Reflections: The Transfiguration of Our Lord

February 11, 2024 

Today’s Reading: Mark 9:2-9

Daily Lectionary: Job 7:1-21; John 4:7-26

Mark 9:6 “For he [Peter] did not know what to say, for they were terrified.”

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It’s impressive—Jesus, God the Son from Heaven, standing on a mountain in radiant white clothing like never seen before. Moses lived some 1,500 years before the Transfiguration, he’s standing there with Jesus. Elijah lived some 900 years prior; he too stands there with Jesus. Impressive.

Moses and Elijah are living! Breathing and talking. We should be comforted, there’s no death for those belonging to the promise.

But the Transfiguration hits us with a danger: The God of power and might and holiness in the flesh. Moses and Elijah at His face in conversation. Are we comforted? Peter’s not. He’s terrified. Mark 9:6: “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 [Peter] did not know what to say, for they were terrified.” James and John, too—terrified! Why? Isn’t it good to see Jesus has power even over death? 

We, like Peter, James, and John, stand in sinful flesh. Consciences unclean, looking to justify ourselves by the Law, yet knowing we cannot. 

The eyes of flesh are veiled. The veil is the guilt; it’s the shame covering us, not only for our own sin, but also the sin having been done to us. The veil is the unclean conscience reading everything according to the Law, finding no way out. To look at Jesus with veiled eyes is terrifying. With eyes veiled by the Law, we read the Bible and see God’s holiness and power and divinity, but not His grace. 2 Corinthians 3:15: “For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.”

This is why we can read the Bible and find only rules and regulations and more Law of how to live. Then, in our sin, we’re terrified. For sinful flesh reads Scripture in the way of the Law.

Christ lifts the veil! 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” 

“This is my beloved Son,” says the Father, “Hear him.” So we hear him. He says, I forgive you. Now, look at Him standing on the Mount of Transfiguration! See not a sight to terrify, but a Savior on His way to the cross to redeem us. For us, it is not fear, but faith. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Lord Jesus, by your Gospel, lift the veil from my eyes that I may hear your Word for your grace, your mercy, your forgiveness of my sins, and your promise to be with me always, even unto the end of the age. Amen. 

-Pastor Warren Graff is retired from Grace Lutheran Church, Albuquerque.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

The Lutheran Reader’s Bible helps you develop a habit of devotion and Bible reading so you can slowly but intentionally understand and grow in God’s Word. Through introductions to the sixty-six books of the Bible, guided reading plans, and more, this Bible builds your confidence to study Scripture on your own.