The other view of Jesus
Luke 9: The appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white.
In Jesus we see God and man. He is, at the same time fully God and fully man. As he goes about his ministry he does so as man. Here’s humanity as the Lord intended. Jesus trusts and obeys his Father implicitly. He performs miracles, not by drawing from his power and authority as God, but as a man who relies on his Heavenly Father and is thus empowered to do miracles. Then, we arrive at the Mount of Transfiguration. For a short time it’s God in this God-man who’s evident. There’s light such as the disciples have never seen. Then, there’s fellowship with two spiritual giants of the past, Moses and Elijah. The Lord God in the person of Jesus discusses the coming events in Jerusalem with two great men of the past. I’m not saying I understand all that’s going on here. Still, it’s my feeling that throughout most of our Lord’s ministry I see, in Jesus, humanity as was intended at Creation. In this case though, I see God breaking through in such a way that skin and bones can hardly contain him. The disciples experiencing this are speechless. Now, more than 2000 years later I read of this event and struggle to find words to describe what I see happening.
Take Away: The Jesus I see on the Mount of Transfiguration is the same Jesus he always is, but here, I see him in a way I haven’t seen him before.
Intentionally or not, the disciples did the right thing
Matthew 17: His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face.
To some extent I don’t think the Church has ever fully grasped the Person of Jesus. It took hundreds of years for the doctrine of the Trinity to be established and it’s been “official” now for over 1600 years. Still, if you talk to some people they’re still back in the early years of Christian theology and not convinced at all that the Trinity doctrine has it right. When we think about the Person of Jesus there’s always a tug a war between “he’s God” and “he’s man.” In the pages of the Gospels we watch Jesus, the man. He grows weary and sleeps, he gets thirsty, and he bleeds. We also watch Jesus, the Lord. He forgives sins and tells his disciples that he and the Father are one. In this passage, as Jesus takes three disciples up on the mountain, the humanity of Jesus is overwhelmed by this divinity. The disciples see it as light that pours out of him. This isn’t the Jesus they ate supper with last light. This isn’t the Jesus who slept through the storm. This is God. Peter, James, and John don’t know what to say or do as they experience this Jesus. Still, maybe by instinct, they do the right thing: they fall flat on their faces in reverence and awe. Know what? This radiant-light-pouring-out-of-his-face Jesus is just as much Jesus as the hungry, sleepy, dying-on-the-cross Jesus. Falling down in worship before him is an excellent response.
Take Away: We may struggle with the person of Jesus, but worshiping him is always the right response.