Thursday, 8 May 2008

The Transfiguration

Many people talk about Jesus without really knowing who He is. It is an undeniable fact that Jesus is an historical figure. History (outside of the Bible) tells us that a carpenter’s son, by the name of Jesus, went about preaching in Israel and suffered death by crucifixion. Only a totally ignorant person could deny that. However, Jesus was much more than an itinerant preacher that died at the hands of the Romans.

The people who were listening to Him knew that this was no ordinary man – His disciples knew that there was something special about Jesus. They believed in Him, they followed Him, but still they did not fully understand who He was.

In the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke we read of a time when God taught the disciples a very important lesson – that Jesus was not just a special man. He was far, far more!

Jesus took his three closest disciples up onto a mountain to be by themselves. James John and Peter had little idea of the wondrous things they would see and hear. As He was praying on the mountain, Jesus’ face began to shine. His clothes also became gleaming white. What was this the disciples were witnessing? As they were gazing in awe, two men appeared. They were Moses and Elijah and they started talking with Jesus. Moses, the lawgiver and Elijah, the great prophet forever represent how God dealt with His people under the Old Testament.

As the disciples were looking on at this marvellous sight a bright cloud overshadowed them and a loud voice spoke to them. “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased: listen to Him”. These words spoken by God tell us so much.

Firstly we can see that Jesus was not just a man. He was God’s beloved Son. It is an undeniable fact that a son shares their father’s nature. The same is true with Jesus and His father - God. In John 1:1 Jesus is called God, In Hebrews 1:8 His Father calls Him God. In John 20:28 Thomas declares to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

We are also taught that God wants us now to listen to Jesus. The Jews were given the Old Testament and it became our guide to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:23-25). We now live under the New Testament given to us by Christ. In Hebrews 1:1 we read, “God, after He spoke to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”

The lesson is for us to listen to Jesus. He was not just an historical figure. He is the Son of God. We need to listen to Him and follow His teachings.

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