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Luke 9.28-36

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We’re back in the gospel of Luke after taking a break for Easter last Sunday. In case you’ve forgotten, Luke has gone to great lengths to show us that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah and Savior God had promised to his people. And we’ve seen that in Jesus’s own ministry, he’s letting more and more of that come out: just between chapters 8 and 9 (so far), he has calmed a storm with a word; he has cast out a legion of demons from a man; he has healed a woman from a chronic illness; he has raised a girl from the dead; and he has multiplied a small meal so that it feeds thousands of people.
The closer we get to the cross, the more Jesus is proving himself to be the Son of God, who came to save us. But our temptation is to limit Jesus’s person and work to that: we say he came to save us. And he did…but that’s not all he came to do.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Habakkuk gives us one sentence which is perhaps the best summary statement of what heaven will be. We read in :
:
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Anon, 2016. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
In this passage we’re going to see Jesus as we’ve never seen him before: we’re going to see him in what’s called “the transfiguration.”
Now to understand that, we need to understand what “glory” means—when we talk about the glory of God, what are we talking about? John Piper gives this helpful definition (I’m paraphrasing): The glory of God is everything he is—all of his goodness and power and wisdom and transcendency—made visible. God’s glory is what we see when we see God as he is.
And that’s what Habakkuk says we will see, in the end. The earth will be filled not just with the glory of the Lord, but with the knowledge of his glory. And it will be filled with that knowledge so completely that the only fit comparison is the way the waters cover the seas, filling every square millimeter of space across endless miles of terrain. Every man, woman and child will see God’s glory.
as the waters cover the sea.
That’s what the earth was created for; that’s what we were created for. To see his glory.
That is essentially what is happening in our text today. Jesus and his disciples go up to a mountain to pray, and there on the mountain the disciples witness what’s called a theophany. (This word comes from the Greek word for “God”—theos—and the Greek verb “to appear”—phainein.) It is one of those instances in which God actually, visibly, shows something of himself to human beings.
They were rare occurences: theophanies usually only happened to people who were central to God’s plan of salvation. God appeared to Abraham as a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch (); he appeared to Moses in the burning bush (). The difference between those theophanies and this one, however, is striking: God appears to the disciples; but he doesn’t do it in the form of an object (a pot, a torch, a bush); he appears to the disciples through the person of Jesus.
Theophanies were visible manifestations of the Creator and were usually granted to central figures in the Almighty’s redemptive plan. We can think, for example, of God’s appearance to Abraham as a “smoking fire pot” and “flaming torch” (), as well as Moses’ vision of Yahweh in the burning bush (). The transfiguration, we will see, stands in this tradition, but Jesus the Christ exceeds all previous theophanies, expressing as He does the fullest revelation of who God is.
This is the theophany known as the “transfiguration,” in which Jesus shows himself indisputably to be not just a wise teacher or a miracle worker, but God himself.

A Transfiguration (v. 28-29)

Let’s read the text together (Luke 9.28-36):
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.
This is a horribly crude comparison, but I’ll never forget the first time I watched Star Wars with my son. (The original, from 1977, of course.) I’d been dreaming about that moment since I was a teenager, when I was finally old enough to imagine having a family one day. I enjoyed the movie (as I always do); but what I enjoyed more was looking to my right and watching my little boy’s face as he watched, fascinated—like I had when I was a kid. I watched the flashes of this (decidedly flashy) movie, in that dark room, light up his face. It’s stupid, but that’s something I’ll never forget—a memory that never fails to make me smile.
If someone can get that much enjoyment from something so insignificant, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the disciples.
What it must have been like for Jesus, watching his disciples as they saw him in his full glory for the first time.
Mark says in his account that Jesus was “transfigured”—literally, metamorphosed—in front of them. Jesus is a fully human being, but he is also fully God. And for this moment in time, the veil of his humanity was lifted, and the disciples saw the other side of his dual nature shining through. This was the glory he had before he became a man; and this is the glory that we will see when he returns.
What’s happening here is called a theophany. (This word comes from the Greek word for “God”—theos—and the Greek verb “to appear”—phainein.) It is one of those instances in which God actually, visibly, shows something of himself to human beings.
Peter, James and John, seeing this, must have been shocked and terrified…and later, probably bewildered and awestruck by the memory of it. And that memory would serve them well. They would face incredibly difficult things in the years to come—the death of their Master, persecution, and eventually death. And the vision of this glory would be an incredible comfort to them—they would remember who it is they were serving.
That glory is how they would think of Christ; that glory is what they would testify of him.
They were rare occurences: theophanies usually only happened to people who were central to God’s plan of salvation. God appeared to Abraham as a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch (); he appeared to Moses in the burning bush (). The difference between those theophanies and this one, however, is striking: God appears to the disciples; but he doesn’t do it in the form of an object (a pot, a torch, a bush); he appears to the disciples through the person of Jesus.
As John said in the introduction to his gospel (John 1.14),
Mark says in his account that Jesus was “transfigured”—literally, metamorphosed—in front of them. Jesus is a fully human being, but he is also fully God. And for this moment in time, the veil of his humanity was lifted, and the disciples saw the other side of his dual nature shining through. This was the glory he had before he became a man; and this is the glory that we will see when he returns.
…we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.

