A Glimpse of Holiness
Mark 9:2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
This is an interesting event in the life of Christ. At his baptism we hear the voice of the Father, and then again at this moment we hear the Father affirming the role of his Son. Jesus brings Peter, James and John with him to experience this event, one in which a glimpse of the goal of holiness is revealed to the disciples, for at the transfiguration they peer into eternal and on-going kingdom activity.
God’s goal for all of humanity is to be restored into the original image, a reflection of the Image — Christ. We are called to be like him and his entire life is a journey which is preparing the way for all of humanity to become God’s holy people. The holiness of God and the future for humanity is revealed in the white clothing. Purity is God’s desire for his people, a purity which is greater than anything that can be experienced here.
The presence of Moses and Elijah represent a vision of the kingdom of God. Moses was the great prophet and the one through whom God brought the law. Elijah was seen as the one who would prepare the way for the Messiah. In the holiness of God we experience both the law and a life of preparation for the Messiah. Our lives are to be a reflection of the Messiah, the one who is the fulfillment of the law. As we reflect the Image, we reflect kingdom values.
The glory of God surrounds them and they are terrified. Peter babbles and says something about a shelter, but maybe there is significance in his babbling. It is in the old tent of meeting where the glory of God was present in a meeting with Moses. The holiness of God is revealed in this glory which is experienced in the Old Testament by Moses and now the disciples are witnesses here. Perhaps Peter thought it possible to build another tent in which to contain the glory of God.
But this glimpse of God’s holiness and this foretaste of the kingdom is not to be contained in tents, nor is it only to be experienced on the mountain top. It is to be the hope of all humanity in the lived out day to day experiences of life. Jesus is affirmed as the Image and all that comes with that acceptance and understanding becomes transformational in the life of the believer.
The experience of Mt. Sinai was mind-boggling to the disciples. This was beyond their comprehension and it may be beyond ours as well. They experienced this because they simply followed Jesus and found themselves in the midst of a very profound moment.
We are invited to do the same. We are called to be God’s holy people but not because we, ourselves, figure out ways to be holy. It is only because we keep following Jesus wherever he leads, and sometimes that’s up the mountain. We are to open our eyes to what he places before us and reveals to us, and there we catch a glimpse of his holiness. It’s this holiness that he wants to reflect through you and me. The glory of heaven is holiness. When we are in a face to face relationship with our dear Savior, then we reflect the kingdom here in our daily lives.
Follow Jesus every day, step by step. Reflect him in all things and may the kingdom be revealed in and through you as you reflect a glimpse of God’s holiness.
Lord, thank you for the journey. Amen.
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