Or use Google to search for “Pictures of the Transfiguration”
Well, this story from the Bible is a strange one! In fact, it is almost in code. There are things in this story that stand for other things, and you probably would not be able to guess what they mean. It all happened when Jesus noticed that his disciples were getting nervous and confused. When they first joined up with Jesus, it was exciting. Jesus was very powerful—he did a lot of wonderful things. The disciples got to hang around with him; so many people thought they were special, too. That was sort of fun. Best of all, Jesus knew all about God, and when Jesus talked with the disciples and told them stories, they felt very, very close to God. The disciples all believed that they would and could do anything for Jesus.
But then, Jesus took them on a walking trip. They walked all the way from Galilee and now they were almost in Jerusalem. The disciples knew there were very powerful people in Jerusalem; people who were jealous of Jesus and wanted to hurt him. Jesus even said that he would die in Jerusalem! So no wonder they were nervous and confused. And they were sure that they must save Jesus from dying.
So one day, Jesus took Peter and James and John up a mountain. When they got to the top, they had a vision. Does anyone know what a vision is? [Accept all answers].
A vision is like having a dream when you are awake. God gave these men a vision—an awake dream. In the vision they saw Jesus with two famous men—Moses and Elijah. They had lived a very long time ago and were special helpers for God. Moses gave God’s law to the people and Elijah was a great prophet who told the people how God wanted them to act. Here is a picture of what their vision might have looked like. [ Let everyone see the picture]. Now Moses and Elijah together stood for the Bible—they each wrote some of it. So there is part of the code: Jesus is doing the right things—these special people who stand for the Bible agree with what Jesus is doing.
Then something else happened! A big shiny cloud came down and settled on top of the mountain. Now Peter and James and John knew the Bible well. They knew that a big cloud always was a way of saying that God was there! So there is more code: the cloud means God is there. Then the most amazing part of the vision happened: they heard God talking to them. God said, “Jesus is my Son! Listen to him!”
Then, all of a sudden, the vision was over. The three of them were there with Jesus. But they knew what the vision meant. It meant that Jesus was about to go through something very important, and the disciples had to stop telling him not to go to Jerusalem. They had to stop thinking of ways to protect Jesus. Jesus had something very important and very difficult to do. He needed the disciples to support him. We will see soon what it was that Jesus had to do.
Here is a coded message for you to solve [give each child a copy of the coded message].
1 23 4 56 7 89 *
G vs o yd l ey u
146 74283 94*
Write the letter that goes with the number on the line above. There is a coded message for you!
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan