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And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power."
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him." And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
When Jesus took these guys up the mountain to talk to Elijah and Moses, He didn't change. Jesus didn't go through any process or say any magic words and then become surrounded by the glory of the Lord. The Lord Himself, as His presence is described throughout the Old Testament, appeared all around them. When the Lord's presence was made visible to James, John, and Peter, Jesus was radiant. This was Jesus in the presence of God. This was really being Himself around the Father.
There was another time about 3 decades earlier that men had seen that kind of glory. It was even more unexpected and it happened at night, so it had an even greater effect.
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
From that night until the moment of transfiguration, Jesus was pretty much representing Himself. There was a voice from heaven at His baptism, but nothing like the fiery glory of the Lord. This moment shows the full weight of Him being the Messiah of God. Elijah and Moses were a big deal, but when God spoke, He said to listen to Jesus. The deliverer of the Law and the Chief of the Prophets are a big deal, but they are only hired helpers compared to a son.
As you pray today, dwell on the amazing life that Jesus lived knowing that the Father would always back Him up, support Him, and guide Him. He hasn't changed. Jesus is still the One to listen to and depend on, and He guides us every step of the way.
Advent begins on Sunday. For over 1500 years it has been a season of preparation and reflection to prepare for the coming of the King. We are going to step out of Mark starting next week as we dive into Advent. We aren't going to vacuum the blinds and polish the silver, but we'll spend the next four weeks preparing for the coming King in other ways. Gather some friends and come along.