Wednesday, January 26, 2022

            Transfiguration is a big, big word.  It is also a Bible word.  We find the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration in Matthew 17 (and also in Mark 9 and Luke 9).  The backstory goes like this.  Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him to the top of a high mountain where it was just the four of them (Matthew 17:1).  What followed was amazing and extraordinary—not something that happens every day.  Matthew recorded it in this way, “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).  The word “transfigured” means transformed.  The Greek word for transfigured is “metemorphothe” from which we get the word “metamorphosis.”  As Jesus was transfigured, two characters, Moses and Elijah, appeared before Jesus.  This image suggests that the Law, represented by Moses, and the prophets, represented by Elijah, were perfectly fulfilled by Jesus.  In Jesus, the expectations of the Law were satisfied and the prophecies of the past found fulfillment. 
            A bit later in the story, we read, “When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus” (Matthew 17:8).  No one except Jesus.  Read those four words once one except Jesus.  Matthew’s statement is a powerful recognition of what faith and discipleship look like.  We see no one...except Jesus.  We have made a conscious decision to walk with Him, follow Him and serve Him.  Loneliness is real.  Isolation is real.  Feelings of despair are real.  People battle emotional weariness and spiritual loneliness all the time.  They are near you.  You may find them in the lives of family and friends.  You may raise your hand and say, “that’s me.  I am one such person.”
            There are moments in life where almost everyone and everything has walked out of your life with the exception of Jesus.  Your calls may go unanswered.  Your pleas and cries go unheard by those around you.  And in those times, there is no one except Jesus.  God may take you to a mountaintop so that you can see Him.  He could just as well lead you into a valley so you see nothing except Him.  Life can trick us into seeing what is missing more than we see the One who is never missing.  We can easily count up what we have lost or what we are lacking but fail to take into account that Jesus is here. 
            I believe that Jesus may have taken Peter, James and John with Him to this moment in His life so they could take their eyes off the daily things.  And, let’s be honest, the daily things wear us out.  They beat us down.  We all enjoy special occasions and special times but the daily things can become a grind.  And these daily things can grind us under and leave us weary, lonely and isolated.  We might lose sight of the things we used to enjoy.  We might not pursue the things that once meant so much to us.  We lose steam and we lose energy.  And life becomes a chore.  But the Word reminds us today that when we look up to see or find no one, there is still Jesus.  He is with us and before us.  Have a great Wednesday!    

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