Sermon Outline On Mark 9:2-9
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Have you had a moving mountain moment? Today I want to talk about moving mountain moments. When was your last moving mountain experience? Let me put it this way. When was the last time you were moved to do something as a result of a Holy encounter with Jesus Christ? When was the last time you were inspired to act as God’s representative out of a close encounter of the Holy kind? Is it possible that we may have had a Holy encounter and didn’t even know it?
Jesus takes Peter, James and John up on the mountain. They should have been prepared for something awe inspiring happening. After all the mountain is the place where we encounter God. Moses was on the mountain when he encountered God in a burning bush. He was on the mountain when God presented him with the ten commandments. It was on a mountain that the prophets of Baal were defeated by Elijah’s God.
It was on the mountain that Peter, James and John witnessed Jesus in his heavenly glory. His garments became dazzling white. Jesus was in the company of Moses, the law giver, and Elijah, the great prophet. It was such an awe inspiring moment that all Peter could think to say was “Let’s build 3 houses right here on this spot.” This is great. We should just stay up here. Oswald Chambers has a great term for that. He calls it spiritual selfishness. Endnote That is the idea of keeping our spiritual experiences to ourselves. It must have been an incredible moment. It was a moving mountain moment.
So what is this story all about. It was quiet an experience. Was this transfiguration for the benefit of Jesus or these three disciples. I think it is worthy to note at this point that scripture has been given to us as a way of knowing about our God, ourselves, and our relationship with God.
This passage tells us something about human nature. I believe that this moving mountain moment was intended for the benefit of those three disciples. It was an awe inspiring moment. It was a time of inspiration. I believe that we learn from this passage that we humans need inspirational moments. We NEED times when events are aimed at our hearts and not our heads. It is in our nature to be spurred on to incredible acts by moving mountain moments. As a matter of fact it is these moving mountain moments that create in us the ability to move mountains.
Oswald Chambers suggests that these moving mountain moments are not meant to teach us anything, but rather are meant to make us something. Endnote Jesus was not the only one transformed on that mountain that day. Peter, James and John were transformed by that experience. How could it otherwise be? It would be impossible for them to be the same before and after this moment.
For example, while Peter continues to do some pretty dumb things like deny knowing Jesus after having sworn he would stand firmly by him, Peter on Pentecost Sunday preaches a sermon that results in 3000 people being baptized. Peter would be able to reach back to this experience with Jesus on the mountain and find inspiration for his ministry. This moving mountain moment has been described by Halford Luccock as a great memory to which they could return. Endnote Do you think maybe Peter returned to that great memory as inspiration for that first Christian sermon?
We humans are like that. We need moving mountain moments that offer inspiration which leads to productive perspiration. You have probably seen it on television. A sports team that is being soundly defeated in the first half of the game who returns in the second half to win. Why? Because of the moving mountain moment provided by a coach at half time.
I love another expression that Oswald Chambers uses. He writes about spiritual leakage. My truck battery leaked this week. No, not acid or water. The electrons just leaked right out. That battery was as dead as a door nail. Have you ever felt that way spiritually? Do you relate to that term spiritual leakage? One way to plug a spiritual leak is an awe inspiring encounter with Jesus Christ.
We are human. We need spiritual jump starts. We need moving mountain moments so we can move mountains for the Lord. We experience spiritual leakage and need a fill-up. As the TV commercial goes: How long has it been since you had a … holy, awe inspiring encounter with God. Well that’s too long.
We are human, and we can set ourselves up for success or failure.