|Carl Bloch, The Transfiguration|
“I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
What is important? What is significant? Where is our focus? What do we centre our life on?
This is the Jewish understanding of “glory”. The word “glory” in the Old Testament (Testimony) was understood as weight, significance and importance. When someone was glorified, it was as though everything else stopped as there was no other option but to pay attention to who was being glorified. All other activities, transactions, thoughts, worries, foci paled in insignificance and was brought into proper perspective.
This was the experience of Peter, James and John as they accompanied Jesus up another mountain. They were tired. Peter was probably still smarting from Jesus’ harsh words. They were all probably still absorbing what Jesus told them about his upcoming suffering, rejection, dying, and being raised from the dead. We are told by Luke that they were on the verge of sleep, when suddenly they woke up to a brilliant scene.
Jesus’ appearance became like lightning. And, he was talking to two men, Moses and Elijah. Yes, the Moses and the Elijah. The man in Israel who delivered God’s Law and the man in Israel who many considered the chief Prophet. Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets, were there, in the flesh, talking with Jesus. How did Peter, James and John know it was Moses and Elijah? We’re not sure, but the explanation could be as simple as the three addressing one another by name.
This is the Kingdom of God. Isn’t it amazing? Here we have a former murderer, coward and reluctant leader and another man who became discouraged to the point of suicide now talking with the Son of God, Jesus. Christian, our hope is that this uncommon scene will become common. What was the subject of the conversation? It was the impending departure of Jesus in Jerusalem.
Quite often, I find myself easily distracted. I worry about what I will eat, where I will sleep, what I will wear. Did I say the right thing? What job should I pursue? Do these people like me? Etc...
Then, Jesus is glorified and it all snaps back into perspective. What is important? What is significant? Where is our focus? What do we centre our life on?
“This is my Son, my Beloved; listen to Him!”