by Brett Bradshaw
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
“The first task of a Christian is to listen.”
God of heaven and earth, I come to hear You say of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him” (Mark 9:7). But how can I listen if you do not first open the ear of my heart? Yes, Lord, open the ear of my heart. Make me to be as your servant Samuel who prayed, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9-10). Make me to be as your servant Mary who prayed, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Give me ears to truly listen to Jesus say, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospels will save it” (Mark 8:34-35).
Teach me, Lord Jesus, the meaning of your suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection so that I may live for Your sake and the gospel. Give me a true vision for following You that pierces the facade of false spirituality and secularism that is so pervasive in the world. Please do not let me gain the whole world, or even what is socially acceptable, and lose myself. Keep me from assuming that real power and success is only achieved in the ways the world says it is. Let me see and follow Jesus as He really is.
Transfigure the very core of who I am and what I most deeply want—my heart—to be receptive and responsive to the Truth of the whole world and all of history as it is revealed in Jesus Christ. Illuminate the way I think, my personality, my purpose in life, and all that I hold dear in the transforming light of Jesus’ face. Turn my eyes to Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).
I will die—keep this clarifying reality before me today—but in Jesus, my Lord and my God, I will live forever. With You, dear God, I am truly safe. My pride is not safe; my selfish desires are not safe; my assumptions about what life is all about are not safe. But I am safe for You made me and loved me. O death where is your sting? Christ is the Victor! Yes, indeed! There is now nothing that can separate me from God’s love.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.