The Transfiguration of our Lord

Jesus Reveals His Future Glory

These are the readings for Transfiguration Sunday.
(This Worship Help aligns with the lectionary readings from Christian Worship 1993 and Christian Worship: Supplement.)

God’s Word for This Week

There was only one time recorded in Scripture when Jesus revealed his future glory before his resurrection. That one time was on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Peter, James, and John had a firsthand (and terrifying) look at Jesus’ perfect glory. Why did Jesus do this? He did it 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!

First Lesson – Exodus 24:12,15-18

Why was Moses called up to the top of Mount Sinai?

Moses went up the mountain to meet God “face to face” and to receive the Old Testament Law.

What covered the mountain for six days?

A cloud enveloped the mountain, and the glory of the Lord rested on it.

What did the glory of the Lord appear to be to the Israelites?

The glory of the Lord seemed to look like fire to the Israelites. They were terrified by the Lord’s glory.

Second Lesson – 2 Peter 1:16-21

What event does Peter recall in these verses?

The Transfiguration of our Lord.

What did some people apparently think of Peter’s account of this event?

Some apparently thought Peter, James, and John made this story up. Peter tells us the origin of the Bible is not “the will of man (man’s ideas), but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

What is the source of everything in Scripture?

God is the source of Scripture. The Bible is God’s Word.

Gospel – Matthew 17:1-9

Who met Jesus and his three 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.

Why did Peter make the suggestion he did in verse 4?

Peter wanted to build shelters on the mountain for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah in order to keep the glory of God all to themselves. Jesus, though, needed to head for Jerusalem, where he would suffer death on a cross. (See 17:9.)

Transfiguration is a distinctly Lutheran addition to the Christian calendar. In the 16th century, Johannes Bugenhagen and Veit Dietrich placed the celebration at the end of Epiphany before Lent, remembering that Jesus descended the Mount of Glory and set his face toward Jerusalem. (See Luke 9:51.)

On Transfiguration, the Church says “farewell” to alleluias. The Church refrains from using her most jubilant words of praise during the muted celebration of Lent. The alleluias will return with the risen Lord at the celebration of Easter.

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