One day Jesus asked Peter, James and John to take a hike. Mark 9:2 describes it as a high mountain, and the purpose was to be alone. I wonder what their conversation was like as they hiked the path. Did they admire the flowers and view? Did they discuss the amazing healings and other miracles they had seen? Did they feel “special” because Jesus selected them to go on this outing? We don’t know. What we know is that when they reached the stopping place, something strange happened.
As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. Wow, what a surprise. But that wasn’t the end. Moses and Elijah showed up and began talking with Jesus while the other three stood watching in amazement. Peter interrupts the conversation, Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified. (Bless dear Peter, I often fill in silly things when I don’t know what else to say too!)
But there is still more of this bizarre story! Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘this is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.’ Suddenly, when they looked around, Mose and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them. Whew, to hear God, the Father’s voice declaring, ‘This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him‘. How amazing. I believe that experience changed forever those three fellows. How do you hear the Father when He speaks these loving words? Do you hear His pride and concern that these men really get the heart of who and why Jesus came? I imagine they carried the words and tone of this voice forever. Do you think the Father is still trying to get His children to “listen to Him“? As they walked back down the mountain, Jesus asked them not to share the story until after His resurrection, leading them to even more pondering.
They were privileged to witness an aspect of who Jesus really is. They saw the holy power side of Him I often forget. Unless I need Him to work some miracles for me, I often forget He truly is, His Majesty. He had recently shared with them about his impending death and resurrection, but they didn’t comprehend it. The Jewish leaders taught the scriptures about the coming Messiah in the Synagogue, but I wonder if they focused on His power and might. Did they, like me, overlook the parts that told of his suffering? That is why I entitled this writing “Faith and Blinders”, because I believe there are areas where His followers still do not see clearly. We read His Word selectively. It is time to eat the whole plate. Not just the parts we like. His transfiguration showed forth His holiness and purity. It also talks about persecution, suffering and endurance for the believer. Are we prepared if that is where we find ourselves?
Philippians 2:10 declares at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. I believe that the transfigured Jesus is the one we will bow to. We will comprehend who it is that we call Lord, and have no other reaction than to bow to His Lordship, humbling ourselves before Him. We don’t have to wait till then, let’s start today.