Topic: God’s Glory – The Transfiguration. Category: Son of Man>.
Bible Scriptures: Luke 9:27-36, John 1:14, 2 Peter 1:16-18, 2 Corinthians 3:18.
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Let us go back to a time when Jesus walked the earth as a man. The disciple Peter had received a revelation that Jesus was the Christ or the anointed One of God. He knew that according to Old Testament prophecy the Christ would come and restore God’s Kingdom on earth. His Kingdom is of peace, harmony and goodness. However the perception of how God would do this, did not match Peter’s present reality.
Therefore Jesus tells how the Christ must suffer. Jesus explains He will be rejected, killed on the cross, publicly shamed and resurrected on the third day.
As day comes before night, revelation comes before application.
Jesus reveals both the pathway of the Christ and for those who choose to follow Him. Jesus says follow me to my cross and see the glory of the Lord. Deny your own selfish desires, in fact bring them with you and nail them to my cross. It is because of your selfish desires and the power given to evil and death by humanity that I must suffer.
This is the pathway of Sonship in the Living God. Follow Jesus.
the kingdom of glory
As a bridge between Peter’s revelation that Jesus is the Christ and God revealing the fullness of who Jesus is, there is an interesting verse.
Luke 9:27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is realised in Jesus. Peter, James and John were about to receive an even greater revelation of Jesus.
Luke 9:28-29 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.
Jesus’ appearance altered. This word appearance is the same word used in describing the descending of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at His baptism. Who came in the appearance of a dove. In Jesus’ transfiguration God is revealing the unseen in a form they can see and understand. Both times God the Father confirms that Jesus in human form is in fact His beloved Son.
the glory of the Son
God reveals His strategy and the way He will bring the reality fullness of His Kingdom on earth in Jesus. God is saying I have become human. The Christ is the divine Son of God, the living tabernacle, the dwelling of the presence of God with humanity. Linking both the Old Testament experiences and imagery of the temple and tabernacle of meeting, to the new and personal living way in Jesus.
God Himself became human flesh and experienced the full human condition. He came to lay down His human life and defeat humanity’s enemies of death, evil and self.
In the receiving of Jesus we follow Him into Sonship of the Living God. Daily we can experience the fullness of His divinity and the fellowship of His humanity. The way for His disciples to live in the fullness of His victory in this world damaged by evil is to daily deny their self will and be willing to choose to follow Jesus. Peter, James and John were willing.
All God requires is a willing heart and He provides the rest.
Luke 9:30-31 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
the glory of the cross
Here we have Moses and Elijah testifying of Jesus also and discussing His exodus from this world. This is a very powerful motif for the Hebrew people. This is reminiscent of the first exodus where God delivered the Hebrew people from the bondage of slavery. Out of deliverance God formed His people and journeyed with them.
Through the cross Jesus redeems and delivers people from the bondage of slavery. Slavery to self, evil and death, for all eternity. Out of His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven came the outpouring of His Spirit. Out of which was the birth of God’s people in whom God Himself will dwell.
Luke 9:32-33 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.
the law and prophets testify
The Jews believed that everything God had done through Moses and Elijah type ministries was the forerunner to the Day of the Lord and the fulfilment of His Kingdom on earth. As the law and the prophets testify. Therefore Peter’s immediate response to commemorate the event is not unexpected. However Peter is yet to know the full depth of the revelation.
Luke 9:34-36 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.
The fullness of the truth is that God Himself will dwell amongst humanity in Jesus, who is the tabernacle of God, the fullness of God dwells in Him. Just as Peter was expressing the desire to build tabernacles for all three, the glory of the Lord overshadowed or totally enveloped them and revealed only Jesus. It is only through Jesus that the glory of God will dwell in humanity. Both Moses and Elijah testified of this truth.
This word that has been translated overshadowed is the exact same word used to describe Mary’s experience when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her in the conception of Jesus. Once again God the Father confirms the fullness of the truth of who Jesus is. He is greater than all the prophets.
God’s glory in jesus’ transfiguration
God’s presence overshadows the disciples and they see only Jesus.
Out of intimacy with God, enveloped in His presence, the disciples are empowered to see the glory of the Lord and listen to Him. Not only listen, but also perceive and understand. Both Peter and John later testify, ‘My eyes have seen the glory in the coming of the Lord.’ God Himself in Jesus has come.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
2 Peter 1:16-18 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
By following Jesus and journeying with Him, they saw the glory of His humanity and the glory of His divinity. In His transfiguration they saw the glory of His Sonship and God the Father. To see the glory of His love in His suffering, they must first see the glory of His divinity and eternal sacrifice. By following Jesus they will see the glory of His resurrection.
behold His glory!
The same applies to us today, simply be willing to follow Him and be transformed. Not following the world or our own selfishness, but living in His Kingdom and victory, in this world damaged by evil.
As that hymn says, ‘I have decided to follow Jesus, the cross before me, the world behind me, no turning back, no turning back.’
The divine of Jesus was revealed in His transfiguration. His outward appearance was transfigured to match His inward character.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
When we daily behold Jesus, His divinity and humanity, choosing to have the will of God rule and reign in and through our lives, we live in the reality of the Kingdom of God, in this life in this world damaged by evil. In our earthen vessels of humanity we are transformed from glory to glory, revealing God to the world.
Christ is found in humanity. Humanity is found in Christ.
Jesus did not abandon His disciples for glory. He came down from glory to journey with them, on His way to His cross. Once they received that revelation they could testify, ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.’
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