It is wonderful that Jesus on Mount Tabor gave his disciples a glimpse of his identity as Son of God. Just before the mountain experience, he told them the awful news that “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” and then he explained the dreadful cost of being his disciple: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”.
On the mountain as they pray he shows them the wondrous reality of his divinity. His body and even his clothes become radiant, dazzling light– giving just a glimpse of the life He promises to share!
He allows them to recognize Moses and Elijah letting them ‘listen in’ on their discussions about “his exodus, which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem” (his suffering, death, and resurrection). Although very sleepy, they stay awake. Who wouldn’t?
Then God the Father speaks to them: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him”. After this wondrous and terrifying revelation about their friend Jesus, they find themselves with only Jesus, son of Mary, on the mountain! They don’t talk about this to anyone at that time! They certainly don’t understand what happened. They only begin to understand after Jesus’ resurrection and Pentecost!
It is wonderful that we too witness with Peter, James, and John the glory of Jesus’ identity as the “Chosen Son” and hear what Paul teaches the Ephesians: ” We, too, are destined for glory when Christ will “change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body”.
And it is good to be reminded of our wondrous future every time we experience a remarkable sunset, the shining face of a delighted child, the radiant joy of new parents, the joy of friendship, the uplifting hope in having someone confide in us, the experience of unity when we share something beautiful with someone else, every time we are full of delight to be alive.
With Jesus’ transfiguration these are glimpses of future glory Jesus offers us. They are to encourage, strengthen us through dark and frightening times, the tough times, on the journey to eternal glory.
I know that those times I have been filled with joy or when I was filled with deep peace have sustained me through times when I was in darkness, trouble, temptation, and turmoil, or simply frightened. They are my treasures of hope. I pray that you also have a treasure chest full of hope.