We come now to our final study on the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 17. In this chapter, I want to make all of these truths we have learned practical in our lives. I want to summarize and apply the lessons we have learned. We must follow five instructions if we are to experience God’s glory.
The Apostle John reminded us of the glory of the Son. If you and I are going to experience transfiguration, we must worship Jesus Christ and give Him the preeminence in our lives. That’s the first instruction. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to reveal to the apostles the glory of Jesus Christ. Peter had just confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, and the Lord Jesus revealed that glory.
Never spend time looking at yourself. I meet Christians who are very introspective. They are constantly examining themselves, and they are constantly discouraged. The Word of God says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). This does not mean we should not examine our own hearts. The psalmist prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me” (Ps. 139:23,24). There is nothing wrong with good, sane, spiritual self-examination. But when you find something wrong with yourself, do not dwell on it. Immediately look to the Lord Jesus. He is the answer for every failure and sin. Take all of the faults and weaknesses that you have and bring them to Jesus.
I like the way the Transfiguration story ends. “And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save [except] Jesus only” (Matt. 17:8). Let that be the motto of your life—Jesus only. Never watch some preacher or some great Christian. Never imitate some great person whose biography you have read. Just keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ. A transfigured life begins by worshiping the Son of God and sharing in the glory of God’s Son. You cannot fellowship with Him very long without being transfigured. The Apostle John’s instruction to us is: Worship God’s Son.
If we could ask, “Peter, what would you say to us? We want to be transfigured Christians. What instruction have you for us?” Peter would say, “Spend time in the Scriptures.” You will remember that the emphasis from the Apostle Peter was the glory of the Scriptures. Peter assured us that we have the “more sure word of prophecy” (II Pet. 1:19(.
Apart from the Word of God there can be no glory. Man has no lasting glory. “The glory of man [is] as the flower of grass” (I Pet. 1:24). The grass grows up in the morning and is gone before the day is over. Man does not have any lasting glory. The glory of the great nations and civilizations is buried in the dust. Never worry about the glory of man. Never worry about how many trophies you are going to have on the shelf or how many plaques you will have on the wall. The glory of man does not last. But when the Word of God gets into your heart, the you start sharing the glory of God. Spend time daily in the Word of God if you want to share in the glory of the Scriptures.
Do you have a definite program of Bible reading and Bible study? Do you start your day by reading the Word of God, this “sure word of prophecy” (II Pet. 1:19), this light that shines in a dark world? I trust that you do. I recommend that you get a Bible reading schedule and start following it. Before you know it, you will have read through the entire Word of God. As you meditate on that Word, the Word transforms you. If you want to be a transfigured Christian, worship the Son of God, the glory of the Son, and spend time in the Word of God, the glory of the Scriptures.
© 2006, Warren Wiersbe
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).