About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Bright as a Flash of Lightning
It is advice countless moms have given to their children when they are squinting up at the sky: “Don’t look at the sun. It is bad for your eyes.” And while some advice moms give such as “don’t make faces or it will freeze that way,” isn’t true, this advice is something which we should listen to. The sun’s brightness, especially its invisible light, can do damage to our eyes, even leading to blindness. The sun’s brightness is just more than our eyes can handle.
In the same way, God’s perfection and might are just more than our sinful souls can handle. I cannot bring my pathetic attempts to love others before the God who loves all people with a perfect and limitless love. I cannot stand in front of a God who stretched out the universe when my own life is full of failures and feeble accomplishments. Our failures and disobedience have created distance between God and his people.
However, God had no desire to stay distant from his people. Since we could not go to him, he came to us in the person of Jesus. All the fullness of God comes to be with his people in Jesus, and we get to see that revealed when Jesus went up the mountain to pray. For a moment, he is uncovered as the Son of God. His brightness is on full display for his disciples and us to see so that we would have no doubts that Jesus is our perfect God come to be with his people.
How can we look to God when he is more than we can endure? We look to Jesus, who is God come to us. With our eyes fixed on him, we can see the love of God at work in human lives. Gazing upon Jesus, we see all the power of God at work.
Father in heaven, help me look to Jesus and see all the power of God given for my eternal good. Amen.