Using a Transformer toy to explain the transfiguration will probably make it clearer to children than any other device! Borrow one from a friend if your own child doesn’t own one, and teach this very simple object lesson on what had happened with Moses and Elijah when they were seen on Mount Tabor.
Transformer Transfiguration: An Object Lesson using a Transformer!
– Transformer toy
Hold up the transformer in its “lesser” form. How many of you know what this is? They should all know.
Do any of you know what this particular Transformer transforms into? They may not only know but may want to demonstrate. Allow them to, but ask them to return it to its “lesser” form before you proceed.
A transformer is a great toy because it shows us how one thing can become another thing – a bigger and better and more useful thing.
When it comes to ourselves and our spirits, we need to think of ourselves as a little like Transformers. We are one thing. Hold the toy up.
We see each other all the time. We know each other’s personalities – we know bits and pieces about each other’s lives.
What we don’t always see are our capabilities. We don’t see the things we are becoming in our spirits when we follow Christ.
The story of the Transformation goes like this. Jesus took His three closest disciples, James, John and Peter, up Mouth Tabor. When they got up there a cloud formed over them. But instead of being dark like clouds usually are, the cloud got very bright because the light of God was in it.
Moses and Elijah came out of the cloud. We don’t know exactly what they looked like. We don’t know if they were introduced to the disciples or if they somehow just recognized them.
We do know this. Moses and Elijah were probably the most important Old Testament prophets. When they were alive, like we are alive, they did not look like they did at the Transformation.
Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt. It was a long, arduous, dusty, dirty, grimy period of testing and growth for the Hebrews. It lasted 40 years.
Moses was often covered in sweat, with desert sand in his hair and in his beard, and his feet were probably beyond dirty.
Elijah once ran off into the desert because he was so depressed. It was hot. He was dehydrated and exhausted. He sought out the only shade in order to speak to God, and it was under a tree so little it did not even cover him. At that point in his humble existence, Elijah was probably more grimy than Moses was.
These two men and the people who listened to them had to believe by faith. In the natural, they were dirty grimy human beings. But everyone sort of knew what was going on in their spirits.
Transform the Transformer, or have a child do it. Hold it up again as the new thing.
In their spirits, they were becoming this. What the disciples saw was this version of them.
In our spirits, if we stay close to Jesus and let him work in us, we are all becoming stronger, cleaner, bigger, more powerful and more useful to Him.
Why can’t we be like this now? Why can’t God just snap his fingers and get the job done and over with? Let them try to answer.
The Apostle Peter wanted to know the same thing. He asked Jesus, “Can I build tents for Moses and Elijah, and can we just stay up here?” He could feel his own more powerful form starting to come out. He liked what he was seeing – the completed picture of his two favorite Bible heroes.
The answer was “no.” Start returning the transformer to its original shape.
We are not Transformers really. I mean that in the sense that we are not God’s toys. We are real people. He made us real, and the way we transform is through living our lives, walking in His footsteps, and learning from our experiences.
Hold up the Transformer again.
Philippians 1:6 reads, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” We are not God’s toys. But we are a little like His Transformers. We will be transformed.
Let’s try this week to take pauses with God. Let’s try to feel deep deep down inside of ourselves for what changes are going on. Let’s keep asking God to share with us the transformations He is doing in us so we can be glad”¦and look forward to our personal transfiguration with Him.