Summary: Wake Up to Jesus’ Glory 1) In his light on top of the Mt. of Transfiguration 2) In his flight down from the Mt. of Transfiguration
Have you ever had someone wake you to catch a particularly beautiful sunrise? That happened to me while I was camping on Padre Island in Texas. I woke with a start when someone threw sand at the side of my tent, just about where my ear was pressed up against the canvass. When I stumbled out of my tent to see what the deal was I was greeted with a wonderful panorama. The eastern sky looked like a layered cake with orange, red, and pink frosting. These colors were also reflected in the water and on the wet sand so that it seemed as if I was standing in the middle of a frosting dish. I was still tired and sleepy, but I was glad to have been awakened to catch such a glorious sight.
This morning the Holy Spirit invites you to wake up to Jesus’ glory. You’ll do that as you take in his light on top of the Mt. of Transfiguration, and as you take in his flight down from the Mt. of Transfiguration. So rub all sleep from your eyes now and give the Holy Spirit your full attention, for he will help make sense of what Jesus’ transfiguration means for you.
Six months before his crucifixion Jesus took three of his disciples, Peter, James, and John on a hike up a tall mountain. At first the disciples may have thought this was just another one of Jesus’ prayer retreats. It was not unusual for Jesus to withdraw from the crowds and to climb a mountain to be alone to pray. And sure enough, that’s what Jesus did when he reached the top of this mountain; he prayed. He must have prayed for some time because the disciples fell asleep. But then something spectacular happened. Jesus’ clothes started to shine with a white as brilliant as a flash of lightning. As the disciples stirred awake and rubbed their eyes, they also saw that Jesus’ face was shining with a sunlight intensity! The cause of this brilliance was not a spotlight beaming on Jesus as if he was some rock star on a concert stage about to rip off a guitar solo. This dazzling light was coming from within Jesus!
The disciples had never seen Jesus like this before, but it should not have surprised them. After all, just six days earlier Peter had said to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Here now was that truth revealed in all of its glory – Jesus radiating with a divine brightness. It’s good for us to see Jesus like this too, for like Peter we also have confessed of Jesus: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And yet we sometimes wonder don’t we? Is Jesus really God? Is my faith in him well founded? The Christian author Donald Miller once mused with an unguarded honesty: “The goofy thing about Christian faith is that I believe it and don’t believe it at the same time. I believe in Jesus; I believe he is the Son of God, but every time I sit down to explain this to somebody I feel like a palm reader, like somebody who works at a circus or somebody at a Star Trek convention who hasn’t figured out the show isn’t real.”