A Glimpse of Glory
“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.” -
It would have seemed to be a day just like any other as James, John, Peter, and Jesus hiked up the mountain. Shortly before this trip, Jesus had been with the disciples and told them of his impending death and resurrection. It is hard to know what the disciples made of these words from Jesus; surely, they didn’t want to believe that their beloved friend and teacher must leave them let alone endure such cruelty and pain. Knowing them and all their feelings and confusion, Jesus told of a coming day when they would see the Kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1).
True to his word, Jesus led them to this mountain where Mark tells us that he was transfigured. Transfigured means that his outward form or appearance changed; Jesus did not change. He was still the incarnate God; but on this mountain, Jesus had his humanity pulled back so that these disciples could see into his divinity. Jesus and his clothes became dazzling white. Jesus was transfigured, and the disciples were transformed. For the first time, their eyes saw the true nature and glory of Jesus. Surely that was a sight they never forgot.
Joining Jesus in this moment of glory are the two great heroes of the Old Testament – Moses and Elijah. These men had served as forerunners to Jesus. Moses represented the law and Elijah represented the prophets. Both the law and the words of the prophets were fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Mark doesn’t share what Moses and Elijah discussed with Jesus, but Luke does fill us in on the conversation: “And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem”
(Luke 9:31-32). With these words, we continue to gaze at the divinity of Jesus as well as seeing the humanity of Jesus. The appearance of Moses and Elijah attested to divinity of Jesus was while they also ministered to the humanity of Jesus. They all knew the road ahead would be a difficult one, even for the Son of God.
The disciples were invited into this divine showcase of God’s glory shining in the person of Jesus Christ. Again, Jesus was transfigured to reveal his true nature, and the disciples were transformed by seeing this display of glory. This Sunday, we are also invited to gaze at the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ and to be transformed by him. Unfortunately, we probably don’t get to escape to a mountaintop without the distractions of this world. So, we must create the time and the space in our lives to behold the King of Glory, to be amazed at who he is and what he has done for us, and then to be transformed by his glory. When we truly gaze at him, we cannot remain the same! Reflection:
How will you make time to truly behold the Lord in his glory? Worship is our invitation to allow him to pull back the veil and to reveal himself to us. May we behold and then become the men and women he has created us to be.