A Conversation (v. 30-31)

But Jesus, as it turns out, wasn’t alone. V. 30:
30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
If you’ve read the Old Testament, you could probably think of a lot of men and women who would have qualified to appear there on the mountain with Jesus. Abraham; Joseph; Isaiah; Jeremiah; Ruth; Esther; Deborah; David… The Old Testament is filled with the stories of men and women who honored God well and whom God used in great ways.
But it’s not about who they were as people; it’s what God did for and through them that made Moses and Elijah the perfect candidates for a conversation with Jesus.
They had both spoken with God on a mountaintop (; ); they had both seen God’s glory; they were both expected to be there when Christ comes back (; , ; , ). As R. Kent Hughes wrote, “Moses was the great lawgiver, and Elijah was the great prophet. Moses was the founder of Israel’s religious economy, and Elijah was the restorer of it. Together they were a powerful summary of the entire Old Testament economy.”
This was a telling reminder to the disciples that Jesus didn’t come out of context; he wasn’t separated from what God had done before. God wasn’t doing something new with Jesus; he was completing something he had previously started. Jesus was integrally connected with the disciples’ own story, the story of the people of Israel.
So Moses and Elijah come, and they’re speaking with Jesus. What were they talking about?
v. 31:
[They] spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
They were speaking together about what we spoke about last week: Jesus’s impending death, resurrection and ascension. Every time I read this, I wish we knew more about what they said to one another.
Were Moses and Elijah encouraging Jesus, leading into this trial which would be more terrible than anything we can imagine?
Were they themselves encouraged, speaking to him? Jesus had said that he had not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them (); Moses and Elijah were representatives of the Law and the Prophets. And now they were speaking to the man who was the fulfilment of everything they had lived for!
We’ll never know exactly what was said, beyond this fact: they were speaking about what Jesus was about to do.

An (Attempted) Formalization (v. 32-33)

This is where Luke gets real: I love how he reminds us that these amazing things were happening in the presence of very ordinary men.
Peter and James and John were falling asleep as Jesus was praying…but they didn’t stay asleep long. You can be sure the picture of Jesus shining in his glory and speaking with Moses and Elijah snapped them wide awake. V. 32:
32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.
32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
I love that last: Luke’s making an aside, telling us, “Yeah: that’s a dumb idea.” Jesus shines in his glory, appearing with Moses and Elijah, these legendary patriarchs of the Jewish faith…and the disciples have no idea what to do. So the best Peter can come up with is, “Let’s make some tents! Let’s get these guys inside! Let’s build something!”
We can make fun, but this is exactly what men have always done. They think they understand God and they try to formalize it in a way they can understand. Now, not all formalization is bad. Let me be really clear about this: organized religion, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. The only way for any good to come of it is to formalize it in some way: that’s why God gave the Law to the people of Israel; that’s why the apostles gave us commandments in the letters we find in the New Testament; that’s why they told us to appoint elders and deacons and to teach specific doctrines. There has to be order if we are to make sense of any of this, and God knows that.
But we often take this good desire for order too far. We move beyond clear doctrine and right commandments to buildings: let’s make sure that people know that God is really present at the Vatican, or at Mecca! Let’s make sure some objects are holier than others: like the Host during Holy Communion, or sacred relics that look like things Jesus may have touched. We take ordinary objects and make them talismanic, encouraging people to come thousands of miles just to see or touch them.
If we let ourselves go down that road, in the end the object begins to eclipse what the object was meant to represent.
But you can’t keep God in a box, or in a wafer, or in a glass. You can’t keep God in a tent. Even the tabernacle, and then the temple—these places where God’s presence dwelt—were only meant to be pre-cursors to the real temple, to the real tabernacle, who was Jesus himself! They were not ends in themselves, but they were meant to help us see what God is like and who God is.
And so when Peter offers to build tents for Jesus and Moses and Elijah, notice that Jesus doesn’t answer him: he doesn’t need to.

