Transfiguration by Lodovico Carracci
The Transfiguration, 1594

Three of the four biographies of Jesus describe an occasion when his appearance was transfigured. But, really, so what? What makes the transfiguration significant is that it reveals how much Jesus already changed before it ever happened. Pastor Luke teaches from Luke 9:28–43 in “Transfigured.”

Talk It Over

OPEN. 1. When have you had to meet someone (at an airport, for example) that you hadn’t seen before? How did you identify each other?

UNPACK. Read Luke 9: 28–36.

2. Compare Luke 9: 29 with its parallels (Matthew 17: 2, Mark 9: 2–3). (Matthew and Mark say Jesus was “transfigured”—literally, he was metamorphosed—but Luke only says “his appearance changed.”) How much do we learn about Jesus’ transfigured appearance?

3. Both Moses and Elijah experienced an appearance of God (Moses in Exodus 33: 18–20, Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11–13). How are the events of the Transfiguration similar? How is it different? What does God look like?

4. Do you think the disciples were meant to witness this event? What evidence in the passage supports your view?

5. Read Luke 9: 18–20. What question does Jesus ask his disciples? How does the Transfiguration (here) answer it?

APPLY. 6. Think of times when you were at a spiritual high point or felt especially close to God. Which is closer to how you felt then: “More, please!” or “Thanks! What’s next?” Why? Is one better than the other?

7. The disciples saw Jesus’ glory (v. 32). Does this passage make you more eager, or less, to see it yourself? Why?

8. What specific command does God give from the cloud to the disciples? How would you rate your obedience? What is one thing you could do to improve?