Second Week in Epiphany – Tuesday
I will behold Thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness. – Psalm 17:15
When the time of His suffering and death drew nearer and nearer, Jesus began to prepare the disciples for the shock which flesh and blood would experience. He told them of His impending suffering and death and of the consequent resurrection. And He did more.
One day He took Peter and James and John, and brought them up to a high mountain. There He was transfigured before them; His face did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as the light. For a while He laid aside the lowliness of His human nature and caused it to glow in His heavenly, divine, glory. And, behold, there appeared unto Him Moses and Elijah talking with Him.
Then Peter, as in a dream, “said unto Jesus: ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Thee and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.’ And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said: ‘Arise, and be not afraid.’ And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, except Jesus only, in old familiar form (Matthew 17:4-8).
What is it that we see here? We see that Jesus, the Son of Man, is the very God of Glory, our only genuine Savior. We see that after this life there is in store for us another life, when our quickened body shall be like Jesus’ glorious body, as the Apostle John declared in I John 3: “When He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (v. 2b). It will be very good for us to be there with our dear Savior on the Last Day. We also see that while we are still here on earth, we are to hear the voice of our sinless Savior speak to us in His holy Word; that is the Father’s pleasure.
Jesus Himself gives us these changeless reassurances for our daily lives: “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Oh, what we Christians have to look forward to and to gratefully confess to our gracious Savior even now: “I will behold Thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.”
PRAYER – Almighty God, Heavenly Father, who did glorify Thy dear Son Jesus Christ before the face of all the world, as His transfiguration is inscribed for all on the pages of Holy Scripture, glorify and magnify Him more and more in my needy heart by Thy Holy Spirit working through Thy priceless Gospel of grace. Preserve me, through this Gospel, as Thy dear believing child until the end of my earthly stay. Grant this, O gracious God, to me for the sake of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and my only Savior. Amen.
Lord Jesus, Thou the Church’s Head; Thou art her one foundation;
in Thee she trusts, before Thee bows, and waits for Thy salvation.
Built on this Rock secure, Thy Church shall endure;
e’en though the world decay, and all things pass away;
oh hear, oh hear us, Jesus!
Help us to serve Thee evermore, with hearts both pure and lowly;
and may Thy Word, that light divine, shine on in splendor holy;
that we repentance show, in faith ever grow;
the pow’r of sin destroy, and all that doth annoy;
oh, make us faithful Christians!
Hymn 477, stanzas 1 and 3 (TLH)