What Happens in Us as We Look to Him

Imagine. With Peter, James and John, you’re on the mountain at the invitation of Jesus. Suddenly the appearance of His face is altered,1 and it shines like the sun.2 His clothes become “radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.”3 Moses and Elijah, long since dead, appear and speak with Jesus, and a bright cloud4 comes and overshadows all of you.5 Then from this cloud comes a voice, the Heavenly Father affirming His Son.6 Like the disciples, you are terrified and fall on your face.7 If ever a noun needed an adjective, the Transfiguration, as this historic event is called, might be it. “Breathtaking,” “mind-boggling,” or “magnificent,” perhaps?

It was a triumphant moment for Jesus—and therefore all mankind—for His human form was glorified and His Father’s love for Him proclaimed. Of that moment, Peter would later write, “We were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such a declaration as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased’—and we ourselves heard this declaration made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”8 Yet Jesus came down from the mountain where there awaited Him more challenges from His distractors to thwart, more truth for His followers to grasp, and great suffering to incur on our behalf.

The Bible teaches us “if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation,9 and “together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.”10 Then as we are new, so also are we changed, for as Paul writes, the gospel of Jesus Christ “is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.”11 Yet often amid our trials and sufferings in this world, we don’t feel new, we don’t see change, and inheritance in God’s glory seems unfathomable. In times like these, we must understand that, despite life’s challenges, our transformation indeed is true and its process continues as we look to the glory of Christ. For “we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”12 Then regardless of our circumstances, may we look to Him through prayer and the Word, steadily becoming more like Him with a glory that becomes more glorious. Breathtaking. Mind-boggling. Magnificent. And true.

We know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” —1 John 3:2.

Father, Your ways are the best ways. Grace us to see the face of Christ through the eyes of faith, that contemplating His glory, we would become ever more like Him. In His name we pray. Amen.

1 Luke 9:29 ESV
2 Matthew 17:2 ESV
3 Mk 9:3 ESV
4 Matthew 17:5 ESV
5 Luke 9:34 ESV
6 Matthew 17:5 ESV
7 Luke 9:34 ESV
8 2 Peter 1:16-18 NASB
9 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB
10 Romans 8:17 NLT
11 Colossians 1:6 NLT
12 2 Corinthians 3:18

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