A Proclamation (v. 34-36)

34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
If you’ve read the Old Testament, you’ll recognize this image in a hurry. This was the way God most often appeared to his people. He appeared as a pillar of smoke guiding the people of Israel after the Exodus (). He appeared as a cloud when he passed by Moses in the cleft of the mountain (). He appeared as a cloud that covered and filled the Tabernacle (). He appeared as a cloud that filled Solomon’s temple on its dedication day (, ). He appeared as a cloud to Ezekiel as it moved from place to place around and over the temple and finally disappeared from over the Mount of Olives (; ; , ; ).
In each of these instances, when God’s presence came in the form of a cloud, the people were terrified. They could not enter the tabernacle or the temple, because that’s where the Holy God was, and they were sinful men and women.
But now, the cloud has come again, and because they are with Jesus, the disciples find themselves overshadowed by the cloud, and they are terrified.
And then, something both terrible and wonderful happens: they actually hear God’s voice, audibly, coming from inside the cloud. V. 35:
35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
If they ever needed any more proof of who Jesus was, this was it. They had seen him master nature; they had seen him master sickness and death; they had seen him provide for his people; they had seen him transfigured in glory before them. And now, they have heard divine approbation from the very voice of God, saying, “This man Jesus is no mere man: he is my Son. Pay careful attention to what he tells you.”

We Are Made to See His Glory

This text is all about the glory of Jesus. Luke’s goal in writing it is to show us Jesus as he really is: the all-powerful, all-glorious Messiah of God.
But what does that even mean? What is “glory”? The Bible talks about the glory of God a lot…but it can be an idea that’s hard to pin down in our minds. John Piper gives this helpful definition based on everything the Bible says about the glory of God (I’m paraphrasing): The glory of God is everything he is—all of his goodness and power and wisdom and transcendency—made visible. God’s glory is what we see when we see God as he is.
When I was a kid, my father had a little wooden plaque on a shelf in his office; it looked like random rectangles set at right angles against a black background. Forever I never thought to look at it more closely, but one day Dad told me to give it another look. I looked for a long time, and saw nothing, because I was concentrating on the wood. But when I let my eyes relax and I looked at the black instead of the wood, I could see the name “JESUS” clearly spelled out.
Once you see it, you can’t un-see it. He still has that plaque, and to this day my eyes are instantly drawn to the big block letters spelling out “JESUS.”
If you read the Bible closely, and don’t miss the forest for the trees, you’ll see God’s passion for his glory riding high, from beginning to end. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it. On nearly every page of the Bible is some mention of God doing something for his glory, or desiring something for his glory, or commanding something for his glory, or saving someone for his glory.
The American theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote in the mid-18th century:
“From the purest principles of reason, as well as from the fountain of revealed truth, [God] demonstrates that the chief and ultimate end of the Supreme Being, in the works of creation and providence, was the manifestation of his own glory in the highest happiness of his creatures.”
He’s right. Scripture spells it out again and again: God does everything he does for his glory.
:
“6  I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory...”
whom I formed and made.”
:
34  “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35  “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Anon, 2016. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Habakkuk gives us one sentence which is perhaps the best summary statement of what heaven will be. We read in :
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
The earth will be filled not just with the glory of the Lord, but with the knowledge of his glory. And it will be filled with that knowledge so completely that the only fit comparison is the way the waters cover the seas, filling every square millimeter of space across endless miles of terrain. Every man, woman and child will see God’s glory, manifested in his Son, just as the disciples saw it on that wonderful night.
That’s what the earth was created for; that’s what we were created for. To see his glory.

