I listened to S. Lewis Johnson preach on the Transfiguration of Christ last Saturday on Expositor.fm, the 24-hour expository preaching station. It was an astounding and convicting and beautiful sermon expounding on the moments when Jesus was transfigured into His glory on top of the mountain in front of Peter, John, and James, and was seen talking with Moses and Elijah. Johnson said that he was surprised to learn that though there are many sermons about Jesus’ life, including His birth, His Baptism, His Temptation, His crucifixion, and His Ascension, but not His Transfiguration. It is a greatly neglected moment in Jesus’ life, he said. Johnson opened his sermon, **The Transfiguration of Christ, this way
One of the most astonishing of our Lord’s experiences, the one occasion in which the bright beams of his glory blaze through the sack cloth covering of his humanity, is the transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
In this next portion of the sermon, Johnson stresses the change on the inward man when communing with Jesus.
Matthew’s account stresses the inward. For the word, metamorphoo, which is the word that is used here—we get the English word metamorphosis from it—is a word that refers to the transformation of the essential character or essential being of a person. And the text says, he was transfigured before them. So I think that what is involved here is a glorification of the Son in anticipation of the historical glorification of the Son. In other words, in the way he was transfigured, there is a transfiguration not only of the outward but also of the inward. And you’ll notice, too, that it says his face shone like the sun and his raiment was white as the light. Isn’t that striking? Even his garments took on a different look.
Now I think we all know that when a person is in the presence of God, transformation takes place in that person. Moses was in the mount receiving the law and when he came out his face so shone before the children of Israel that they feared to approach him. And you’ll remember that he had to put a veil on his face, which he took off when he went in again before the Lord. And after he finished speaking with the children of Israel giving the message, he put on the veil again. They were afraid to approach him.
Stephen, who was communing with the Lord even in his death when they were stoning him to death, had a face so they said that looked like the face of an angel. In other words, communion with the Lord Jesus transforms a man’s not only outward look but even his inward being. Paul puts its doctrinally when he says, we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image and from glory to glory. It is true that communion with the Lord Jesus ennobles the whole man, ennobles his soul, ennobles his appearance, ennobles his gestures, ennobles his habits.
Lord let our eyes be be transfixed on Jesus always, reading Your word and praying diligently,
Lord, let our inward and outward man be transfigured into His likeness, which is beauty personified, holiness and goodness,
Then let us be translated into glory at Your timing,
Forever to transcend sin, death, and hell, to dwell in eternity with You and Your angels, the Spirit, and the Father.
**Note: the sermon to which I’ve linked is not the exact same sermon of which I had heard. That sermon was called The Son is Transfigured. However I was unable to find that exact sermon, which went into other details I enjoyed hearing about. I emailed and the reply was that sometimes the radio stations RefNet and Expositor.fm have access to some sermons that have not been made public and it’s likely that was one of the sermons I’d heard. For all intents and purposes though, the point remains the same- there are not many sermons on the subject of the Transfiguration, this is a good one, and I urge you to study it from a good and credible preacher and to read the passages yourself and enjoy the insights the Spirit will bring to mind. 🙂