The Way DAY 42 - They Saw His Glory

DAY 42 - They Saw His Glory

Luke 9:28-36

Eight days after Peter’s profession of faith, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a mountain to pray. We read in v.29, “The appearance of his face changed…” and in v.32, “and they saw his glory.” Jesus is transfigured. They glimpse the glory Jesus had before his incarnation and the glory he’ll have again after the resurrection. They even see Moses and Elijah. It’s like the entire Old Testament giving its stamp of approval to Jesus.

I’m drawn to v.33 which says, “Peter did not know what he was saying.” It’s not unusual for people to misunderstand Jesus. That includes the Twelve! Seeing Jesus changed, standing with heroes of the past, must’ve blown their minds. After all their time together, there’s plenty that the disciples still don’t understand.

However, even though they don’t see Jesus perfectly, the do see Jesus better. Think about it: these disciples now understand more about Jesus than everyone else. Why? Because they’ve seen his glory. What is glory? Glory is something’s significance or importance. You sense the heaviness of someone’s presence.

Why did Jesus allow some of the Twelve to see his glory? Why not allow the large crowds or Herod or Pilate or even Caesar to see what he really is? Luke doesn’t explicitly give us an answer, but there does seem to be a principle at work here: depth of insight follows decision. Peter, on behalf of the Twelve apostles, professed faith in Jesus as Messiah. They saw something in Jesus that others did not see. They made a decision, a commitment, to follow Jesus. Their decision positions them to receive a new depth of insight about Jesus. Jesus seems uninterested in dazzling unconvinced people with his glory. It’s a gift revealed to those who trust him, who put their faith in him.

Some things you only know through commitment. It’s what Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th c. called “faith seeking understanding.” You really only understand the Way of Jesus after you’ve walked some of it. Depth of insight follows decision.

Why did Peter understand Jesus better only after he professed faith and committed to Jesus?

Lord Jesus, I trust you. You are the Messiah, chosen by God to save us. Show me your glory. Amen.

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