March 17—Fairest Lord Jesus

Beautiful Savior!

Lord of all the nations!

Son of God and Son of Man!

Glory and honor,

praise, adoration,

now and forevermore be thine. (“Fairest Lord Jesus” by Anonymous)

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus. Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them. (Mark 9:2–8 NLT)

Late in his life, the famous painter Claude Monet developed cataracts on both of his eyes. He complained that it was as if he saw everything through a fog. After years of treatments that all failed to give him back his full scope of vision, he agreed to have the lens of one eye removed. After the successful surgery, Monet could once again see, but differently. Without the lens on his left eye, Monet began painting the white water lilies from his garden with a tinge of blue to them. It turns out that one side effect of losing the lens of an eye is that the ultraviolet filter has also been removed, which allowed Monet to see in colors in the UV spectrum beyond what most people can see.

It is not often that we are given the gift of seeing beyond the veil into the deeper reality that lies beneath the surface. Peter, James, and John were given this chance to see a glimpse of the true nature of Jesus as fully man and fully God. This moment of transfiguration terrified them; seeing the glory of Yahweh manifest in the incarnate Jesus was likely more than their minds could fully comprehend. Yet the reality of who Jesus is did not change, neither in that moment nor after. Jesus did not become more radiant or glorified on the mountainside, nor did He lose this glory at the foot at the mountain; it was the eyes of Jesus’s three closest friends that were changed on that mountain. They were given a glimpse of a deeper reality than they previously knew existed. Their eyes were opened, allowing them to see something few others have gotten a glimpse of, the true beauty of the Savior. Ask God to pull you into a deeper understanding of who He is, to show you a glimpse of His glory so that you might come to worship Him more fully and more intimately.