Seeing Jesus in a New Light

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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As the men watched, Jesus' appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.

Matthew 17:2

The story of Jesus' transfiguration is one of the most spectacular in the Gospel of Matthew. For brief moments, Jesus was seen in his divine glory. Then, to emphasize the wonder of this revelation, the Heavenly Father spoke in a way reminiscent of Jesus' baptism: "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him" (v. 5). Clearly, the divine sonship of Jesus was more than a metaphor for his messianic royalty. In some unanticipated and unfathomable way, he was God in human flesh.

Christians confess that Jesus is " truly God and truly man" (The Symbol of Chalcedon, A.D. 451). Yet we often have a hard time holding together the two natures of Jesus. Sometimes we emphasize his deity, turning him into some sort of Superman who really doesn't understand what it's like to be human. At other times, we emphasize his humanity, almost to the point of denying that Jesus was God in the flesh. Our challenge is to hold together the deity and humanity of Jesus, to embrace this mystery even though it exceeds our ability to grasp it fully.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In your own faith, do you tend to emphasize Jesus' humanity or his deity? Why? How might the classic affirmation that Jesus is "truly God and truly man" impact your relationship with him?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how I wish I could have been with Peter, James, and John when you were transfigured before them. What a sight this must have been! And what a stunning revelation of your true nature.

Help me, Lord, to relate to you in the fullness of your identity as God and human. Confessing you as God, may I offer you my worship and adoration. Confessing you as human, may I remember that you understand my struggles and weaknesses. Though you did not sin, you know what it's like to be tempted. And though you were God in the flesh, you know what it's like to suffer.

All praise be to you, Jesus, the one who was and is truly God and truly human. Amen.