"Fulfiller of the past and hope of things to be, we hail Thy body glorified, and our redemption see."
Today is Transfiguration Sunday—the day the Christian church observes the miraculous episode where Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to a mountain to pray and, while they are there, Jesus' appearance is transformed by radiant glory. "And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light" (Matthew 17:2).
It's interesting how each of the three Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36) closes with an audible voice from a cloud saying, "This is My Son. Listen to Him." Here we have three of Jesus' closest disciples, up on a mountaintop, witnessing this magnificent display of divine power and the confirmation of Jesus as God's own Son.
"This is My Son. Listen to Him."
Surely, hearing those words would be all we'd need to surrender our lives to the Savior. How much more of a "sign" from God would it take? This certainly helps explain Peter, James, and John's commitment to follow Jesus, even to the point of facing persecution and death.
But what about you and me? Wouldn't it be something if we had such an obvious sign to follow, such an unmistakable word from on high, by which to chart the rest of our lives?
Peter, James, and John—yeah—those guys had it made—up there on the mountain, seeing the glory of God. Sure, they were scared out of their wits, but what a thing to behold, with Moses and Elijah stopping by, to boot! How could they not follow Jesus after that? Transfigured before their very eyes, this Man of miracles now undergoing one Himself. This is front page news!
Luke closes his account of the Transfiguration this way: "And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen" (Luke 9:36).
They kept silent?
Maybe for a time, but not entirely. After all, deep down inside they knew they needed to share this good news, so we too could listen to Him.
Here's what it says in 2 Peter: "... but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,' we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain" (2 Peter 1:16b-18).
It's quite possible that John, too, was referring to the same event with these famous words: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
Yes, all signs point to Jesus—sent by the Father and confirmed from on high in Baptism and Transfiguration. He's calling you today.
Listen to Him.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, on this Transfiguration Sunday, refresh our hearts with the truth of Your Son's appearance among us, and open our ears to hear His voice. In His Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber. It is based on the hymn, "'Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here," which is found on page 414 in the Lutheran Service Book.
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