Thursday, February 4, 2016

Luke 9:28–36 Transfiguration & Transformation

KEY TEXT: Luke 9:28-29 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.

Prayer has a transforming and transfiguring effect on the pray-er. In the OT, Moses' transfiguration was largely superficial: only his face shone with God's glory and it faded with time. His "transfiguration" was a consequence of his “talking with God” on Mt Sinai for 40 days and nights. Jesus was also transfigured as he prayed, but unlike Moses, Jesus’ radiance was emanating from within himself (Mt. 17:2; Mk 9:2). But Jesus' transfiguration was not uniquely his experience, but was representative of all believers who have the same Holy Spirit as His. The Greek word translated as "transfigured" in Mt 17:2 & Mk 9:2 is metamorphoo. Paul uses the same word to describe all believers' experience in 2 Cor. 3:18--"we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed (metamorphoo) into the same image from one degree of glory to another." 

Since Jesus was transfigured when he was praying, it implies that believers would be similarly "transfigured" as they pray, though the glory emanating from them would not be as radiant as Jesus' because of our carnal nature. But such transfiguration and transformation is possible if we learn to pray like Jesus. 

Just as Jesus' transfiguration opens the door to the revelation of heavenly realities and God's speaking to his disciples, so it will be for a church that prays. A praying church attracts the cloud of God's glory into the assembly just as it happened to Jesus at the mountain. When God’s people learn to "behold the glory of the Lord" in praise and adoration, they will similarly receive spiritual revelations and hear God’s voice. Prayer begins with us talking to God but it will often ends with God showing us heavenly realities and speaking to us: “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!" (Luke 9:35-36)

Lord, may You teach us to pray like You have prayed, that we may experience the same transformation and experience spiritual realities of heaven. Amen.

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