11th February, 2018 [Bible & Transfiguration Sunday]
2 Kings 2:1-12
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Hymn of Meditation: PH 333
Jesus, priceless is Your Gospel, Help me treasure this always.
This is the best treasure I have here; Nothing in this life compares.
Your Word is my life’s foundation; I desire this more than life,
Men of earth are deceitful beings; Word of God is truth that stands.
Today’s story reminds us of that day when Jesus called three of His disciples to a high mountain and was transfigured before them. It is prudent to mark this day and keep it in memory because it is very significant in our Christian life. This day is also Bible Sunday, the 6th Sunday after Christmas.
The phrase “It is good we are here” is our focus today. For us to say “It is good we are here” connotes a good message we have received, heard or something we have seen and in fact, you need to be there in person to say that. It is my prayer that just as Peter, James and John saw the glory of God, we shall also experience same today.
Mark 9:2 tells us: “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. In addition to Jesus on that day were also Elijah and Moses in a frightening appearance to the disciples, being a sight they had never witnessed. They saw Jesus in His heavenly glory and were dumfounded and desired not to leave the place. 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.” (Mark 9:5). Once you are before God today, you also will surely encounter His glory.
It wasn’t the transfiguration alone on that day but the cloud also came upon them and God spoke unto them. 2 Peter 1:17-18 – “For he received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.”
We must understand one thing, that these three disciples who went up high the mountain with Jesus were people who very close to the Lord among the other disciples. He called them, separated them from the others and took them high up the mountain to show them His glory. All of us have been called. We have been called out from the world, from our families, from among our friends with God’s intention to show us His glory just as He did with the three. How close are you to Jesus, enough to encounter His glory? They saw the purity of Jesus Christ and like us, whenever we truly see God in His purity; we see our impurity because the purity of God is so glaring.
Peter wrote about the experience from the encounter when they went to the mountain in 2 Peter 1:16-19 – “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” This encounter gave Peter the confidence to believe more in the story that Jesus will certainly come again in His glory and that what the prophets have said is true.
How close are you to Jesus Christ? Have you encountered Him to the point you can also say that it is not about what I have been told or heard from someone else but I have experienced for myself so I bear witness to it. I pray that God reveals His glory to you but first, you need to respond to the call. You need to obey and get intelligently emotional with all your being attached to Christ; following Him closely and holding on tightly to Him, then His glory will be revealed to you.
The story of Elijah and Elisha lays more emphasis on ‘holding on tight’ to God. Elisha insisted on going with Elijah to Bethel and even followed more closely to Jordan despite the other discouragements from other followers. What we can learn up to this point is that, in our attempt to keep close to Christ, our own limitation, close associates, people we confide in may bring discouragement our way. Worldly issues will come to distract but we must remain focused if we must achieve good results so that we can also confidently say “It is good we are here” because as you approach the glory of God, you will know it for yourself. We must not be discouraged.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 tells us that – “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
So many things suppress us in this world once we remain in this body. What matters most is our determination to hold on tight to Christ. The friends you left to follow Christ will also come at you with mockery, your past life before coming to Christ will also come at you but how determined are you to hold on to Christ just as Elisha held on tight to Elijah and saw the honour of the mantle and the double portion of what Elijah had.
You are on your way to glory. God does not show favouritism when calling people to experience His glory. All we need to do is to defy all odds to get closer to Him. At certain times, our own shadows cause us to be needlessly afraid and turn our faces to other places for help, seeking for solutions and the glory. But know this day that the solution lies nowhere else but in Jesus. It only requires for you to be emotionally attached to the Lord. As we get close to God, the veil that covers our minds such that we are unable to perceive His glory even as it is being showed to us will be removed so we can have a better view and experience. This experience comes from a life time dedicated to prayer and fasting, and searching through the scripture.
As you draw closer to God, it is my prayer that even as the veil is removed; we are changed into His glorious image so that when we get there, we can say that ‘It is good we are here’. May God keep us close to Him so we can experience Him daily.