by Ivana Rix
On his final journey to Jerusalem, Jesus revealed to his disciples that he was to be rejected by his nation, suffer and be killed, and the third day be raised from the grave. In Luke 9, shortly before the text reveals that Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem,” Jesus took his closest friends to the top of a high mountain (probably Mt. Tabor) to pray. He took them far apart from their companions and their usual surroundings to a place where they would be alone with him. There would be no distraction of any kind. They would be free to focus on Jesus alone. And as they did so, Jesus “was transfigured” in front of them. What did this look like? Well, the Greek word is metamorphoo: the qualitative, complete change from one state to another, as a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. Matthew says: “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.”
Four times in the gospel of John we read that Jesus is light. In Psalms we are told that “in God’s light we see light.” We delight to sing “Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee.” I believe that the three disciples were given the privilege of getting a glimpse, a very faint glimpse, of Jesus as he is in eternity. I imagine him on that mountain as Light so brilliant and dazzling that a human form can just be discerned in the center of it. I visualize the three disciples being overwhelmed by the holiness, love and goodness emanating from him.
It is good that we “pray without ceasing,” wherever we are and whatever we are doing, whether we are driving to work, riding the Metro, or cooking. But an intimate relationship with Jesus requires time spent alone with him, with our eyes and our hearts fixed on him, completely yielded to him, desiring him above all else. God promises that if we truly seek Him, He will let us find Him. Of course, God’s revelation of Himself to each of us is unique. God delights to surprise us. He would tailor our experience according to our needs. But, Jesus must be our desire, not an experience.
How can this affect us? Metamorphoo appears only twice more in the New Testament. We are commanded to worship God by presenting ourselves to Him as living sacrifices, that is not to die for Him, but to live for Him, Him only. We can achieve this not only by not allowing ourselves to be influenced by the culture, but by asking God to give us new values, new motivations, new attitudes, a completely new way of thinking. In other words, to “have the mind of Christ.” God will accomplish this in us if we meditate on 2 Cor. 3:18 (Amplified) and make it our prayer.
Lord, as I come to you ‘with unveiled face’ because I continue to behold in Your Word, as in a mirror the glory of the Lord; may I be constantly transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor, from one degree of glory to another. This comes from You, Lord, Who are Spirit.
Mt. 17:2; Jn. 1:4, 9; Jn. 8:12, 9:5; Ps. 36:9; 1 Chr. 28:9; 2 Chr. 15:2; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Cor. 2:16
Ivana Rix is an active member of The Falls Church Anglican, and she can often be found on the Welcome Team and participating in the Sunday morning Bible study called “In the Word.”