Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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Transfiguration – February 10 – Heb. 3:1-6 “The Greater Glory Of Jesus”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Epistle Lesson just read, Heb. 3:1-6.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • The Old Testament Lesson informed us of the glory of Moses, that “there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.” 
  • That is, none greater than Moses “had appeared” until the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose glory was revealed in His transfiguration on the mount in front of Peter, John, and James – as described in the Gospel Lesson.  This “GREATER GLORY OF JESUS” is discussed in our text – and we are instructed to “consider Jesus,” with Whom we “share in a heavenly calling.”  His glory is compared and contrasted with that of Moses, who was the greatest Old Testament prophet and leader of God’s people. 
  • The “glory” of Moses is difficult for us to get a handle on.  When I was a young lad he seemed so awesome and intimidating that I really didn’t want to get to know him that well.  Later on, as I read more carefully of all of his shortcomings, foibles, weaknesses, and failures – I had less opinion of him.  Yet, as we think more carefully of all that God privileged and blessed Moses to accomplish – in spite of all of his weaknesses and failings – Moses becomes a person of remarkable stature, for whom we are compelled to have great respect. 
  • Yet in comparison to the LORD Jesus Christ, there really is no comparison, for:

 

I.  Jesus Is The LORD God, The Builder And Master Over God’s House, The Church

 

Text:  “For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses – as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. [For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.]  Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful OVER God’s house as a Son.”

 

Statement:  Again, the glory of Moses is immense – it is hard to imagine all that God graced Moses to do and accomplish.  Yet Moses was a servant IN God’s house – not the Master of the house.  Jesus, as the Son of God, is Master OVER God’s house.  His glory is revealed in His transfiguration, and from this we see that Moses’ glory was derived – derived from His relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  In regard to their relative glory – Moses’ glory is that of an inanimate “thing,” a house.  Christ’s glory is that of Creator and Builder of all things, the glory of God Himself. 

 

Application:  So within the church the same dynamics prevail.  Those who are part of the “house,” the holy Christian church, who are believers in Christ, have tremendous glory – and we dare not overlook this.  But it is all a “derived” glory – derived from our relationship with the Creator and Master of the Church, the glorious Lord Jesus Christ!  So, though we are tremendously blessed and privileged to be “servants” IN God’s house, we do not “build” the church, but rather the glorious Lord Jesus Christ builds and reigns OVER the church.  If this is true in our congregation, then we are part of HIS church; BUT if we are the ones reigning and ruling over this congregation, then it is not even part of Christ’s true church!  For where His church is, He is reigning OVER it!   This reality should be pondered quite carefully!

 

Transition:  This reality is made quite clear in our text, that:

 

II.  We Are God’s House If We Hold Fast Our Faith In Christ, Our Confidence In Him, And Boast Only In The Hope That He Has Given Us

 

Text:  “And now we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”

 

Statement:  When we read about Moses we quickly see that he had virtually no confidence in himself [other than his foolish youthful confidence that almost destroyed his life].  He even struggled, as we do, with getting to a point where he had great confidence in God!  And only when his confidence was in God alone could he be “faithful in all God’s house as a servant.”  And his calling was “to testify” to Christ, to the glories of God’s salvation in Christ Jesus that were coming later in human history.  This glory of God has now come – and all blessings are contingent upon our relationship with Jesus Christ, whether or not we “hold fast our confidence” in Christ Jesus, our faith in His gracious forgiveness and mercy – so that our only “boasting” is Christ, Who alone has given us hope! 

 

Application:  Just as with Moses, we can only be “faithful in all God’s house as a servant” through faith, trust, and total confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I presume, no I know, that for most of you, there is nothing you want more than for this congregation to be “God’s house.”  I also know that for most of you, you have no desire but to be a “faithful servant” in God’s house.  This can only happen by understanding the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, and having full confidence in Christ Jesus!   Our faithfulness is directly dependent upon this – and there is no glory except that derived from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ! 

 

Transition:  And remarkable as it may seem to us – beyond what we might ever have imagined, this is precisely God’s will for us, that we be blessed to share in His glory, for:

 

III.  Through Faith In Jesus Christ We Share In A Heavenly Calling – And We Also Share In His Glory, Just As Moses Did

 

Text:  “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.”

 

When discussing the “derived” glory that shone from Moses’ face after his encounters with God, the apostle Paul talks about the consequences of our having faith and confidence in Christ Jesus, and assures us:

 

2 Cor. 3:18  “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

 

 

Statement:   Did you hear that?  “We all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”   This is all part of the “heavenly calling” which we share through faith in Jesus Christ.  This is the life of the church – beholding His glory in His precious Word and in the Sacrament of His body and blood, “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”  This transformation is Christ’s “building,” His “creating” and “constructing” of His church.  This glory is not some “visible radiance” as it was with Moses, but it shines forth just as brightly in the very “being” of all who spend time “with Jesus,” that is, in all those who truly know Him, who truly believe in Him, and who “hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”

 

Application:  So, the glory of Moses was awesome – and so also is the glory of those within the church today, those who truly are “beholding the glory of the Lord.”  His glory is beyond compare – He is the Builder and Master OVER the church, indeed over the entire cosmos!  But what a wondrous privilege it is that we too, in our heavenly calling in Christ Jesus, are blessed and privileged to accomplish great things as “faithful servants in God’s house” and to also bear His glory. 

 

What a sad and horrific waste it is when people who are here – in God’s house, do not even recognize this blessedness, but rather see all of this as only “their” church, and hence do not “behold the glory of the Lord” and so bear none of His glory.  The sad, pathetic drabness of their appearance and of their hearts and spirits is a stark contrast to those being “transformed into Christ’s image from one degree of glory to another.”   We should all stop and consider all of this very carefully!

 

Conclusion:  How blessed we are if we understand the nature of Christ’s glory – especially all that He has done for us and for our salvation, so that we “share in His heavenly calling.”  How blessed we are if though true and genuine faith and confidence in Christ Jesus “we are His house.”  For then we are also sharing in His glory – and are blessed to be “faithful in His house.”  And the future is even more glorious for us – for our calling is a “heavenly calling”!  Thanks and praise be to God, our Lord Jesus Christ!  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.