Sermon for the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Sermon for the Transfiguration of Our Lord

(Transcribed by machine 04/08/2024)

Grace, mercy, and peace from God, our Father, and His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Dear disciples of Christ Jesus, God loves you, each and every one of you, so much.
It’s as the master teacher does the thing of engaging their students each and every day
of the school year. Their desire is to enlighten, to enlighten them with each and every lesson.
So that by the end of their time together, the goal is for the student to retain and
possess, if possible, as much as possible, this wealth of knowledge and experience so
to bless their futures.
For this to occur, the teacher has to be patient.
As the students struggle with each new revelation of enhanced information, which is meant to
cause a transformation in their understanding and their life. It was very
early in Jesus’s public ministry that he was sitting in Simon’s boat on the water
of the Sea of Galilee and against Simon’s experience, against Simon’s
reasoning, Jesus told him to go further out from the shoreline and to cast his
nets to catch fish Simon said but at your word I will let down the nets as
the fishermen drew those nets back up from the depths they felt this drag of
weight and upon breaking the surface of the water they saw that their nets were
full of fish and so much so that the knots in the threads of the nets
stressed to the point of almost ripping apart.
There were so many fish that they called for another boat to assist them
to bring in this large catch.
At that sight, to see all those fish, Simon fell down before Jesus’ feet
and he said, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
The impossible happened.
It was a miracle, and Simon had been confronted with the Word of God in the person of Jesus
Christ and he knew that he was unworthy to be in his presence.
With the words reaching Simon’s ears, Jesus said, do not be afraid, for now on you will
be catching men.
In the near future, Jesus would also give Simon the name Peter, which means the rock.
Now for the next three years, Peter and the other eleven chosen disciples would stay with
Jesus as he traveled from village to village, town to town, city to city.
And they heard Jesus’ preaching as he proclaimed the word of God to the crowds gathered in
the communities and upon the hillsides between. They witnessed the miracles with
his power to heal the body, to control nature, to cast out demons, and to raise
the dead. And they listened to his every word that he spoke to them in private.
with each lesson in their hearing and before their sight. The master teacher
Jesus was pointing them to the revealed Word of God as it spoke of the one who
is to come sent by God to be the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world
and this one will bring the word of God, for he is God as the word reveals.”
As so often in the past, Jesus retreats up into the hills and the mountains to commune with God, His Father.
And on this particular trip into solitude in our gospel lesson, Jesus took Peter, James, and John.
When looking at the timeline of Jesus’s public ministry in our text, we see that
Jesus is drawing to the end of that public ministry and his entry through
the gate of Jerusalem is drawing closer and closer and closer. While on top of
this high mountain in his mobile classroom, the master teacher will give
these three disciples, these followers who follow for the sake of learning from
the Master the greatest lesson between his incarnation and his death and
resurrection. While Jesus was in prayer, the Gospel of St. Luke tells us
that the disciples were heavy with sleep. When they awoke, they saw their teacher’s
lesson for them. To build on what they had already heard and seen along this
journey of their theological education. Once again they were confronted by the
word sent by God who is God. Jesus stood there transfigured revealing the glory
of his divine nature which otherwise had been veiled in his human nature. His face
shone with the brightness of the sun. His clothes were white as light and to
expand on that lesson and to zero in on the point, Moses and Elijah were there
and they appeared in glory, standing with Jesus. Moses representing the law and
Elijah the prophet, he sent by the Father to point to Jesus as the promised
Messiah, the Savior of the world. Saint Luke tells us in his gospel that they
were talking with Jesus about his exodus, his departure, which he was about to
accomplish at Jerusalem. The disciples, they looked at what was before them and
they tried to comprehend what their eyes saw and their ears heard. It was so
overwhelming. How do they respond? They didn’t seek that moment, but that this
revelation had come to them. What did they do? Peter, being the spontaneous one,
said, Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and
one for Moses and one for Elijah. And he was just babbling, for he did not know
what to say at that very moment. They knew that they were standing in the very
presence of God and His activities. But what does all this mean? How do they
respond? As students, they were struggling. There are people, though, when confronted
believe that the Bible, the Word of God, is just an old book written, revised and
compiled by men to create fairytale stories as answers about the unknown and
it has no application in their lives. Some totally disregard it while others
will keep it on a bookshelf in their homes as a memorance of what their
ancestors once believed. Then there are others who believe that it is sent by
God as an instructional manual on how a person can become right before God by
following all the rules and so eliciting, soliciting a subjective means of justification
before God.
What is the Bible to you and how do you respond?
When confronted by the Word of God, what do you do and what do you say?
The Scriptures tell us that the Bible is God’s Word.
It is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing the division of
soul and of spirit, of joint and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions
of the heart.”
In other words, the Word gives life.
It cuts through any spiritual barrier that stands between human beings and God and exposes
This is the true state of a person’s heart before God.
St. Timothy writes,
all Scripture is God-breathed by God
and is profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction,
for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.
The Apostle Paul says,
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.
