This week, we read about an event in Jesus’ life, referred to as “the transfiguration”… that sounds like a sci-fi movie, doesn’t it? “Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Then two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.” Luke 9:28-31 (NLT) Per Jesus’ instructions, His friends didn’t discuss this until after His death and resurrection, which is reported in the accounts of Luke, Matthew and Mark.
Reports of miraculous occurrences are woven throughout the Bible. In this case the appearance of Moses and Elijah, key figures in the Old Testament, show to Jesus’ trusted disciples that He is, without a doubt, the Messiah. The three didn’t understand it at the time, but when Jesus is resurrected, it comes back to them and confirms the reality of God’s work and plan. That is what the miracles do. They support the work God is doing and are never meant to be the main point or a sideshow. Miracles remind us that God is not limited to the natural rules that govern our lives. He created the world and the natural order, but because He is the creator, He isn’t constrained by them and operates independently. When and where He chooses to do this is His decision, and it is always to draw our attention to Him and His purposes. The transfiguration is not an endorsement of occult practices of speaking to the dead. This special occasion was a great support to Jesus and strong confirmation to Peter, James and John who would be key figures in the church.
As you and I pursue living fully devoted to Jesus, we can count on God to give us everything we need to grow and be faithful followers. If that includes a miraculous event it will be to support us, not a sideshow distraction.
“For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life…”
2 Peter 1:3 (TLB)