Before the Session

Facilitator: In advance of the session

  • Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
  • Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
  • In many instances, the full meaning of a passage is hard to grasp from a single translation. Having a few different versions available may help the group understand and apply today’s passage.
  • Encourage your group to listen to the FaithElement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media).

Context

Start by asking:

  • When have you had a close encounter with God?
  • How do such moments feel for you and how do you typically respond?
  • In what ways do such experiences affect you afterward?
  • Why don’t they last long, and do you think we don’t have experiences like these more often?

Content

Read Luke 9:28-43a, and watch the Bible Background Video before asking the group:

  • We read several times in the gospels that Jesus went up on the mountain to pray alone, so why do you think he might have chosen to take Peter, James, and John with him too?
  • How might they have known it was Moses and Elijah the Jesus was talking with?
  • Why are these two men significant considering who Jesus is and what he’s doing?
  • What does Peter ask, and what does it say about how he’s feeling?
  • In what way is the voice different from what was heard at Jesus’ baptism and for whose benefit do you think the voice speaks?
  • Why do you think Peter, James, and John kept this experience to themselves?
  • What effect might this contrast between the mountain top and the healing incident have had on Jesus and his disciples?
  • Why do you think Luke placed this story directly after the Transfiguration, and why do you think he told it the way he did?
  • Since Jesus is aware of the events that will lead to his arrest and death, what effect might the transfiguration have had on Jesus in this crucial time?

Closure

Continue by asking

  • Even though we often want our “mountain-top” experiences to last forever, why don’t they?
  • In what ways can God use such experiences at crucial times in our lives?
  • Even though we can’t conjure these experiences, how can we make ourselves open to them?
  • How might we process experiences like these in ways that allow us to recall and gain strength from them later?
  • What can having such experiences on our part enable us to do for others and why?

Close with prayer.

Writer: Jon Parks

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