“Seeing is believing” we’ve heard people say. We know that believing is a matter of the heart. Faith is a gift of God that goes far beyond what our eyes are able to discern. That having been said, we have many incidents in Scripture which show us that the Lord does demonstrate that our faith is not fantasy. Throughout the ages He has given glimpses of His divine power in miracle upon miracle, thus underscoring the validity of His words.
Such is the incident before us today—the Transfiguration of Christ.
Jesus had already revealed Himself as the Messiah to His disciples in words and by many miracles. The disciples believed in Him. Now Jesus was to give a special demonstration of His power and majesty to validate the faith of Peter, James, and John.
The disciples saw Jesus, their constant companion for about three years, transfigured before them. His face and clothing began to shine with brilliance. As if that wasn’t enough, Moses and Elijah suddenly appeared and began a conversation with Jesus, speaking with Him of His coming death on the cross.
This surely was an underscoring of Jesus’ own claim—the exclamation point after Peter’s declaration: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”! (Matthew 16:16)
But let’s consider for a moment how sinful humans respond to divine revelations. There are probably as many responses as there are people. The Scriptures record how many people responded with puzzlement and others with stubbornness or hardness of heart.
Indeed, when sinful humans come in contact with the wholly divine, fear is inevitable. Peter’s response in our text is one example. When he saw the glory and majesty of Jesus’ divinity shining forth—along with the patriarchs Moses and Elijah—what was his response?
“Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’ – because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid” (Mark 9:5).
Awaiting Divine Instruction
Being at a loss for words does not stop some people from prattling on anyway. Peter was afraid and cast about in his own mind for a response to the wonderful revelation he had just witnessed of Christ’s divinity—and he babbled. His mind must have screamed out, “Say something!”
When confronted with situations we cannot understand, we too may be tempted to cast about for “something” to say or do! We may be tempted to make laws or rules (where God’s Word makes none); others may let commandments slide for convenience’ sake. In effect, we end up trying to build temples for our Lord of our own design, thinking this will be pleasing to our God.
Rather, these are moments to be still and await divine instruction.
Peter, James, and John heard the voice of God call from a cloud that overshadowed them, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Mark 9:7)
God directs us to His Son for our instructions. Jesus, the Word of God, is the source for our direction in life. Whether we are confused, misled, or “out of our minds” with fear, sticking to the directives of Holy Scripture is what will give us the peace that only God can give.
Long after the transfiguration, Peter through divine inspiration wrote as follows about the Transfiguration incident: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty… And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed…”
(2 Peter 1:16-17).
What a blessing our God has given us — His ever true, ever reliable Word! The Lord has even given us confirmations of His Word through miracles, enabling us to “see” with the eyes of faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.
That’s something to believe in!