Jesus Reveals His Future Glory
These are the readings for Transfiguration Sunday.
God’s Word for This Week
Scripture only records one time when Jesus showed his divine glory. That was on a hilltop in northern Israel. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John got a firsthand (and terrifying) look at Jesus’ perfect glory. Why did Jesus do this? He did it, among many reasons, to give his disciples a glimpse at what the future holds for all believers. They were about to enter a difficult time as disciples. They would see their Messiah crucified. But future glory would follow, by God’s grace.
FIRST LESSON – 2 Kings 2:1-12a
Why was Elisha upset?
He realized that his master, Elijah, was going to be taken away from him.
What request did Elisha have for Elijah?
Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. He knew he would need spiritual strength when Elijah was gone. In those days the oldest Jewish son would inherit a double portion of the estate, so Elisha seems to be asking to be Elijah’s heir/successor.
How was Elijah taken away into heaven?
A chariot and horses of fire separated Elijah and Elisha, then Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind.
SECOND LESSON – 2 Corinthians 3:12–4:2
To which Old Testament event does Paul refer in this lesson?
When Moses returned from Mt. Sinai, his face shone because he had seen a portion of the Lord’s glory. Moses put a veil over his face because the people couldn’t stand to look at him. Paul says that the stubborn Jews who rejected Jesus as Savior still have a veil over their hearts.
True or false: The old covenant (the law) is more glorious than the new covenant (the gospel).
False. The law brings sin, guilt, and death to sinful people. It is glorious because the law is truth and shows us that God is holy and perfect. But Paul says that the gospel is more glorious because it brings freedom from sin, life, and salvation (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:10,17,18).
As ministers of the glorious gospel, how do we proceed in our mission?
We don’t need to use trickery or sleight of hand. We don’t need to distort the word of God. Instead, we set forth the truth plainly and trust that God works life and salvation through the simple gospel. There’s no need to manipulate the truth to make it more acceptable; glory comes only through the truth of the gospel.
SUPPLEMENTAL SECOND LESSON – 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Why don’t all people trust in Jesus’ blood?
All people do not trust in Jesus’ blood because the devil, “the god of this age,” has blinded the minds of unbelievers. Result: They cannot see the light of the good news.
In short, who is Jesus, this man who appears in such glory on the Mount of Transfiguration?
Jesus is the image of God. When we see Jesus, we see exactly what God the Father is like.
If you trust in Jesus―unlike many―why is that? (See 4:6.)
The God who did the miracle of making light at the beginning, just by saying, “Let there be light,” did a similar miracle in you. He made light where there was only darkness. He gave you light to know the glory of God in the face of Christ.
GOSPEL – Mark 9:2-9
Who met Jesus and his disciples when they climbed this high mountain?
Jesus and his three disciples met Moses and Elijah, who were generally considered by the Jews to be the two greatest prophets in the Old Testament.
Why did Peter make the suggestion he did in verse 5?
Peter wanted to build shelters on the mountain for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah in order to keep the glory of God all to themselves. Mark the evangelist suggests that Peter was speaking foolishly. Jesus needed to head for Jerusalem, where he would suffer death on a cross to secure eternal glory for his followers. (See 9:9.)