Transfiguration

February 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
What an amazing vision. Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem to suffer and die for the sins of the world. Before the hour of Christ’s passion comes Jesus led Peter, James and John up on a mountain and Jesus is Transfigured before them.
 
Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James, and his brother John, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter responded and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If You want, I will make three tabernacles here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!”  Matthew 17:1-5 (NASB)
 
In the Transfiguration God reveals the full divinity of Christ. Jesus is God’s eternal beloved Son. Jesus was sent to be the Suffering Servant. Jesus is about to complete His redeeming work by offering Himself as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. On the mountain He speaks about His departure with Moses and Elijah.
 
While they were on the mountain a Cloud envelopes them, and a voice came from the Cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” Neither the Law that was given by Moses, nor the call to repentance of Elijah could save the world from sin. Only the full and complete sacrifice of Christ will overcome sin, destroy the devil and swallow up death forever.
 
When the Cloud had left them, the disciples only saw Jesus.
 
This month’s TLO Disciple theme is: The Transfiguration. When Jesus and the disciples came down from the mountaintop, they were immediately confronted with the real and present dangers of life in this sinful world. They were met by a man whose child was demon possessed. The disciples were unable to remove the evil spirit from the child. Jesus rebuked the spirit and the child was cured. Then Jesus said,
 
You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was healed at once. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” And He *said to them, “Because of your meager faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17-20 (NASB)
 
When the troubles and tears of this life seem too much to bear, God enables us to see the heart of his compassion and love. Jesus is God’s beloved Son. Listen to Him. Jesus is our sure defense. The Lord continues to act in this world for the good of those who trust in Him.
 
Join with me as we praise our Lord Jesus for His salvation.
 
Pastor James Kroonblawd
The Splendor of Epiphany
by Charles Knippel
The most splendorous and radiant manifestation of Jesus’ deity is shown to us on the last Sunday of the Epiphany Season. The event is the climax of the season. It is The Transfiguration of Our Lord. Taking Peter, John, and James, Jesus went up on a mountain to pray. “And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was altered and His clothing became dazzling white.”
 
Moses and Elijah of Old Testament days “appeared in glory and spoke to him of his departure which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Peter, James, and John were asleep for a while, but “when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.” Then, “a cloud came and overshadowed them” and “a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!'”
 
Such a splendid facet of the diamond of Epiphany! It is one that also shows us the glory that Jesus will share with us in the world to come.

“First, the resurrection of the dead and the future glory and brightness of our bodies are shown. For this was something very remarkable, that Christ was transfigured while yet in the mortal body, which was subject to suffering. What then shall it be, when mortality shall have been swallowed up, and nothing shall remain but immortality and glory?” 
 
Martin Luther; Explanatory Notes on the Gospels, 101
“Second, there is added the appearance of Moses and Elias, who prove by their appearing that they had never really died, and that there is yet another life, besides the earthly life, from which they were transferred.” Luther’s Explanatory Notes on the Gospels, 101.
 
Martin Luther; Explanatory Notes on the Gospels, 101 
“Thirdly, This appearance teaches us also that we should despise death, and look upon it merely as an emigration of a sleep. In short, this appearance proves that this life is nothing at all in comparison with the future life.”

Martin Luther; Explanatory Notes on the Gospels, 101 
“Fourthly, This appearance proves that sin is overcome. For it necessarily follows as an incontrovertible conclusion, that, where death is overcome, there sin is also overcome. The whole, holy Trinity appears here to strengthen the believers; namely, Christ in his transfigured from, the Father in the voice, and the Holy Ghost in the bright cloud. Moses and Elijah appear in order to testify that Jesus Christ is truly the promised Messiah, according to the law (i.e. Moses), and the prophets, (i.e. Elias),”
 
Martin Luther; Explanatory Notes on the Gospels, 101
From God's Word
Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy!” Psalm 99:9
Christ’s Departure (“Exodus”)
Published on February 27th, 2019
 
Of the three accounts relating Christ’s transfiguration only Luke informs us of the topic discussed between Jesus, Moses and Elijah: “And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:30). They spoke of Christ’s “departure”.
 
The Greek word for “departure” is literally the word “exodus”.  

Let's Pray
Lord God, heavenly Father, we gratefully remember on this day the glorious manifestation of Your Son’s divinity on the Mount of Transfiguration. Teach us to listen to Jesus and ever fix our eyes on Him and His innocent suffering and death for our forgiveness. By Your grace and mercy, strengthen us to remain faithful in all circumstances of trial, temptation and persecution. Preserve us to the end, that we may die a blessed death believing in Your beloved Son with whom You are well pleased; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
There’s no theology like snow theology
By Tom Raabe
 
There is nothing so pure as the scene after an all-night, heavy-duty snow dump. The yard is pristine, the sidewalks unmarred, the street outside your house trackless…
 
It is cathartic and joyous and, like the cleansing that God’s forgiveness offers, it freshens your spirit, changes your outlook.
 
