~by Randy Bushey
For He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:17).
Can you imagine what it would be like – the experience seared into your memory – to have witnessed the Transfiguration of Christ?
Only 3 disciples – Jesus’ inner circle – were invited to be a part of something they would never forget – that would shape their character and understanding of God for the rest of their days. We are unsure where this occurred, but likely atop Mt. Tabor which gives a panoramic view of the region of Galilee including the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee. However, the disciples were less impressed by the view than by the radiant glory of the One who created it all.
Suddenly, Jesus’ appearance changed in a way that was difficult to describe. Each of the Synoptic gospel writers try:
-Matthew 17:2 His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
-Mark 9:3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.
-Luke 9:29 …the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Luke tells us that the 3 disciples witnessed something unique, unseen by any other person: “they saw his glory” (v.32). Something they observed reflected the unparalleled value, dignity, honour and uniqueness of this One, the God-Man.
I wonder if they thought back to Moses’ experience, almost 1500 years earlier on a different hill, Mount Sinai. We are told that when Moses came down from the mountain after having received the tablets of stone bearing the Law of God, his face shone with the reflected glory of God.
But Jesus was different – His was not a reflected glory. He is God. He is the Source of refulgent glory. The unnamed New Testament writer said it succinctly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3).
Here’s what’s particularly intriguing to me: Matthew, Mark and Luke recorded the event, but were not present. The one gospel writer who was there – John – chose not to include this event in his own gospel narrative record.
But he did allude to it: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Takeaway: Father, please continually increase my potential to appreciate the uniqueness of Your Son. And enlarge my capacity to reflect His glory through the prism of my life.
John Piper’s words sharpen the focus: we were “made to be prisms refracting the light of God’s glory into all of life.”
- graphic by Keran McKenzie, freeimages.com
~ a form of this post first appeared in February 2013.