Transfiguration (Mt 17:1–9)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church— Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
Jesus touching them said, “Rise and don’t be afraid.”
“This is My beloved Son; with Him I’m well pleased. Listen to Him.”


((3.)) Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

He did rise from the dead. That’s what Transfiguration’s really all about. Jesus doesn’t want to be known for Sinai type glory or mountain of transfiguration glory. He doesn’t want to be known as the big, powerful, almighty God. (He is those things, of course. He’s one with the Father, after all.) No, He wants to be known for His Calvary glory, His cross and death glory, but also His risen from the dead glory. It’s why He says don’t tell anyone until after “the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” It’s why the angel says to the women, “You seek Jesus who was crucified. He’s risen. He’s not here.”

We’re getting a preview of that today—80 days or so ahead of time. (It’s about 80 days until Easter Sunday.) But before He heads up Mt. Calvary, before He’s buried and raised on the mountain Jerusalem’s built on, Jesus heads up this “very tall mountain.” There He shines in glory. There a preview of what Jesus is all about: not just death, but resurrection, too—His FOR YOU.

Jesus is raised from the dead, and so we can rejoice today when looking at the movie-trailer version: the mountain of transfiguration.

((2.)) Jesus touching them said, “Rise and don’t be afraid.”

We live lives of fear. We’re afraid of so many things. Maybe we’re afraid of what the world’s coming to. Maybe we’re afraid of God and judgment because of our sinfulness like the disciples were. And each of us should consider how we don’t “fear, love, and trust in God above all things” when it comes to how we act in our day to day lives, but there is something we’re all afraid of: dying and death.

We’re afraid of death. Our heart stops, then what? Blackness. Nothingness. Death. But it’s not just that split second we worry about, that we’re—pun intended—scared to death of. We’re also afraid—maybe more so—about what happens before that. We’re afraid of dying. What if I get cancer? What if it’s Alzheimer’s? What if I linger? What if there’s pain? The list goes on and on.

He says to you, “Don’t be afraid.” Someday, the Last Day, He’ll tell you, “Rise!” Then no more fear. No more death. Not for you. Not ever. Why? Jesus has died and risen. He did it for you. He makes it yours. His death is your death. His resurrection is your resurrection. You will live forever. You will see Him face to face. You’ll be in your Father’s presence forever.

You will be raised from the dead. Jesus is raised, and His resurrection is yours. “Don’t be afraid.”

((1.)) “This is My beloved Son; with Him I’m well pleased. Listen to Him.”

Beloved Son of the Father: baptized for sinners, suffered for sinners, died for sinners, raised for sinners. The Father’s pleased with Jesus not just because He’s His eternal Son, but because Jesus does all that He does not for glory’s sake but for your sake—to save you from the dead.

We should listen to what He says. He’s risen from the dead, after all. Probably good to listen to someone who does that. We listen not only because He says, “Rise and have no fear.” His resurrection is your resurrection, and listening to Him is exactly how He makes His resurrection your resurrection.

“Listen to Him.” “I baptize you into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “Whoever believes and His baptized will be saved.”

“Listen to Him.” “I forgive you all your sins.” “If you forgive anyone His sins, they are forgiven.”

“Listen to Him.” “This is My Body and Blood, given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins.” “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will resurrect Him on the Last Day.”

“Listen to Him.” Listening to Him is resurrection, eternal life, and eternal peace.


The Son of Man is raised from the dead. He died for you. Rose for you. We get a preview of that today.

We don’t need to be afraid of death. He will raise us from the dead “to live before Him in righteousness and purity forever.” His resurrection didn’t just happen. His resurrection is yours. He makes it yours, and so we’re never afraid. Not of the world, not of death or even dying. Not anything. Because Jesus isn’t just about death. He’s about resurrection, too—His FOR YOU.

It is yours. “Listen to Him.” That’s how He makes it yours. Over your forehead. Into your ears. Into your mouth. We listen to Him not just cause it’s a good idea, not just cause we’re told to, but because in His Word is resurrection, eternal life, and eternal peace.


It has to be. He not only did it. He makes it yours. “Listen to Him.” “I baptize you.” You are baptized! “Listen to Him.” “I forgive you.” You are forgiven. “Listen to Him.” “My Body and Blood for you; I will resurrect you.” You are bodied and blooded. You will be resurrected. One day He’ll do it. One day, He’ll touch your grave and say, “Rise.” You don’t need to be afraid. LISTEN, JESUS’ RESURRECTION IS YOURS! He says so.



Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord (Lk 2:22–40)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO


The Lord’s Word gets filled up. It gets fulfilled. It gets done. Laws cherished and obeyed. Promises kept, made good on. The Lord takes care of it all Himself. It’s all done in Jesus. Jesus cherished the Laws and did them purely and with a pure heart. Jesus kept the promises of salvation. He not only did them, He finished them.

It doesn’t matter if the Lord spoke a command or a promise, either way Jesus fulfilled it: filled it up. He fills up the Laws 100%. He fills up the Promises, too—past overflowing. That’s what happens when Jesus comes. Everything gets filled up. Nothing’s left empty.

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All Saints’ Day—Observed (Rev 7:9–17)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:13–14)


They’re countless. They’re like the sand on the beach, the stars in the night sky. They’re Abraham’s promise fulfilled. In fact, he’s there, too. They’re “a thousand thousands.” (Dan 7:10) They’re “ten thousand times ten thousand.” (Dan 7:10) They’re countless—”a great crowd that no one can number. But they’re not nameless, faceless.

You know them. Well, some of them. You know their names. You know their faces. You know them. They know you. They’re your family members, your friends, but they’re also your brothers and sisters in Christ. They’re your fellow baptized. They trusted in the Lamb slain for them, they were given the white robe of His righteousness, they were washed, they were purified by the blood of the Lamb. Now, they are those “who have come out of the great tribulation” of this life. You know that about them. But you also know them, and because of what you know or maybe in spite of what you know about them, you love them.

But more important than you knowing them, or them knowing you is that the Lord knows them. John doesn’t quite know who they are, the elder knows who they are, but the Lord knows them, knows you, too. They’re His saints, His holy ones. You’re a saint, too. The Lord sanctifies you, He holies you, He “saints” you. He’ll also bring you through “the great tribulation” of life to Himself in heaven.

It might be “a great multitude that no one can number,” but they’re not nameless, faceless. They aren’t indistinguishable to the Lord. He knows them. He names them. He saves them. He “saints” them, holies them, sanctifies them. You, too!