Matthew 17:1 -5
INTRO: One day Jesus took three of His Disciples and went up on a mountain. They were alone. Then the scene changed drastically and immediately: 1)Jesus changed so that his face shone like the sun, His garments were white as light. 2)The number four changed to six as two visitors, back from the dead, appeared and 3)The men, Moses and Elijah, the great prophet began talking with Jesus. Peter, always wanting to be first to make things right something that effectively meant, “Lord, this is good, God must be doing this to show great honor to three great men. So, let me make memorials for the three greatest men who ever lived.”
Worldly wisdom might say, “Peter, that’s a wonderful and God-honoring idea. Let’s go for it!” But this was other-worldly! And just when it must have seemed like it couldn’t get more confusing and frightening, the three-way conversation is overpowered by a voice out of the cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
The disciples fell on their face terrified until Jesus came and spoke to them. “Get up and don’t be afraid.” Not only is Jesus the center of attention, He is also the one who can dispel all fear.
I) WHY WOULD WE LISTEN TO JESUS?
A) Only If We Want To Go To Heaven!
1) If we are more interested in this life you don’t have to listen.
2) When money is your motive, don’t bother hearing Jesus
3) If your goal is to live and stay beautiful for 100 years, then don’t bother listening
B) Only If We Understand That Jesus Is Our One and Only Savior!
1) We can expect many inconsequential voices (Like Peter’s good idea)
2) But the angel said “He(Jesus) shall save His people from their sins- Matt. 1:21
3) Jesus gave his “amen” to that when speaking to Zaccheus -Luke 19:10
4) Peter learned this and said, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”-Acts 4:12
C) Only If We Believe That Jesus Is God’s Final Answer
1) ILLUST: Is That Your Final Answer?
2) ILLUST: New Prophet Every 1000 Years.
3) Scripture says, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.”- Heb. 1:1 -3
4) And again, “Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness”-John 12:44,45
5) Jesus told Philip, “if you have seen me you have seen the Father.”-John 14:9
D) Don’t Let Any System, Denomination, or Religion Rob You From Hearing Jesus
II) WILL HOLDING THIS HEIGHTENED VIEW OF JESUS MAKE US POPULAR?
A) In Jesus’ Day There Were Many Varying Opinions On His Identity
1) Some believed Jesus was just a lowly carpenter (Mk. 6:3), a son of Joseph (John 6:42), a sinner (John 9:24), a devil (Matt. 12:24), a mad man (John 10:20), object of contempt and scorn (Matt. 27:38-44)
2) But our faith comes from the “insiders”. Recall Jesus took three with him. This is significant. Peter, James and John are ¾ of the two sets of brothers, and all very influential. In addition two of the three wrote 7 letters we have and the third, James, is believed to have been the ½ brother of Jesus and had grown up in the same house. Peter remembered this great day till he died as is evident from his words in II Peter 1:16-18.
3) But a defining moment is observed. After Jesus has spoken 99 verses in our Bible the people were completely on His side and liked what he said, so Matthew records this quotation: “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” Matt. 7:28,29
B) After Reading The Bible For Years We Conclude What Is Most Important
1) The most important person in all the Bible is Jesus Christ!
2) The most important teaching is salvation in Christ!
3) The most important desire for us to hold is to be forgiven and faithful to the end
4) The most important place for us is heaven.
CONCLUSION: The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message "Alter your course 10 degrees south."
Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!"
Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am seaman third class Jones."
Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship."
Then the reply came "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."
In the midst of our dark and foggy times, all sorts of voices are shouting orders into the night, telling us what to do, how to adjust our lives. Out of the darkness, one voice signals something quite opposite to the rest- -something almost absurd. But the voice happens to be the Light of the World, and we ignore it at our own peril.
ILLUSTRATIONS USED IN THIS LESSON
IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER? In 1999 "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" began, hosted by Regis Philpin. Contestants were flown from their town to NY city and asked a series of questions, each one worth more money than the previous one. If the contestant successfully answers all the question, he or she wins one million dollars. Before each question is answered, the host of the show asks the contestant, "Is that your final answer?" The implication being, there is no turning back. Once that answer is given, the fate of the contestant is sealed. This show appeals to us because most of the contestants are just common people like you and me. And, the prospect of winning one million dollars is something that appeals to us all. I mean, who hasn't been asked, or at least asked someone else, "What would you do with a million dollars?"? A million dollars is a lot of dough!
It is hoped we don’t equate money with value, but listen to this dialogue from Jesus and His disciples
“Who do PEOPLE say that I am? (answers: “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophet”
“Who do YOU say that I am? Peter says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
NEW PROPHET EVERY 1000 YEARS. Having been invited to study with a lady in N.S., I soon found out that she was of the Baha’i faith. She said that Jesus a prophet like all the others and God gives a new prophet every 1000 years. Jesus was just another prophet. Yesterday I went to their site and found that Bahaullah described Jesus Christ, Moses, Abraham, Muhammad, Zoroaster, the Bab and himself as Manifestations of God.