February 19, 2023
Today’s Reading: Matt. 17:1-9
Daily Lectionary: Job 14:1-22, John 6:41-59
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It’s important for us to ponder the eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ transfiguration before we ponder His suffering. There is plenty of human suffering around us. We wake up with it. We see it in the lives of those around us—our family and friends, the ambulance rushing by, the people sleeping in makeshift shelters. We hear about it in the news. But Jesus is not merely one more victim of the injustice and cruelty of this world.
Peter, James, and John were given front-row seats so that they would know the whole of Jesus—truly God and truly man. This is who Jesus is. Unlike Moses, whose glow would fade after he left the mountain, in Jesus, “the fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). The fully-divine, fully-human Jesus goes down from the mountain with His disciples. This is who He is, whether we can see it in Him or not. This is true, even as He is betrayed, condemned, carrying His cross, dying, and breathing His last. Hold this image in your faith as you behold Jesus. Hold onto this during the Lenten journey to the tomb. He is not just another suffering victim under the cruel reign of human wrath, the devil’s oppression, and the prison of death. He came to conquer them!
Today, we hear one of those eyewitnesses, Peter, tell us, “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.” (2 Peter 1:19). We don’t see this victory with our eyes very much, if at all. So like the disciples watching Jesus being condemned, carried away, and crucified, we have to believe the Word that is spoken of Him. “This is Jesus, King of the Jews” is what hung above His cross. This is Jesus, Savior of the World, King of Kings, and final Judge.
In this Transfiguration vision, we also see (by faith) our future. Who is with Him? Moses and Elijah in glory. Can you see your future life with the Lord? Not with your eyes. But it will be there. This Jesus will also command your lowly body—even if it’s decayed in the ground—to be transformed to be like His glorious body (Phil. 3:21). Behold Him by faith, and even now hear His voice! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Pastor Michael A. Miller is Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, OR.,
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.