible voice like Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah and others did. I have never been within the veil in the Holy of Holies and been enveloped in His glory cloud. But, there have been times when He pulled back the veil and let me catch just a little glimpse of Him in His glory! When that happens, it is a good place to be!
b. You Can Exalt His Greatness
▪We are told that when Jesus was transfigured, He was visited by two famous Old Testament characters: MOSES and ELIJAH. The appearance of these two men is a marvelous miracle, which has many lessons to teach us. The bottom line here is that Moses and Elijah came to exalt the greatness of Jesus and to reveal to the disciples that He was Who He claimed to be!
▪You are in a good location in your life when you have arrived at the place where nothing and no one but Jesus has your attention. When you come to the place in your life where you find yourself worshiping Jesus and finding ways to glorify Him, you have arrived at a good place.
c. You Can Experience His Grace
When these men heard the voice of God and realized the scope of what was happening on that mountain top, they fell down in fear before the Lord. Jesus, as was His custom, walked over to them, touched them and spoke peace to them.
Friend, you are in a good place in life when you can feel the Master’s touch! Whether He touches you through peace in the heart, or whether you can hear that still small voice from time to time, it is a great day when you are a partaker of the grace and peace of the Lord.
IV. IT IS GOOD WE ARE HERE
And Peter said, “Rabbi, it is GOOD that we are here.” He didn’t know where he was or what was happening but this much he knew, this was GOOD. Why was it Good?
▪ They were in the ‘LIGHT’ and it was ‘good.’
Perfect. Just the way God meant it to be. “His clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.” The light could not be contained, either by skin or by clothing. What was on the outside revealed what was on the inside without contradiction or confusion.
▪ “And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses and they were TALKING WITH JESUS.” They represent the ‘company of heaven,’ those who have died in the faith, are gathered around JESUS.
▪ “And a cloud overshadowed them.”
A cloud, as in, Israel followed a cloud by day and God was in the cloud. Hidden from their sight yet always present with them. It overshadowed them, as in, “the Holy Spirit shall overshadow you.” THEY WERE IN THE CLOUD AS A FETUS IS IN THE WOMB.
Precious One! It always good to be in the presence of God. For in Jesus we have peace, liberty, joy, home etc. And if we will only listen, we will hear that we will one day see Jesus in the fullness of His glory just as they did on the mountaintop. Enjoy the SERVICE. Stay Blessed.
OSOFO YAW DODD
CALVARY METHODIST SOCIETY