Summary: Why doesn't Jesus show us his glory today? How does Jesus strengthen my faith today?
“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.
But what about us? Lord, show us your glory. Aren’t there times when you need a boost in your faith? I know that Jesus promises to be with me always, but sometimes I feel like I’m all alone in this world. I know that Jesus is in control of all things – in control of my life, in control of the whole world. But when I look at how much of a mess the world is in, when I look at my own messy life, I sometimes forget that Jesus is in control. I sometimes doubt it. Lord, show me your glory! Let me see your light!
And what about all the times I have sinned? I know that Jesus says he forgives me and that he purifies me. But look at all of my sins! I have not loved God above all other things. I have not loved others in the way that Jesus has loved me. Have you ever thought about all the times you’ve fallen short as a husband or a wife? As a father or a mother? As a son or a daughter? Have you been perfect? Just think of all the times you didn’t put forth your best at work? Why didn’t you pray more this week? Why didn’t you read the Bible more this week? What is wrong with you? Have you ever pondered your sins? Sometimes it is hard to believe that God really forgives me and loves me when I think of my sins. Lord, show me your glory!