15 MAY (PREACHED 1770)
The grand topics of heaven
‘And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elijah: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.’ Luke 9:30, 31
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Luke 9:28–36
If we had only heard that Moses and Elijah came down to converse with Jesus, we should have felt some desire or wish to know the subject of their conference. Here we are told, and it is worthy our notice. They spake not of such trifling incidents as the world accounts great, not of the rise and fall of kingdoms. Their conversation turned entirely upon him, his sufferings and the glorious event of his undertaking. These are the grand topics of heaven and heaven-born souls. Alas for poor mortals, to many of whom the Redeemer’s sufferings and glories, which is the delightful theme and song of angels, is tasteless, tedious and offensive. They spake of his decease or his departure—his Exodus—it is the word by which we call the book that relates the departure of Israel from Egypt and may be understood of:
(i) his departure out of life, in agonies and sufferings. This was foretold by Moses and the prophets; this was now confirmed by Moses and Elijah. It was an interesting subject to them. They were redeemed by that price which he was soon to pay. They saw more clearly the dignity of his person and the value of his redemption than we can do in this imprisoned state. We may believe they did not speak of it in that cold and careless manner which we often do.
(ii) his departure out of the world. When having completed his purpose, he would return victorious to heaven. As he had his sufferings in view, so likewise his glory.
FOR MEDITATION: Let us learn to imitate the glorified saints and talk more of Jesus, what he has done and what he is doing where he is. Let us aspire to be with them that we may know more and praise better. We are too much tied to the things of sense, too willing and well satisfied to live at a distance from our home. Our willingness to wait the Lord’s time for our dismission should be an act of submission and resignation to his will—and not because we are pleased with the world. Salvation—a good hope that you shall join the heavenly host.
SERMON SERIES: ON THE TRANSFIGURATION, NO. 5 [3/3], LUKE 9:30–31