Reflections: January 29, 2021
Friday after the Transfiguration
By Jacob Ehrhard
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (1 Peter 1:19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Have you ever considered how odd it is that Jesus brought only three disciples with Him to the Transfiguration mountain? Or that after His glorious resurrection, He only stuck around for 40 days and didn't even appear to the chief priests or King Herod, much less Caesar? If Jesus truly wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, wouldn't it be more effective if He revealed His glory from one end of the earth to the other?
No, actually. When the disciples were on the mountain, they didn't understand God's glory. Peter wanted to house it in a few tents; the other two couldn't even think of anything to say. Had Jesus appeared in Herod's or Caesar's courts like He did in the disciples' locked room after His resurrection, they would have dismissed Him. Such an encounter would necessarily end with a violent judgment.
Rather than shine His glory in a transfigured state, Jesus conceals His glory. That's His way. His Transfiguration was only a moment; His resurrection appearances were subdued.
But Peter says that we have the prophetic Word more fully confirmed. Why? Not in flashes of majestic glory or booming voices from heaven. We have the prophecy of Scripture, which was given by the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture reveals Jesus, not for judgment but for faith. The glory of Scripture isn't a blinding light, but a lamp shining in the darkness. The day is dawning, however, when Jesus will return and He will reveal Himself to kings and peasants and friend and foe alike. And we who have been enlightened with the light of Scripture will hear on that day of judgment, "This is my beloved son, this is my beloved daughter, with whom I am well pleased." In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
We have a sure prophetic Word By inspiration of the Lord; And tho' assailed on every hand, Jehovah's Word shall ever stand. ("We Have a Sure Prophetic Word" The Lutheran Hymnal 290, st.1)
-Rev. Jacob Ehrhard is the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, IL.
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