“I wish I was there.” Have you ever said that or thought that before? It’s one thing to hear about something, or to see something on TV. But when you’re there. A friend of mine came back from a Packer game a few months ago – he talked about how awesome it was, the excitement of being part of the crowd. I listened to him, and I thought, I wish I was there. I saw it on TV – but it’s just not the same. A co-worker came back from a vacation – he told me his stories, showed me some of his pictures. I wish I could have been there.
I wish I could have been there with Peter James and John, when Jesus revealed his glory. The transfiguration. Can you imagine. They basically received a taste of heaven. Someday in heaven, you will see Jesus in all of his glory – he will shine brighter than the sun, and it won’t hurt your eyes to look at him. Someday in heaven, you will see all the people you’ve ever read about in the Bible – Moses, Elijah, and everybody else. They will be your friends in heaven. Jesus gave three of his disciples a taste of that, on the top of that mountain, many years ago. I wish I could have been there. But I wasn’t. And neither were you.
Why doesn’t Jesus do those kinds of things today? I don’t know about you, but I could use a boost in my faith once in awhile. Lord, show me your glory, I sometimes think. I believe what the Bible says about you. I believe that you are the Son of God, the Savior of the world. I believe that there is a heaven, and a resurrection from the dead on Judgment Day, and I believe that you’re coming back. But sometimes, Lord, I could use a boost in my faith. Sometimes I wish that you would pull back that curtain that you hide behind, and show me your glory!
Why doesn’t he? How does Jesus strengthen my faith today? We’re going to think about that as we ponder this amazing moment, the transfiguration of Jesus, three disciples received a taste of heaven. How does Jesus give us a taste of heaven today?
Those disciples saw something pretty amazing – Jesus’ face changed, his clothes changed, everything about him became very bright. For a moment in time, Jesus stopped hiding his glory, and there on that mountain they saw, with their own eyes, the Light of the world, God from God and Light from light. They saw two prophets that they had learned about every since they were little kids – Moses and Elijah. There they were, in all their glorious splendor, the Bible describes. And not only did they see those things – they heard things. They heard the voice of God the Father telling them that this Jesus who was shining so bright was the Son of God, and that they should listen to him. For a moment in time, heaven and earth came together on the top of that mountain, and it was so awesome, that Peter even said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.”
And then it was all over, and everything went back to the way it was, almost like it had never even happened. Why did Jesus do this? He was strengthening the faith of those three disciples. Very soon, Peter, James, and John would watch Jesus suffer and die. Very soon, the light of the world would be hidden by the darkness of sin and evil and death on Good Friday. Jesus saw this coming, and he loved his disciples. And so he put this image into their heads and into their hearts – he gave them a taste of heaven - so that they would know and believe that he really was the Son of God.