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“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.”—Mark 9:2–4 (NKJV)
When Peter, James, and John made the decision to drop their fishing nets to follow Jesus, they could have never envisioned this moment. They were well into their career as followers of Christ. It’s been several months of being with this Man on a constant basis. They ate, traveled, and even slept alongside Him without any significant break.
After spending so much time together, I’m sure they felt they knew all there was to know about Him. And then this happens, and a completely new side of this Man is revealed! His physical appearance is transformed from the humble to the glorious. The sweat, the stains, the scarring—all the tell-tale marks this world leaves on a person, especially someone journeying through the ancient Judean countryside—are exchanged for resplendent, eternal glory.
Notice the language Mark uses to describe His appearance, which was probably described to him by Peter: “shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten.” This is man’s way of relating something he’s never seen before. It was a heavenly glory that was greater than anything of this world, and it was veiled by the fleshly form that Jesus took upon Himself from the cradle to the grave with this one exception.
Now, keep in mind, there was a deliberate purpose for this revelation. Contextually, Jesus had just upped the ante with His disciples. He is the Christ, not a mere man. He deserves total obedience and allegiance. They would need to sacrifice all to follow Him, including their very lives. But to bolster them in the wake of all of this, Jesus gives them a glimpse of what the kingdom to come will be like and its power as personified by the glory of its King!
Peter, James, and John saw another side of Jesus. As they continued to follow Him, He revealed something new about Himself to them. The same can really be said of anyone who follows Jesus. Although we can’t see what’s being described here—a physical glimpse of His eternal glory—He shows us new angles and aspects of who He is as we progress through this life on our journey of faith. Sometimes, it’s a deeper forgiveness of our sin than we ever knew before, sometimes it’s an inexplicable comfort that comes over us as we mourn a loss like never before, or sometimes it’s an outpouring of wisdom and insight into a situation that we’ve never known before.
Those who follow Jesus will continue to see another side of Him, because there is no end to the glories of who He is. Even in eternity, our existence will be an ever-unfolding revelation of Him!
Pause: What truth do you get from this account?
Practice: Share with a trusted believer or mentor how the Lord has recently revealed another side of Himself to you?
Pray: Lord, continue to show me the depth and riches of Your glory as I continue to follow and place my faith in You. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.