Gospel Reading: Luke 9:28-36 (alternate reading - Matthew 14:22-36)
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 countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened 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 well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah" -- not knowing what he said. 34 As he said this, 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; listen to him!" 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.Meditation: Are you prepared to see God's glory? God is eager to share his glory with us! We get a glimpse of this when some of the disciples see Jesus transfigured in glory on a high mountain. [In the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican churches, this event is celebrated as a major feast on August 6.] Jesus often went to a lonely place to pray - to seek solitude and sanctuary away from the crowds. But on this occasion, Jesus face radiated with light and his clothing became dazzling white (Luke 9:29).
What is the significance of this mysterious appearance? Jesus
went to the mountain knowing full well what awaited him in
Jerusalem - his betrayal, rejection and crucifixion. Jesus very
likely discussed this momentous decision to go to the cross with
Moses and Elijah. God the Father also spoke with Jesus and gave
his approval: This is my beloved Son; listen to him. The
Father glorified his son because he obeyed. The cloud which
overshadowed Jesus and his apostles fulfilled the dream of the
Jews that when the Messiah came the cloud of God's presence would
fill the temple again (see Exodus 16:10, 19:9,
33:9; 1 Kings 8:10; 2 Maccabees 2:8).
The Lord wants to share his glory with each of us
The Lord Jesus not only wants us to see his glory - he wants to share this glory with us. And Jesus shows us the way to the Father's glory: follow me - obey my words - take the path I have chosen for you and you will receive the blessings of my Father's kingdom - your name will be written in heaven.
Jesus succeeded in his mission because he went to Calvary so that Paradise would be restored to us once again. He embraced the cross to obtain the crown of glory that awaits each one of us, if we will follow in his footsteps.
Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD), an early church bible scholar
and writer, shows us how the transfiguration can change our lives:
"When he is transfigured, his face also shines as the sun that he may be manifested to the children of light who have put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, and are no longer the children of darkness or night but have become the sons of day, and walk honestly as in the day. Being manifest, he will shine unto them not simply as the sun, but as demonstrated to be the sun of righteousness."
Stay awake spiritually - Don't miss God's glory and action
Luke's Gospel account tells us that while Jesus was transfigured, Peter, James, and John were asleep (Luke 9:32)! Upon awakening they discovered Jesus in glory along with Moses and Elijah. How much do we miss of God's glory and action because we are asleep spiritually? There are many things which can keep our minds asleep to the things of God: Mental lethargy and the "unexamined life" can keep us from thinking things through and facing our doubts and questions. The life of ease can also hinder us from considering the challenging or disturbing demands of Christ. Prejudice can make us blind to something new the Lord may have for us. Even sorrow can be a block until we can see past it to the glory of God.
Are you spiritually awake? Peter, James, and John were privileged witnesses of the glory of Christ. We, too, as disciples of Christ are called to be witnesses of his glory. We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Lord wants to reveal his glory to us, his beloved disciples. Do you seek his presence with faith and reverence?
"Lord Jesus, keep me always alert and awake to you, to your word, your action, and your daily presence in my life. Let me see your glory."Psalm 97:1-6, 9 1 The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coast lands be glad!
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The transfiguration of Jesus, by Jerome (347-420 AD)
"Do you wish to see the transfiguration of Jesus? Behold with me
the Jesus of the Gospels. Let him be simply apprehended. There he
is beheld both 'according to the flesh' and at the same time in
his true divinity. He is beheld in the form of God according to
our capacity for knowledge. This is how he was beheld by those who
went up upon the lofty mountain to be apart with him. Meanwhile
those who do not go up the mountain can still behold his works and
hear his words, which are uplifting. It is before those who go up
that Jesus is transfigured, and not to those below. When he is
transfigured, his face shines as the sun, that he may be
manifested to the children of light, who have put off the works of
darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12).
They are no longer the children of darkness or night but have
become the children of day. They walk honestly as in the day.
Being manifested, he will shine to them not simply as the sun but
as he is demonstrated to be, the sun of righteousness." (excerpt
from COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 12.37.10)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright
1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the
Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United
States of America. Used by permission. All rights
reserved. Citation references for quotes from
the writings of the early church fathers can be
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