The Transfiguration of Christ was a remarkable event that carried significance in multiple ways. The Transfiguration demonstrated God’s glory and showed who Jesus was. It also revealed to the disciples, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were putting their faith in the true Son of God. This message communicates that to children, reminding them that we can trust in God’s power and know who Jesus is.
Law/Gospel Theme: It is essential to our faith that Jesus was the true son of God, and that He lived and died for us. We want to be sure that we are following the right leader and putting our hope in something that lasts. Although we may not see Him with our eyes or hear His voice, we can trust in the work that Christ did, and know that He is our savior and redeemer. Believing in the Bible reminds us of His power and authenticity.
Optional Materials: Baking soda, baking powder, vinegar
Bible Passage: Mark 9:2-9
Message: (Note: adjust to your particular preferences and needs, as with every suggested message. This is one simple way to discuss the concept of testing truths.)
More Teaching Ideas on this Scripture
- Watch the video demonstration on our YouTube channel
- Download our full Sunday School Lesson on the Transfiguration
- Compare the Mark 9:2-9 children’s sermon from rfour.org
- Compare the Transfiguration Lesson from Mission Bible Class
- Compare the Matthew version of the Transfiguration Lesson
Transfiguration of Christ Children’s Sermon (Mark 9:2-9)
Greet students, carrying containers of supplies.
Hello, children of God!
I seem to have a bit of a problem here… (Look concerned and hold up two containers, one with baking powder and one with baking soda.) See, I am planning to make a cake, and I’m quite excited about it. This is going to be a delicious treat to share with my family. However, I have gotten myself mixed up with my ingredients. The recipe calls for baking soda. I know it’s important to use baking soda because that will react on a chemical level with other ingredients, and it will make my cake nice and fluffy. Otherwise, I might wind up with a flat pancake. But I’m not sure which of these is baking soda, and which is baking powder. They look the same. They don’t really smell like anything. But I have to put the right ingredient in my cake or it won’t turn out right!
Actually, I have an idea…I think I can test my ingredients to see which is the right one! Right here I have some vinegar (hold up vinegar in a clear container). Now, I happen to know that if I put baking soda with vinegar, something will happen. They react together. If I add baking powder to vinegar, nothing much will occur. So I can test which one of these is the correct ingredient. Let me see… (Take a small amount of one of the ingredients. If you wish to try the powder first, to demonstrate that nothing will happen, you might want to have an extra glass of vinegar.) Well, that one didn’t do much. Let me try this other white powder… (Warning: a little goes a long way when it comes to baking soda and vinegar! Try to have paper towels or a tarp handy). Wow! Did you see that? I guess that was the baking soda. It certainly transformed when it hit the vinegar. Something remarkable just happened. And now I know which ingredient I should use, too!
You know, there was a remarkable transformation in the Gospel story today. In fact, it was something that gave identity proof, just like the vinegar proved which item was baking soda. In the story, Jesus took a few of His disciples up onto a mountain. Now, these disciples had been hanging around Jesus for a little while. I would think that after seeing Him teach and perform miracles, they had a pretty good idea of who He was. But it’s possible they still had some doubts or uncertainties. They may have been hoping for some proof to be sure they were following the right person and truly placing their trust in something genuine. In those days there were often people who pretended to be prophets or sent from God, but truly weren’t. On that mountain, though, the disciples got some amazing proof. Right before their eyes, Jesus changed. His clothes became super white, and Elijah and Moses showed up. Then a cloud came over them, and a voice announced “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” That had to be pretty clear and obvious. If Peter, James, and John didn’t know for sure before, they certainly did then. They heard God announce that Jesus was His son, and command that they listen to Him! That must have been quite an amazing experience.
What about us? We appreciate who Jesus is, and we know that He went to the cross and rose again for us. At the same time, though, sometimes we want proof. Sometimes we wish that we had facts and evidence to support our faith. We don’t have the experience of hearing God’s voice speak out loud, or seeing Jesus in the clouds. We have some great evidence all around us, as we see the mighty work of God’s hands. But we also recognize that to some extent, we have to trust what the Bible tells us. We want to make sure that our hope is in the right person, just as I wanted to make sure the right ingredient went into my cake. In the Bible, Jesus said that we are blessed when we believe in Him without seeing Him with our eyes. Is it okay to doubt sometimes? Sure…but ultimately, we return to the truth of Scripture. Jesus is God’s son, and we listen to Him when we read His word, pray, and come to church. We give thanks for His life and for His body of believers. And we can ask God to help us continue in our faith and understanding. Why don’t we do that now?
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for the truth of your Word
Help us to trust in that
And to keep our faith in you
Even when we can’t feel or see you
Thank you for taking care of us
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.