Year 3 Day 13
Read - Mark 9:2-3
Message - Alan Burke
In the transfiguration of Jesus we are given a glimpse of the Glory of the Son of God that was veiled in human flesh in the incarnation. Before we think to the wonder of the transfiguration, look at what we are told, firstly that this takes place after six days. Now think back to where we just were in Mark’s gospel, or rather look back. Peter had confessed that Jesus was the Christ (29), then Jesus had told his disciples that the Son of Man must suffer, be rejected, he must be killed and after three days rise (31). This was followed by the rebuke of Jesus by Peter (32) and then Jesus rebuked Peter saying “Get behind me, Satan!”(33), followed by Jesus teaching them on the cost of discipleship (34-9:1). Now six days have passed, hanging over the heads of the disciples would have been the uncertainty of what the future would entail and Jesus takes three of them, Peter, James and John with him.
Secondly there is something else I want you to notice, the place. We are told Jesus let them up a high mountain, we are not told the name of the mountain, rather what is significant is that it is a high mountain. You might be wondering what these things matter, what odds is it that six days have past and that it is a high mountain, but for Jewish readers and hearers of this passage they would have even before they were told of the transfiguration would have been expectant that something significant was about to happen. And that is because of what happened in Exodus 24, when the Lord God made a covenant with His people (Ex 24). These are clues to us that there is something truly significant about to happen in redemptive history.
There as Jesus led them up without warning we are told that He was transfigured before their eyes. For a brief moment these three disciples were able to see the Glory of Jesus, the glory of God. Up to this point they had only seen Jesus in human form but they were able to see Jesus as he is as He was transfigured before them. What we are told is that, His clothes began to shine, they were radiant, dazzling white, as white as snow, whiter than any amount of vanish stain remover could achieve, or bleach or what ever cleaning agent we use. What we have here is that suddenly the glory and the deity of Jesus Christ that had been vailed is now bursting forth before the eyes of Peter James and John.
In the parallel accounts in Matthew 17:2 we are told how “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” in Luke 9:29 “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning”. There before them light was flowing out of Jesus, the Glory of God was being revealed to these disciples, it’s not that Jesus is mirroring the glory of God like a reflection in the mirror, rather they were seeing what had been hidden from their eyes in his humanity, they are now able to see the deity of Jesus, for He is the incarnate God. What a sight was before them, as the radiance of the Glory of God shone around, as the radiance of Jesus was before them.
I want to leave you with this, Jesus had told his disciples that there is a cost to their discipleship (8:34). We all face a cost in discipleship, we may even suffer for the sake of following Christ and we will all face the final enemy death, but in spite of it all nothing compares with the glory that is to be revealed to us that the disciples that day were given a brief glimpse of. For when this life ends, on that day… "We shall see him as he is.”(1 Jn 3:2). Peter, James and John saw only a brief glimpse of the Glory of the Son of God, a foretaste of what lay ahead. But for all who repent and believe, in heaven we sill see him as he is, we will be able to look on the face of our creator. In the midst of this life, living in fallen broken sinful bodies, in trial and temptation, in the highs and many lows, remember the future glory that awaits all who believe.
Q19 What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, (Gen. 3:8,10,24) are under his wrath and curse, (Eph. 2:2–3, Gal. 3:10) and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever. (Lam. 3:39, Rom. 6:23, Matt. 25:41,46)