CATCHING A GLIMPSE OF GOD’S GLORY! In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 17 we find one of the most astonishing events in the life of Jesus and the Apostles. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him up to a mountain to pray. As Matthew describes the event, “There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus,” (v.2, 3 NIV). Peter, in his usual haste wanted to build three “shelters” to honor the three but God interrupted the process; “While he (Peter) was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him,” (v.5 NIV). Terrified the Apostles fell flat on their faces. This seems to be the reaction throughout the pages of the Bible when people really encounter God. Who knows how long the Apostles would have remained in that position except for the actions of Jesus. “But Jesus came and touched them, ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘Don’t be afraid,’” (v.7 NIV). The following verse says something about what our encounter with God should produce in our lives, “When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus,” (v.8 NIV).
Theologians have been writing about this passage of Scripture since the first century. They have poured over every word, indeed every letter of the text, in order to give us the meaning of this passage. Indeed it would be worth your time to study this passage in detail. Suffice it to say in our reflections today that in this passage we see a glimpse of the glory of Jesus and our Heavenly Father and the love that does, always has, and always will exist between them. We also see the reality and continuing existence of men from hundreds of years before the Apostles were even born. The Old Testament Scriptures are confirmed in their truth by the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the mountain with Jesus. They were real people. Our Father in heaven also reminds us to listen to Jesus because it is Jesus who gives us the real message leading to eternal life because Jesus is, “The way, the truth, and the life,” (John 14:6 NIV). Jesus reveals to us God’s truth. Jesus is the way to God and no one gets eternal life without a personal relationship with Jesus. The glory of Jesus as revealed in his transfiguration gives us a glimpse of the glory that is to come in our shared experience with Him in heaven. As we draw near to God in our daily living may God help us in our spiritual experience to get a glimpse of God’s glory and to see no one except Jesus and then live for Him in our daily lives.