The Problem of Pragmatism

The problem is that we’re not used to thinking in such terms. We want things to move quickly. We are pragmatic. We want to get things done.
We look at the kind of people God expects us to be (as he’s stated in the Bible), and we think, OK, I’ll just DO THAT. 1 + 1 = 2. Do these things, don’t do these things, and I’ll be the right type of person.
But it doesn’t work that way. Either we’re frustrated when we can’t meet that standard, or we judge other people who have a hard time adhering to our idea of what a “good Christian” should be (when our judging is actually proof that we can’t do it either). At least in terms of our holiness, 1 + 1 does not necessarily equal 2.
God tells us that in order to be the kinds of people he created us to be, it’s not enough to do the right thing; we must see the right thing and love the right thing. And that “right thing” we are meant to see and love is the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.
But in order to do that, we may need to stop for a moment and just open our eyes.
When Pragmatic Peter wants to get to work and build tents for Jesus and Moses and Elijah, no one directly responds to his suggestion. Jesus says nothing, and the Father, speaking from the cloud, says, “Look at my Son.” That’s why you guys are here on the mountain. It’s not to do anything; you’re here to see something.

Seeing His Glory Will Sustain Us

And the remarkable thing is that what they see there on the mountain is an absolute good, in and of itself…but God doesn’t simply leave them there with what they’ve seen. He uses what they saw for their good later on.
They saw his glory on the mountain, and that glory is how they would think of Christ; that glory is what they would testify of him.
That glory is how they would think of Christ; that glory is what they would testify of him.
As John said in the introduction to his gospel (),
…WE HAVE SEEN HIS GLORY, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
Peter, James and John, seeing all of this unfolding before their eyes, must have been shocked and terrified…and later, probably bewildered and awestruck by the memory of it. And that memory would serve them well. They would face incredibly difficult things in the years to come—the death of their Master, persecution, and eventually death. And the vision of this glory would be an incredible comfort to them—they would remember who it is they were serving.
That glory is how they would think of Christ; that glory is what they would testify of him.
As John said in the introduction to his gospel (),
And our view of God’s glory is what is meant to sustain us when we are suffering, and even more; it is what allows us to not simply survive difficulty, but actually grow from it. Paul says in :
…WE HAVE SEEN HIS GLORY, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Through Jesus we have peace with God; we have been declared just by the Father; and we rejoice. We don’t just rejoice in everything we have now; we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, the same glory the disciples saw on the mountain, the glory that we will see and enjoy and be surrounded by for all eternity. It is that hope that allows us to endure through suffering, to make our suffering build character in us, and to see that character produce even more hope of all the grace God still has for us.
When we see Christ’s glory, we have what we need to not just survive, but thrive—even in the most difficult of circumstances. Because we know, and we have the assured hope, that we will share in that glory with him, and enjoy it forever.
The question is, How do we do that? (The spirit of Pragmatic Peter is back!) That all sounds great, but what do we do? Give us a list! Give us some boxes to check! I want to do it, but I don’t know how!
Thankfully, God is not unpragmatic. He doesn’t set unattainable goals before us and then expect us to figure it all out for ourselves. In this passage, he tells us how to see his glory.
How do we do it? We listen to Jesus.

The Surest Means of Seeing Christ’s Glory is Listening to His Voice.

