‘The Gospel of Luke: Encountering Jesus’
Message: ‘The glory of His presence’ Text: Luke 9:27-36
Introduction: Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is one of the most loved and played works of music… in history. Introduction: Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is one of the most loved and played works of music… in history.
It’s been almost 280 years since Handel first wrote and performed the ‘Messiah’ • and people today still stand in reverence, when they hear the beginning of the Hallelujah Chorus.• Chills overcome them when they hear the back and forth proclamations of King of kings and Lord of lords.
The lasting popularity is due to the musical genius of George Frideric Handel, but also to the lyrics which are drawn from the Bible. Handel’s purpose was to reveal Jesus Christ as the Messiah, as God, in a way that had never been done, musically, before.
Folks, listen. God, from His very creation of all things, has been in the business of revealing Himself to those He created. God wants us to know Him. Handel beautifully expressed that in a special part of the ‘Messiah’. Take a listen.
The glory of the lord, although the word does not appear in the Bible, God’s glory is best described as the Shekinah glory. • It comes from the Hebrew word meaning to dwell with and describes God’s Divine Presence.
Whenever the invisible God becomes visible, and whenever the omnipresence of God is localized, that is the Shekinah Glory. • God’s divine presence, His glory, is dramatically seen in the wilderness by the fire at night and the cloud of smoke during the day that led the people of Israel on the way to the Promised Land. • His divine presence was also manifested numerous times by the intense light or cloud that filled the Tabernacle and the Temple.
And God’s work of self-revelation, the most profound appearance of God’s shekinah glory, is found in Jesus.
Read: Hebrews 1:1-3aLong ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power…
Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. You see, when Jesus reveals His glory, He’s showing us who He truly is…• Jesus is the Shekinah glory, the divine presence of Almighty God!
Background: From the opening verses of Luke’s Gospel, the faithful doctor has been revealing to us who Jesus is. • He does that by connecting OT prophesy to NT fulfillment.• He does that by what Jesus says and does.
The best evidence, the greatest proof Luke gives from Jesus’ birth to His resurrection, is His Transfiguration.• You see, in this one act, we get to SEE who Jesus is. And there is no denying, that Jesus is God.
Transition: Open your Bibles to Luke 9:27. For it’s there we’ll see Handel’s inspiration when he wrote: And the glory, the glory of the Lord, shall be revealed!
I. Luke 9:27-29 Jesus transformedRead: Luke 9:27-29
Track with me on this: Jesus asks the 12, Who do you say that I am? Peter responds, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.• At that point, Jesus tells them what being the Messiah means and it includes His suffering and death and 3 days later His resurrection.• Jesus told them that if they wanted to be His disciples; they had to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Him.• He then said that to save their lives they had to die. They understood that it meant death to their own desires, agendas and wishes. But, they also knew it might mean their actual dying for Jesus.
Then Jesus said something really strange. He said• But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:27)
What we see in our text this morning and next Sunday, is that eight days later, Jesus keeps His promise. • 3 of His disciples, will see with their own eyes, the Kingdom of God.
Jesus takes Peter, John, James up a mountain to pray. As Jesus was praying, His appearance a miraculously changes. • The text says the appearance of His face was altered and His clothing became dazzling white. • In Matthews Gospel account of this event we read: And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light. (Matthew 17:2)
The word Matthew and Mark used to describe what happened to Jesus is transfigured. It’s from the Greek word for metamorphosis. • It means to be changed, altered, transformed into something of a different nature.
Jesus’ transfiguration is a lifting of the veil, if you will, to reveal to Peter, John and James, His divine nature that His physical body, hid.
But it’s even more than that.• The glory Jesus displayed in His Transfiguration, will be His normal (if I can even use that word) it will be His normal appearance after His resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven.
The apostle John, one of the 3 who witnessed the Transfiguration, gives us that heavenly description of Jesus in Revelation 1:12-18a• Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around His chest. The hairs of His head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the roar of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore…
If it’s true that Jesus will die. It’s also true that Jesus will live again, as seen in the revelation here of His glory.
Luke 9:22 Jesus told His disciples:• The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
Remember how I said all they heard was the Jesus suffering and dying part? They totally missed the part about Jesus being raised on the third day part?
Well, that part, the part about Jesus being raised on the third day, was not just good news for Jesus, but for them too. • I’ll explain why in a couple of minutes. Hold on to that.
OK, what was Jesus doing at the time He was transformed? This is important.• He was praying. He was talking to, spending time with the Father.
The text says And as He was praying… If Jesus was God, why did He need to talk to the Father? Because He was also human, yet w/o sin. • In His divinity, Jesus submitted to the will of the Father.• In His humanity, Jesus was totally dependent upon the Father.
So, as both fully divine and fully human, Jesus prayed, talked with the Father. And at this time, when He did, His appearance was altered to reveal His glory.• This was the glory He shared with the Father from eternity past. • It’s the glory He shared with the Father at Creation. • It’s the glory He has, now that His work of salvation is done and He sits at the right hand of the Father. • It’s the glory He will display when He returns.• And when we are with Him in heaven, it will be the very same glory we will bask in, for eternity future.
And it’s the glory revealed as Jesus prayed.
Something miraculous happened when Jesus talked to the Father in prayer. And I know that many of you can say the same thing about times you’ve spent with the Father in prayer.• Prayer changes you!
And not just you. You can see it in the faces of people who have spent time with Jesus in prayer. Am I right? You’ve seen it. We see it on Wednesdays at Mid-Week Prayer & Praise.• People come in tense, anxious, worried, depressed, discontented, critical even. You can see that in their faces.• But when they leave all of that in God’s hands, through prayer, their transformed. They’ve met with Jesus and He has changed them from the inside out. You can see that in their faces too.
Prayer, spending time with Jesus and the Father, is so more than just a shopping list of requests that we hope God will answer.• Prayer… is transformational!
Conclusion: Read: Luke 9:27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.
The Transfiguration of Jesus. Why was that important enough for Jesus to show Peter, John and James? And why at that particular time?
The apostle John wrote about it in His Gospel:• And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Scripture talks of ‘crowns’ we’ll receive when we see Jesus in heaven. • But what if at least one of the crowns is not a physical circular object that we wear on our head?• What if it’s something else?
I think much later Peter will understand when he writes this in 1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. • That text is talking about when we meet Jesus in heaven. • It’s talking about when the Kingdom of God is fully realized.
Perhaps the crown Peter mentions here is in fact, our glorified bodies, not unlike what Peter saw in in Jesus, as well as in Moses and Elijah as we’ll see next Sunday.
What an encouragement that would have been to them.• After death, there is life… glorious life, yes!• But also a glorified life in the Kingdom of God.
What Jesus did in showing them His glory, was to give them a taste of heaven, a preview of what the eternal kingdom of God will be like.
And folks, as Christians, we have the glory of Christ, we have a taste of heaven, a preview of what the eternal kingdom will be like• It’s the Holy Spirit living in us, • the shekinah glory of God shining in our lives, • as we deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him.