February 14, 2021: Jesus Was Transformed before Them

outdoor benches facing cross

Last Sunday after the Epiphany

It is easy for us to create a Jesus that fits the image that most comforts us. Perhaps we like an image of Jesus gathering up children to listen to his teachings. Maybe it is the Jesus that calms the storm at sea (or in our lives). We don’t know what Peter, James, and John were thinking as they made their way up a high mountain with Jesus, not long before Jesus would enter Jerusalem for the last time. We know that they were often confused, wondering who this Jesus was (Mark 4:41).

So, this mysterious encounter happens as Jesus’ clothes are bleached, Elijah and Moses appear, and the voice of God’s affirmation for Jesus is heard. No doubt, these three disciples now had a new image of just who Jesus was. Perhaps this is a coronation, a sign of victory, invincibility, and might.  Their human minds could barely comprehend the more profound meaning as they wanted the moment to last by building huts. Wouldn’t you have wanted that too?

This was a transformative moment for Jesus too. He knew that as important as this moment was, his ministry was not here in the rarified air of a mountaintop experience, but down in the valley where a hurting world sat waiting:

  • Down the mountain where people were sick and emotionally ill
  • Down the mountain where things were far more unpredictable
  • Down the mountain where a cross was being prepared
  • Down the mountain where a transformative Easter would soon happen

How has your image of Jesus been transformed over these last months? It must change for us to grow in our faith. How might you be challenged to take the reconciling love of Jesus into your Monday-to-Saturday world where it is most needed?

Chris Giesler, director of mission engagement
Board of World Mission