To the Jews first and also to the Greeks.
When this word comes to us through preaching, when it comes to us through teaching,
when it comes to us through personal study, how do we respond?
As the words left Peter’s mouth on that mountaintop,
desiring to solicit a response from his teacher, standing there radiating in
brightness. A bright cloud came upon them and overshadowed them. This was no
ordinary cloud that sometimes can move on to high mountains and cut visibility
to a couple feet. No, they saw this pillar of a cloud drawing near as it enveloped
and they were afraid in this bright cloud, and they heard a voice that said,
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.
When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and they were even more terrified.
What’s next?
They knew that they were unworthy to be in this place,
echoing Peter’s words and actions in the boat as he fell before Jesus.
As Jesus came to the terrified Peter, sinking in the water,
after he was walking on the water to Jesus,
Jesus came and touched them on that mountaintop and said,
rise and have no fear. And when they lifted their eyes they saw no one but
Jesus and in the same state that he had walked up that mountainside. How are they
to respond to what they have experienced on that mountaintop? The voice from the
heavens, who identified himself as Jesus’ father, said,
listen to him.
As they were descending from that apex,
and with the goal of being with the crowd,
once again seeking Jesus, he said to them,
tell no one what you have seen until the Son of Man
had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what this rising from the dead might mean, it was actually a pop
quiz. Because just before this little retreat, Jesus had told his disciples in
the last chapter of chapter 8, the last verses, immediately after Peter confessed
him to be the Christ, Jesus taught them that the Son of Man must suffer many
things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be
killed and after the third day rise again. One time when the presence of in
teaching of Jesus the Word of God confronted the Jews Jesus said to them
if you abide in my word you’re truly my disciples and you will know the truth
and the truth will set you free. The Bible, the Holy Scriptures, is the Word
of God and it is the source and norm for the Christians faith in life. When the
Word of God reaches our ears and our eyes and penetrates our heads and our
hearts, we learn that all people are sinners, including ourselves. We hear the
Words like, in sin did not my mother conceive me.
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
You were dead in your trespasses and sins.
By nature, children of wrath,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.
When confronted by the general
or the specific standards of God’s law,
there are only two options.
A person can harden his heart
and continue in his unrepentant sin
to be judged by God. Our person is convicted by God’s law and is repentant
of his sins. And that’s where God’s gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ is given.
God’s love for them, their sins forgiven. This confrontation is like the applying
of a miracle salve on a wound that is immediately healed with the gift of
faith to the unbeliever. This is a conversion. It is being born again. It is
being brought from spiritual death to spiritual life for the believer, for you
and me. It is the spiritual life of daily drowning the old nature in the waters of
holy baptism and casting off the ploys of the devil as we live a life of
repentance and faith in this broken world. The Apostle Paul tells the church
in Corinth, therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has
passed away, behold the new has come. Seven Christians who will be confirmed today
become members of our fellowship and join us in the receiving of the Lord’s
at this altar will tell you that the new member class begins with the Bible is
the inspired inerrant Word of God. It is infallible, it is inerrant from Genesis
to Revelation through the working of the Holy Spirit it exposes our sins and it
points us to our Savior Jesus. From this foundation we journey through the basic
teachings of the Christian faith and life as compiled and explained in the
six chief parts of Luther’s small catechism, we discussed that confirmation
is not the ending but a beginning. As they join with us in being in God’s Word
together, as it confronts us and it reinforces us with the truth revealed
in it, as we walk together in the one true faith as Bible shows us God’s
promises and the gifts of this new life, given through the life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Lord of our lives and the Savior of
our souls. This is why the shelters could not be built on the mountain by the
three disciples. The master teacher knew that his disciples could not make a
100% grade on their final exam, which is all the only way to receive the reward and to
avoid punishment.
So he set his face on going to Jerusalem where he would die on a cross to pay for the sins
of the world, including yours and mine.
On the third day, Jesus will rise from the dead and affirming that those who are his
own will also rise on the last day and receive glorified bodies and dwell with
him in his eternal kingdom.” So when confronted by God’s Word, how do we
respond? We confess. Almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor miserable sinner,
confess to you all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever
offended you and justly deserve your eternal punishment, but I am heartily
sorry for them and sincerely repent to them and I pray you of your boundless
mercy and for the sake of the holy innocent bitter suffering and death of
your beloved son Jesus Christ to be gracious and merciful to me a poor
sinful being then we bask we bask in the assurance of the forgiveness of our sins
So, on that day, when we go before God on our private judgment day of our physical death
or on the public judgment day of Jesus’ second coming, we will kneel before the judge perfect,
free from all corruption, be it original or actual.
For we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and have been given the robe of righteousness
one by Christ Jesus himself for you and for me and for all the world. For now
though, for now, as disciples of Jesus in our various vocations as we journey
upon this earth, how do we respond? We heed the words of our Heavenly Father
that he spoke to the disciples and he says to us listen to him listen to him
amen the peace which passes all understanding
keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord amen