Luke 9:28-36, NIRV
Jesus’ Appearance Is Changed
28About eight days after Jesus said this, he went up on a mountain to pray. He took Peter, John, and James with him. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed. His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in shining glory. Jesus and the two of them talked together. 31They talked about how he would be leaving them soon. This was going to happen in Jerusalem. 32Peter and his companions had been very sleepy. But then they became completely awake. They saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. 33As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter spoke up. “Master,” he said to him, “it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters. One will be for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter didn’t really know what he was saying.
34While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them. The disciples were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35A voice came from the cloud. It said, “This is my Son, and I have chosen him. Listen to him.” 36When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept quiet about this. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
Candy Heart Words: “U R Special”
Today is Transfiguration Sunday. Wow! That is a big word. “Transfiguration” means to change the way something or someone looks. On this day, we remember how Jesus went up on a mountaintop with his disciples and showed them just how special he was.
Jesus told his disciples, his close friends, that he would die but later be raised from the dead by God. Before you answer, remember that they believed the true Messiah would never die. God would never let anything bad happen to Jesus. Now Jesus is telling his closest followers that religious and political leaders would kill him. How do you think the disciples looked when Jesus told them that bad things were going to happen to him? Show me on your faces how the disciples faces must have looked. (Let the children act out the sad emotions on their faces.) Yes, they must have been very sad and confused.
Just eight days after Jesus told them this sad news, he chose three of the disciples, James, John, and Peter, to climb up a mountain with him. Let’s all pretend that we are climbing together. (Have children pantomime climbing motions.) Whew! All that climbing made me tired. Let’s sit down and rest like the disciples did when they arrived at the top of the mountain. (Have children sit down together on the floor.) Jesus took the disciples with him up that mountain to pray, but the disciples were very tired. They did pray for a while. (Have children fold hands like they are praying.) Pretty soon, they got so tired that they fell asleep. (Have children act out sleeping on the floor. Include a yawn and stretch.)
While Jesus was praying, his face and clothes began to glow like a light was shining inside him. His clothes turned bright white and glowed. Two famous prophets from the Old Testament—Elijah and Moses—suddenly were there talking to Jesus. What do you know about Elijah and Moses? (Let children answer.) The disciples woke up and saw the brightness and glory of Jesus, and they saw the two figures talking with him. They were shocked and they couldn’t speak! Show me on your faces how the disciples looked when they saw Jesus glowing and those prophets standing in front of them. (Make an amazed look on your face and invite the children to do the same.) Do you think this answered questions they had about Jesus or just gave them more questions? (Allow children to answer.) One thing is certain, this was a day that the disciples would remember for the rest of their lives.
Jesus was showing his disciples that he was truly special. Even if bad things might happen, he was the Son of God.
Today’s candy heart says, “U R Special.” I wonder how the disciples felt with Jesus showing them that.
I wonder how you feel knowing that Jesus is very, very special.
I wonder how you can share that feeling with others.
Jesus wanted to remind the disciples that no matter what happens, no matter how sad they might feel, or how bad things might seem, Jesus was special. He was God’s Son. He would always be there to help them. He wants each of us to remember the same things.
This is what we celebrate on Transfiguration Sunday.
Each week for our prayer, instead of praying hands, we will shape our hands like hearts to remind us of love. Can you place your hands in this position? (Position your hands like this:)
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for always being near us to love and help us in all situations. Remind us over and over again how very special you are and how very blessed we are to have that love and help. Amen.