Transfiguration

Jesus is Our Glorious Savior

These are the readings for Transfiguration Sunday.

God’s Word for This Week

Scripture says that Jesus only shone with glory once before his resurrection. That was on a high hill, where Peter, James, and John had a terrifying look at Jesus’ perfect glory. One reason Jesus did it was to give his disciples a glimpse at what the future holds for all believers. The Twelve were about to enter a difficult time. They would see their Messiah crucified, but in the end, they would also see that Jesus is our glorious Savior.

First Lesson – Exodus 34:29-35

What had happened to Moses’ face when he went to receive the two tablets of the Testimony on Mt. Sinai?

Moses’ face began to reflect the glory of God.

How did the people react?

Aaron and the people were afraid to come near Moses. Paul tells us that “the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory” (2 Corinthians 3:7). This is the natural reaction of sinful people to the glory of God (The disciples of Jesus would react the same way when he was transfigured before them (Mark 9:6). Moses was eventually able to first coax the leaders back to him (Exodus 34:29) and then all the people (Exodus 34:32).

What did Moses do to help relieve their anxiety?

Moses placed a veil over his face, which he took off whenever he went into the Lord’s presence.

Traditional Second Lesson – 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Who is the god of this age, and what has he done to the unbelievers of this world?

Satan is the god of this age, and he has darkened the hearts and minds of unbelievers so that they are unable to see Jesus for who he is: our glorious Savior.

How is it that we have seen Christ’s glory?

Paul says that God “made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” In other words, he has brought us to faith through the preaching of the Gospel. (See Romans 10:17.)

Supplemental Second Lesson – 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

Just as Moses covered his face with a veil, what problem did people of Paul’s day often face? (See 3:14-15.)

People of Paul’s day who misunderstood God’s covenant to Israel through Moses had a “veil over their hearts.” They did not realize that the first covenant was temporary; it prepared for the permanent covenant in Christ’s blood.

How did being ministers of God’s new covenant make Paul and his companions feel? (See 4:1-2.)

Being ministers of God’s new covenant kept Paul and his companions from giving up, or from trying tricky ways to convert people. They simply set forth the truth about Christ plainly to people who would have to stand before God.

Gospel – Luke 9:28-36

Who met Jesus and his disciples when they climbed this high mountain?

They met Moses and Elijah, who were generally considered by the Jews to be the two greatest prophets in the Old Testament.

What happened to Jesus when they arrived?

Jesus was transfigured before their eyes. The Greek word is our English word: metamorphosis. This is what a caterpillar does when it changes into a beautiful butterfly. Its outward appearance changes dramatically. So also Jesus’ body underwent a metamorphosis, in which, while still being man, he shone with the glory of God.

What suggestion did Peter make in verse 33?

Peter wanted to build shelters on the mountain for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah to preserve the glory of God for themselves. St. Luke suggests that Peter was speaking foolishly.

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