Text: Luke 9:28-36 | Listen to Message
Experiencing God’s Glory
It’s a fantastic story: Jesus goes up on a mountain to pray with Peter, James, and John. Suddenly, the Old Testament prophets Moses and Elijah show up, and Jesus begins radiating a brilliant and blinding white light from within himself. The disciples are getting their first glimpse of his eternal and divine glory, long veiled by the ordinariness of his humanity. They witness firsthand the splendor, majesty, beauty, and awesomeness of the glory that flung the universe into existence by just a word from his mouth! And they hear God’s voice from heaven, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” (Luke 9:35).
Whether this experience lasted moments or hours, we don’t know. But we do know what Jesus and the prophets were talking about: “they spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31). Literally, they were talking about how the death and resurrection of Jesus would fulfill God’s plan to lead a new exodus out of bondage to sin, and death, and hell.
Today, do you ever find yourself thinking, “I wish God would show up and speak to me like that”? And what’s the underlying assumption of that wish? Don’t we assume we’d know God so much better, and see His will so much more clearly, if He’d just give us a new word – a direct, personal word? But is that really what we need?
Listen to the words of this same Peter as he writes many years later:
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention…” (2 Peter 1:16-19a).
Obviously, Peter is referring to The Transfiguration. But notice what he doesn’t say: he doesn’t say, “This is what I witnessed, and wish you all could have the same amazing, out-of-this-world experience so that you, also, could understand the will of God the way I do.” He says almost the opposite, doesn’t he? “You have something even more reliable, something more verifiable, something more fully confirmed, than what we witnessed that day: you have the written Scriptures. And if you’ll just pay close attention to the Spirit’s words, He’ll give you everything you need for life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3, 19-21)
Do you want to see God’s glory today? Do you want to experience the life-transforming effects of Jesus’ majesty and beauty? Do you want to find him more desirable, more enjoyable, than anything else on earth? Then read the Word of God in faith, trusting the Spirit to show you the glories of Christ!