THE BIG REVEAL
Father, show me Your glory.
Read Matthew 17:1–13
17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen were you last blown away by the glory of God? What can you do to cultivate a sense of awe in his presence?
The recognition that Jesus was the awaited Messiah was a huge step for the disciples, but until now, his divine nature was a penny still waiting to drop. A select few have gone on a hike up the mountain, probably thinking they have pretty much gotten the measure of Jesus, when God pulls back the curtain and shows them a whole other dimension. He begins to radiate light, long-gone prophets show up, and the audible voice of God announces that Jesus is his Son (2,3,5).
There is something almost comic about the progression of responses from Peter, James and John. They seem more than okay with the dazzling light and the prophets, and they suggest setting up some kind of campsite so that they can all stay there. But the cloud and the voice do them in. They finally get it. They are surrounded by the glory of God and they are terrified.
Like the disciples, we can err on the side of over-familiarity in our interactions with God. We can emphasize more comforting aspects of his nature and hug our favorite Bible stories and quotes to our chest. But we’d do well to remember that whenever God shows his glory, people fall on their faces in terror.
Is there an area of your life in which you have been too “familiar” with God? Sin that you excuse or ways of living you brush over? Humbly come before God today in repentance.
Lord, You are “a consuming fire. “Help me to worship You “acceptably, with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28,29).