Matthew 17.1-9.

Taking a fresh look at Jesus.

This morning we had the reading of the Transfiguration at the first Church meeting I went too.

“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

These guys had been living with Jesus for three years and hanging out with him, and although they have had a gradual realisation of who he really is, they haven’t fully seen him in his glory. They have moments of realisation, such as Peter saying “you are the Christ the Son of the Living God, but this is an experience of seeing something of the Glory of God, in this theophany where Jesus is glorified, revealed as the Christ -or Messiah- the fulfilment of the law and the prophets, standing with Moses and Elijah.

This encounter, although only momentary, gave those awe-struck disciples a fresh revelation of who Jesus was.

Perhaps we need to have a fresh revelation of Jesus?

Maybe our understanding of Jesus and our relationship with him needs a bit of a shake up to see him with new and fresh eyes. In every human relationships we need continued moments of transformative revelation, it needs to undergo changes, grows and develop, a relationship that doesn’t move is static and stagnant.

As Christians we want our relationship and revelation of Jesus to be changing, growing, developing and moving to keep it from becoming stagnant.

I wonder if sometimes we need to be reminded of Christ’s awesome power, might, majesty, that he flung stars into space, God Almighty.

Or perhaps we see Christ as mighty and powerful, but somewhat unattainable, perhaps we need to encounter something of Christ’s humanity.

Perhaps God Almighty has become God All-matey?

Have we become too over familiar with the story of Christ?

Do we need to capture afresh the wow factor of the Gospel of Christ?

Jesus described himself as the ‘Pearl of Great Price’ -the story of a merchant who shopped for amazing pearls, and when he saw one of such beauty he sold everything in order to possess the pearl. The merchant saw something unique, beautiful and the great purity of the pearl.

Do we need to recognise again the purity of the pearl?

I think that often our view of Jesus is too safe and comfortable, too often we fall for the idea of “gently Jesus meek and mild” forgetting that in three years of preaching he transformed the world forever and was so controversial that the religious authorities conspired to have him murdered. In addition to this the ‘meek, mild Jesus’ idea is ridiculous when we think of him single-handedly throwing our the temple traders. If you want a quiet life, the one person you need to steer clear of is Jesus Christ.

Shane Claiborne says that often people tell of how their life was messed up and then they met Jesus and everything God sorted out, but Claiborne’s experiences was the reverse, saying “he more I hang out with Jesus the more trouble I get into”.

So, let’s encounter afresh the Jesus of Scripture, let’s get to know more of him, more of his heart, more of his character, and as we discover more of who Jesus is, my prayer is at the beginning of lent is that we fall more and more in love with him.

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