The time you will be reading this will be well after Christmas, but that doesn’t mean a bit of Christmas can’t be discussed. All throughout this past season we learned about Jesus’s incarnation: God coming into the world as a humble human baby. Yet after this miraculous conception and birth it seems that we have to wait about thirty years to see aspects of Jesus’s divinity. The truth is that Jesus in His humanity had a somewhat ordinary life for those living in 1st Century Israel. He was poor, lived in a rural part of the world, and took up the job of His earthly father Joseph as a carpenter. The time between His birth and the beginning of His ministry doesn’t seem to show clear sparks of divinity in Him. Even His parents seemed to forget in Luke 2 in the incident of leaving Jesus behind at the temple, and His own brothers doubted Him in John 7:5. In all respects it would have appeared that Jesus was only ordinary, even Isaiah 53:2b states, “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” Jesus had fully enveloped the form of humble man, however that is not what is shown in this passage today.
This section of Scripture we have today is about His transfiguration, the moment where Jesus unveils His divine glory to Peter, James, and John. It is a moment of great climatic experience, after six days Jesus leads His inner circle of disciples up a high mountain to reveal Himself in a way only divinity can. In this scene Jesus’s face begins to shine like the sun, a direct reflection back to Moses, but here Jesus is shown as the greater Moses. His clothes shine white as light, a reflection of His complete purity and greatness. During this event Moses and Elijah appear, representing Jesus’s fulfillment of both the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). Peter, being excited at this event offers to make three tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, and suddenly the voice of the Father gives a terrifying command of obedience to His Son. After this they are again alone with Jesus in what seems to be the end of this epic scene.
After this intense vision, it seems as if Peter, James, and John are just again walking back down the mountain with their friend and teacher Jesus. He does not seem to be glowing anymore, Moses and Elijah are not with them, no bright cloud speaking and leading them away, just themselves and Jesus. All this glorious intensity being shown in this preceding passage and here they were, walking down a mountain. No supernatural means of bringing them down, no glorious power shining through them, nothing, just their ordinary selves coming back down.
It is easy for us to forget in our seemingly ordinary worlds that it is actually far from ordinary. The spiritual is all around us, there is a greater reality that exists that we tend to forget about. Angels and demons roam among us, Satan prowls around like a lion, the Holy Spirit lives within us. Do not get blinded as we typically do to this extraordinary reality around and within us. Never forget the humble, poor, carpenter Jesus, is the God of the universe with complete and total control over every facet of this world. Therefore, as you go throughout your seemingly ordinary day, do not forget that the Jesus you love and serve, who came as a man, is the God who is far from being ordinary.
By: Jacob Godbey