The Transfiguration

To Remember: Jesus is above all others, He is God's Son

  • transfigure: to change, to transform
  • Messiah: anointed one, savior, chosen one
Lesson (also found in Matthew 17: 1-8, Mark 9:2-13)
Luke 9:28-36 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" -- not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
Life of Jesus Bingo The Jews waited for a Messiah, a savior, from God. Because the Messiah was described in scripture as a King and a mighty savior, they were expecting a man who would take control of the country and make Israel great again. But the scriptures also described the Messiah as a sacrifice, a man of peace, rejected by his people. Jesus performed many miracles to prove that he was from God, even though he wasn't a physical King or powerful ruler. This was confusing to many, even the disciples.
When Peter, James and John saw Jesus shining brightly and speaking to two powerful prophets of old, they were amazed. They wanted to worship. That in itself is a natural reaction. But Peter proposed that all three men be worshipped equally. All three men, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus were messengers from God. But only one, Jesus, was the Chosen one, the Anointed, the Messiah. To make this clear, God himself made himself known. He spoke to the disciples and told them to listen to Jesus, because this Messiah was not just a man, He was the very son of God.

Since we have the entire Bible to read, and we know how the story ends, it's hard for us to see how the disciples would be confused. But there are still people today who are confused about Jesus. Many people think He was simply a wise teacher. Others will say he was a messenger from God, but deny his deity. God himself said that Jesus is the savior of the world and His only begotten son. If we deny that, we make God a liar.

Discussion: Peter wanted to worship those who he knew were great. In Jewish times worship involved building a special place to offer prayers and sacrifices. What does our worship entail? How do we worship Jesus in our lives?

Craft: Build a tabernacle (tent). Use florist foam for the ground. Stick thin dowel rods at four corners to make the poles, and a slightly longer one in the middle to hold up the ceiling. Drape a small felt piece or cloth over, cutting a door on one side. Make a small alter inside from a small box or cardboard.

Sing:The wise man built his house...

True or False
  1. Jesus, Moses and Elijah were all messengers from God. T
  2. Peter, James and John later became messengers, too. T
  3. God appeared to the disciples in the flesh. F
  4. Jesus was transfigured when he put on nicer clothes. F
  5. Moses and Elijah spoke to the disciples. F
  6. Peter wanted to build a huge temple to Jesus. F
  7. The disciples stayed awake even though they were sleepy. T
Memory Work:
John 17:28 "I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father."

John 17:20-21 "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."
Review Questions for gameboard

 linguistic questions
  1. What is a Messiah?
  2. Describe how Jesus was transfigured.
  3. Name the 12 apostles.
  activity questions
  1. Build (or draw) tabernacles like Peter wanted to make.
  2. Name five books that Moses wrote.
  3. Play the "pea-in-a-shell" game. Place a token for Jesus, Moses and Elijah under three half-shells. Mix them up and have the student figure out which one is Jesus.
  emotion questions
  1. How do you think the disciples felt after seeing Jesus transfigured, two men from centuries before, and God speaking to them through a cloud?
  2. If you were the Son of God, and men treated you like any other man, how would you feel?
  3. In other passages, God says he was "pleased" with Jesus. Why was he pleased?
application questions
  1. What might have happened if Peter, James and John had succumbed to sleep?
  2. Give an example of how some people revere other men more than Jesus. (sports & movie stars, Mohammed)
  3. How can we show that we honor Jesus above all others?