And if the sun’s out, and you have to squint and shield your eyes just to look at the snowy tableau, you are reminded, too, of our Savior on the Mount of Transfiguration. There, Mark tells us, Jesus’ “clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:3). You get a blinding glimpse, too, of what we also will look like when we join Jesus, as the three disciples did on Mount Herman, and are clad in eternal robes as white as snow.
 
On that day, we will see the Lord as John once saw Him in the book of Revelation, where Jesus’ appearance is again described with an image of snow: “The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow” (Rev. 1:14).
 
So let it snow … theologically speaking.

From God's Word
But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear.’ ” Matthew 17:7
Reflection on God's Word
When Jesus is with us, there is no need to fear. He loves us, cares for us, and will never abandon us. That assurance is the basis of all generosity for only those who are set free from worry can learn the joy of giving.
God At Work
Every Christian has a particular calling from God
 
By Gene Veith
 
With the doctrine of vocation, everyday life is transfigured. We realize that the way to serve God is not by some extraordinary act of mystical devotion, but by serving our neighbors in the daily circumstances of life—in our families, our jobs, our church and our involvement in the community.
 
With the doctrine of vocation, ordinary relationships, the 9-lo-5 routine, taking care of the kids, the work-a-day world—the way we spend most hours of the day—become charged with the presence of God.

From John Chrysostom
 
His splendour and he says “He shone” How did He shine? tell me. Exceedingly. And how do you express this? He shone “as the sun.” As the sun sayest thou? Yea. Wherefore? Because I know not any other luminary more brilliant. And He was white sayest thou as snow? wherefore as snow? Because I know not any other substance which is whiter. For that He did not really shine thus is proved by what follows: the disciples fell to the ground. If he had shone as the sun the disciples would not have fallen; for they saw the sun every day, and did not fall: but inasmuch as he shone more brilliantly than the sun or snow, they, being unable to bear the splendour, fell to the earth.
 
John Chrysostom. (1889). Two Homilies on Eutropius, Patrician and Consul. In P. Schaff (Ed.), W. R. W. Stephens (Trans.), Saint Chrysostom: On the Priesthood, Ascetic Treatises, Select Homilies and Letters, Homilies on the Statues (Vol. 9, p. 258). New York: Christian Literature Company.
Thy Strong Word
Matthew 17: The Transfiguration 
Hosted by Rev. Will Weedon.
With guest Rev. Kevin Parviz of the Congregation Chai v’Shalom in St. Louis, MO.
 
From God's Word
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Philippians 2:5–11
The Final Crescendo
by Rev. Jared Melius
 
The Transfiguration of Our Lord is the final crescendo of the season of Epiphany before the Church’s abrupt descent into Ash Wednesday and Lent. The earthly event is remembered as the greatest manifestation of our Lord’s glory while yet in His state of humiliation. Nevertheless, the Lord still has His greatest suffering and sacrifice before Him.
 
What a sight to behold on this holy mountain! The heavenly counsel urges Jesus to ride on to the cross and purchase sinners for eternal life and salvation, while the very sinners in question, clouded by weakness, beset with fear, respond and urge Him to delay. Actually, not a single one of us urged Jesus to do what He did. And yet He did it anyway. He absolves Peter and James and John (Matt. 17:7). He comes down from the mountain (v. 9). He sets His face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).
 
Transformed
by Pastor Ken Klaus
 
This month many churches are celebrating Transfiguration Sunday. It is right that we remember how the Lord acknowledged His only Son who was living His life to save the souls of lost sinners. Read the Gospels and you will soon discover that when people thought of Jesus, they generally thought of Him only in human terms. He was a Prophet, a Teacher, a Samaritan, a Sinner.
But Jesus' transfiguration tells us that while Jesus is true Man, He is also true God. For us He was doing that which only God could do. By that I mean Jesus lived His life sinless and successfully resistant to all temptation. But more than that, He actually shouldered the sins of the entire world and carried those sins to the cross where He died in our stead.
His glorious resurrection three days later says His work had been completed, and all who believe on Him as Savior are forgiven of the past and given an eternal home in heaven.
 
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, true Man and God, Your life was lived for my eternal salvation. May the faith I have been given create a transfiguration in my life. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
 
Blessings of the Benediction
 
“The Lord bless you and keep you.”
 
Recall again the words of Jesus in the parable of the sheep and the goats: “Come, you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom.”
 
“The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.”
 
In their reports of Jesus' Transfiguration, the evangelists tell us that Jesus shone more brightly than the sun, prompting Peter to say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.”
 
“The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace.”
 
We Christians are truly blessed in that God does not hide his face from us. In all other religions there is ultimately doubt as to their gods' attitudes toward them.


Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950 Highway 55
Eagan, MN 55121
651-454-7235