Transfiguration

This is written by Matt Coombs. He is married Pip and on the leadership team at St Mary's with responsibility for all things pastoral, small groups and students.

Mark 9:2-13

The transfiguration
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: 'This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!'

8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what 'rising from the dead' meant.

11 And they asked him, 'Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?'

12 Jesus replied, 'To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.'

Reflection

At the time of the transfiguration Jesus' earthly ministry was coming to an end. He knew who he was, the Messiah, the son of God, and as we read yesterday he knew where he was headed. Six days later he takes a few of his disciples up a mountain where his body is transformed and shines as brightly as the sun.

The Psalmist writes that God wraps himself in light (104:2); in Daniel, God is said to wear clothes as white as snow (7:9). The transfiguration is the divine confirmation of Jesus' identity. He is God and the disciples see before them the one who left heaven's glory to come to earth.

For the disciples present, this was an incredible (and terrifying experience).

It can be like that for us too sometimes. You may have your own mountain top experiences with God that expanded your view of who he is and his power to change situations. But do you notice how short the event seems to be, as quickly as it started, it was over (v8).

In some ways it is what happens next that is more interesting. I'm jumping ahead into tomorrow's reading but Jesus and his disciples are back healing and delivering demons. While we wouldn't describe that as mundane, that is part of their somewhat painful daily routine.

There is a stark contrast between the glory of the mountain top and the daily struggle and slog. I wonder how our own mountain top moments inform the way we approach our daily routines. Do they lead to greater expectancy? Do they remind us that God is much bigger, much more powerful than the struggles we face?

Remind yourself of all that God has done in your life. See Jesus for who he truly is, full of power. Open yourself to his Spirit and go into this day with a fresh perspective.

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