Saturday

6 August 2022

Luke 9:28-36

And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. (v, 29)

Psalm 47

Background

Today we read Luke’s account of the Transfiguration of Jesus, which comes directly after Peter’s confession of Jesus as Messiah and a stern warning of the suffering of the Messiah and for any who want to follow that they too must take up their cross (vs 18-27).

Transfiguration is defined as ‘the act of making something more beautiful or spiritual’. This is certainly a spiritual moment as Moses and Elijah appear and talk with Jesus. There is no doubt that Moses representing the law and Elijah the prophets point to a natural succession to Jesus, the Messiah (see Malachi 4:5).

Then in what is an echo of Jesus’ baptism, God speaks. However, there are a couple of differences. At Jesus’ baptism the voice comes from heaven. Here on the mountainside God speaks from the cloud that has engulfed them. There is an intimacy, a closeness that we don’t see at Jesus’ baptism, a real sense of a deep spiritual experience for Jesus. The second difference is that God says "I have chosen him". This is quite literally the definition of the Messiah – the chosen one!

After the mountain-top experience they head back down the mountain and are met by a father begging that his son is healed. It is a stark reminder that the ‘act of making something more beautiful or spiritual’ is not confined to the personal experience but a calling for God’s people to act in the world too.

The Joint Public Issues Team have six hopes that shape our work and they can be found here (Six hopes for society - Joint Public Issues Team). Even small glimpses of these hopes bearing fruit in our society produce a more beautiful, God-like world. These hopes offer the chance of transfiguration, turning poverty, conflict, fear, exclusion, damage and lies into the beauty of fullness of life, peace, welcome, inclusion, growth and truth for all.

 

To Ponder:

  • How have ‘mountain top experiences’ changed you and the way you relate to others?
  • Explore the JPIT six hopes. How could you see these hopes making something more beautiful in your community?

Prayer

God of the mountain top, we thank you that you have given us a living experience of your transforming love and grace. At your heart is a desire to make this world a more beautiful and spiritual place and we pray that we may play our part by living out the hope that is in us from you. Amen.


Bible notes author

The Revd David Hardman

David Hardman is a presbyter and the Methodist Team Leader of the Joint Public Issues Team.

Share this