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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Metamorphosis

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. (Mark 9:2,3, NIV)

We call this event the Transfiguration of Jesus. More about what that means in a moment.

The preceding week Jesus disclosed to all the Twelve His approaching death and resurrection. This announcement was followed by Jesus inviting His disciples to a life of self-surrender and self-denial, with the promise that reward awaited them when He returned in glory (8:31-38). Those same promises apply to us as well.

Jesus moves from the villages of Caesarea Philippi in the area we now know as the Golan Heights into the range of Mount Hermon, the highest mountains that straddle the modern nations of Syria, Lebanon and Israel. He leaves behind three-fourths of His closest disciples, taking only the inner core of three: Peter, James and John.

These three appear to have a special relationship with Him as their names are first in the list of the Twelve (3:16-19), they accompany Him into the room where lay Jairus’ dead daughter (5:37) and are asked by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to watch and pray with Him (14:33).

The selection of these three holds important implications for leadership and discipleship in that it rebuts the idea that a leader must not show discrimination or play favorites. The fact is that Jesus drew some closer to Him than others — probably because they were the ones who moved closest to Him. It’s a great lesson as well for us — that we draw near to Him.

Somewhere on a high mountain, Jesus is transfigured before the three. The Greek word used here comes straight across in the English language as “metamorphosis.”

Morphe means form or structure. Meta means to change.

We understand this term better by looking at Romans 12:1,2 where we are told not to conform to this world, but be transformed. The word conform has as its root the word schema, from which we derive the words scheme or fashion. Here’s the difference between the two words. My morphe does not change. I have been male all my life. However, my schema or appearance is much different today than when I was 6, 16 or 39.

We are told in Romans 12 to not simply add the gloss of being a Christian to an otherwise worldly life, but to truly undergo a complete metamorphosis — a fundamental change in who we are, our own transfiguration.

For Jesus, the word metamorphosis means that His radiance on the mountain was not just a thin layer of glow on His humanity. Rather, in those moments the three disciples were eyewitnesses to His divine nature. Peter never forgot it. Decades later he says, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).

It is that same glory we will be privileged to see at Jesus’ return, “the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of earth to the ends of the heavens” (Mark 13:26,27).

Are you living today in expectation of that Day? Peter, James and John were taken to a high mountain where for a few hours they saw Christ in His glory! Will you see Him in glory for all eternity?

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, receive me into Your presence today and every moment of my life so that when the Great Day comes I will see firsthand Your majesty and splendor.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark


Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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