“About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.” – Luke 9: 28-31.
Society today is taken with celebrities and professional athletes. Their names are common in the households of America. There is so much media coverage of their personal and professional lives that we think we know them. But if the ordinary person ever had a chance encounter with a celebrity they think they know on the street, they would not even receive a nod of acknowledgment. The relationship between celebrities and professional athletes and their fans is a one-way relationship.
Matthew 17:1-9 describes an encounter with God. The account of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (parallel passages are found in Matthew 17:1-3. and Mark 9:2-4) is a demonstration to three witnesses, Peter, James, and John, that Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be. The transfiguration of Jesus Christ was a unique display of His divine character and a glimpse of the glory, which Jesus had before He came to earth in human form. Luke 9:32 says, “Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him.” Matthew 17:8 says, “And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.” That is an appropriate scene because it is all about Jesus. Jesus is all we need to see.
The disciples had experienced a literal and figurative mountain top experience. But when they went down the mountain they were immediately plunged into the difficulties of life and ministry on earth.
Although we may envy them for their mountain top encounter with God, the message of that encounter was that in a relationship with Jesus, the encounter with God is always with us. Jesus is God and when we know Him and have a relationship with Him, there is one sense in which we never come down from the mountain. Daily as we live in a relationship with Jesus, we live in a divine encounter.
The Bible is loaded with wonderful words that remind us that we live in a divine encounter every day in our relationship with Jesus and that our Christian life must continue to be lived daily in that relationship with Him.
- In your opinion, what is an encounter with God?
- Is there something we need to do to facilitate encounters with God?