35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
This passage is all about Jesus manifesting his glory for the disciples to see. And when we think about Christ, what do we think of? We think (first and foremost) of what he did. We think of his compassion to others; we think of his miracles; we think of his perfect life, his death for our sins, his resurrection, his ascension.
That’s not wrong to do; we should do that, and we should do it constantly. (Communion, for example, is entirely constructed around remembering what Jesus did for us.) But isn’t it interesting that the Father, in his only imperative from the cloud, didn’t say, “This is my Son; watch him. Observe him. Imitate him”? He’s not saying we shouldn’t do those things, but rather that we shouldn’t do them first.
First and foremost, we are called to listen to him.
In the gospels, Jesus tells us how we are made. He teaches us what we are like. He teaches us how we are wired. He teaches us how sin creeps in and works on us. He teaches us how God responds to sin. He teaches us how the Father loves his children. He teaches us how to be like him.
If we want to see his glory, we must listen to his voice.
And we must recognize that listening to Christ’s voice doesn’t mean only reading the gospels (because that’s where we see Jesus’s direct teachings). The entire Bible was inspired by the same Spirit which inspired the gospels, the same Spirit Christ himself promised would teach us everything we needed to know (). The Spirit speaks to us through the words of Scripture, and when we listen to the Spirit, we listen to Christ.
that means more than just listen to the records of Jesus’s teachings that we have in the gospels.
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is described in several different ways: he is described as the “Spirit,” or as “the Spirit of God,” or as “the Spirit of Christ.” For example, in , Paul says,
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Anon, 2016. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Those are all synonymous. The Holy Spirit speaks and works on behalf of Christ, bringing him glory as he works in us. And he works in us through the Word that he inspired.
Jesus says in :
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
At the risk of sounding reductionistic, the one great method God gives us to see the glory of Christ is the same method he has given us to do everything else in our Christian lives: read the Bible. Know the Bible. Pray the Bible. Love the Bible.
Jesus said that the Spirit’s role is to take what he said, remind us of it, and teach it to us.
The Spirit did that by inspiring Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to write their gospels.
He did it by inspiring Paul and Peter and James and John to write their letters.
He did it by faithfully guiding the church in establishing the canon of the New Testament for us.
He did it by taking the Word that we read, and applying it to our hearts, that we might be transformed.
That’s how this works.
Some Christians have complained that we preachers, for all we say about preaching the Bible faithfully, never say anything new.
God has created us to see and enjoy and be fulfilled by his glory as it is manifested in his Son, and the means he has given us to see Christ’s glory is to listen to what he says to us, and what he says to us has been given to us by the Spirit in the Scriptures.
So if you are frustrated that you aren’t more amazed by Christ’s glory, listen to his voice.
Can I be honest with you? If you’re bored because preachers keep saying the same things over and over, the problem is with you, not with them.
Because that’s all there is. God has created us to see and enjoy and be fulfilled by his glory as it is manifested in his Son, and the means he has given us to see Christ’s glory is to listen to what he says to us, and what he says to us has been given to us by the Spirit in the Scriptures.
If you are frustrated that you don’t have a better understanding of who Christ, listen to his voice.
If you are frustrated that you aren’t more satisfied in God, listen to his voice.
Read your Bible. Know your Bible. Pray the Bible. Love the Bible.
See the glory of the Son as you listen to him.
You were made to see his glory just as the disciples saw it on the mountain; seeing his glory will sustain you in suffering, and will satisfy you for all eternity.
We were made to see his glory.
Seeing his glory will sustain us.
The surest means of seeing his glory is listening to his voice.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Habakkuk gives us one sentence which is perhaps the best summary statement of what heaven will be. We read in :
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Now to understand that, we need to understand what “glory” means—when we talk about the glory of God, what are we talking about? John Piper gives this helpful definition (I’m paraphrasing): The glory of God is everything he is—all of his goodness and power and wisdom and transcendency—made visible. God’s glory is what we see when we see God as he is.
The earth will be filled not just with the glory of the Lord, but with the knowledge of his glory. And it will be filled with that knowledge so completely that the only fit comparison is the way the waters cover the seas, filling every square millimeter of space across endless miles of terrain. Every man, woman and child will see God’s glory.
That’s what the earth was created for; that’s what we were created for. To see his glory.
The Jesus the disciples saw on the mountain is the Jesus we will love and enjoy forever. So know him as he is; speak to him as he is; love him as he is.
They were rare occurences: theophanies usually only happened to people who were central to God’s plan of salvation. God appeared to Abraham as a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch (); he appeared to Moses in the burning bush (). The difference between those theophanies and this one, however, is striking: God appears to the disciples; but he doesn’t do it in the form of an object (a pot, a torch, a bush); he appears to the disciples through the person of Jesus.
This is the theophany known as the “transfiguration,” in which Jesus shows himself indisputably to be not just a wise teacher or a miracle worker, but God himself.
Peter, James and John, seeing this, must have been shocked and terrified…and later, probably bewildered and awestruck by the memory of it. And that memory would serve them well. They would face incredibly difficult things in the years to come—the death of their Master, persecution, and eventually death. And the vision of this glory would be an incredible comfort to them—they would remember who it is they were serving.
That glory is how they would think of Christ; that glory is what they would testify of him.
As John said in the introduction to his gospel (),
…we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
VALLEY OF VISION PRAYER
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