Read Luke 9:18-34
I wrote yesterday about my frustrations with the inability to see the supernatural worked out on a regular basis in my own life. I talked to 2 people who I really respect about their opinions. Both said similar things.
Jesus told the Pharisees that they were a faithless and adulterous people who wanted to see signs and wonders. However Jesus said the only sign you will see is the death and resurrection. He said this because they were a people full of the knowledge of God, but had little faith in the power of God. Today we hear of so many miracles of God in areas of the world where God is not known because they do not have the knowledge of God like we do in America. Therefore, the Holy Spirit works in more powerful and miraculous ways to draw people to the knowledge and power of Christ. Not a bad argument.
Today you read about Peter's confession of Christ and then Christ's transfiguration. One thing that I noticed was the order of how this all played out. First, Jesus asked the disciples who they thought he was? That is a great question that everyone in the world has to wrestle with. Jesus has left such a mark on the earth that today about 99% of all of humanity is forced to make some sort of judgment about who we believe he is. I love CS Lewis's famous quote. "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us."
After Jesus asks the question, Peter quickly confesses that Jesus is the Christ or the Messiah depending on which translation your reading. At that point in Jesus' ministry, Jesus had not yet told in clear detail that he was the Christ or God in the flesh. he had performed many signs and wonders but never expressed his true identity. Yet, something in Peter's heart told him that "This was the Christ."
It was 8 days after Peter's confession that Jesus allowed Peter and 2 others to see his true glory. Scripture says it like this; "About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning."
Notice that it wasn't until after Peter, James, and John confessed that he was the Christ, that Jesus fully revealed himself to them. For Peter, James, and John; the heart change came before the full revelation. There was faith before a knowledge of his glory. Same is true for us today. If we're honest we would agree that when we have seen Christ in his glory (or for who he is), it has been after our conversion. Like the great hymn tells us, "I once was blind, but now I see." I must first believe so that I can see.
Jesus is the Christ. He has revealed it to us through his death and resurrection. He is the chosen Son of God. The one who has come to live perfect among us, to be our example. He is the spotless lamb of God and yet the Lion of Judah. All of the wrath of God was borne in his sinless body as he hung on the tree. He is our substitution, our intercessor who gives access to the Father. He is the perfect balance of grace and truth. If we believe in him as the Christ he will reveal himself to us in ways that we would never imagine possible.