I had read this page and was contemplating what to draw … I guess, you could call that a version of meditating on the word. I was stuck. I loved the ideas on the page but felt a little overwhelmed with it. I knew I wanted to use GOD’s words describing Jesus but felt that whatever I put down on this page could not come close to the experience that Peter, James and John had. However, as you can see, I did complete this page after going to a prayer meeting. Have you ever been in meetings that have inspired you before? It was having an encounter with GOD, and seeing Him a little clearer, that helped me to be brave with this page.
Jesus was surrounded by cloud and out of that cloud a voice declared, ‘This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.’ When GOD speaks directly, we should take note and obey. He gives a direct declaration and clear instruction. Jesus is not an ordinary man and he is beyond just being special. There is a reason why he was among mankind and we should listen to what he has to say because we might then understand why he was sent and what message he wants us to hear.
GOD doesn’t just say these things about Jesus to make Jesus bigger and more popular – after all, there were only three witnesses to this event. Who knows how many other times GOD met with Jesus like this on a mountain? I wonder at this sometimes, after all, Jesus would often withdraw from people to pray. GOD speaks of Jesus’ identity as His son, GOD talks about His love for Jesus and His pleasure in Jesus as a son and then instructs the three guys there (and us) to listen. It is interesting that when GOD is nearby we discover identities and who we really are. This reminds me of my previous post and Simon discovering who he really was when he listened to the Father. You can read that in Who Am I?
One of the things that draws me to this account (other than Jesus and the voice of GOD) is the cloud. You see, clouds fascinate me and I really do love them. Being in England, we get our fair share of clouds. The winter seems full of dark grey and thick clouds, but when there is snow due the clouds have a pinkish hue. Spring clouds are often billowing and tall. Summer skies are uncrowded and contain feathery wisps. The autumn can produce low laying mist and stunning crepuscular displays. I really love clouds!
But this was no ordinary cloud, this was a cloud that contained GOD. A cloud full of the richness of the Almighty. A created place for the Creator to inhabit. A cloud like the one that showed the Israelites and their enemies that GOD was with His people.
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
What an awesome and beautiful encounter! I am certain that this changed Peter, James and John forever. This was an encounter that left them face down on the ground, much like Ezekiel. The cloud left and suddenly it was just Jesus standing there. But they could not un-see what they that experienced, the very real, physical appearance of GOD being with Jesus may have gone but that did not mean that GOD was gone. This is an encouragement! I find that when I don’t experience GOD in the tangible I can quickly become discouraged. An unanswered prayer, a difficulty, a strained relationship, a misunderstanding … they can all feel much more physical than the GOD who is with me. They can become the dark and misty cloud that I focus on and can take my perspective away from the glorious GOD. But the truth is, GOD was with Jesus before the transfiguration, was with him in the cloud during this moment of change and continued to be with him right up to his death and beyond.
Transfiguration: a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.
Realistically, who doesn’t want to be transfigured?! Imagine what would happen to the ones who witness your change. GOD doesn’t need a cloud to live in but does want to inhabit our hearts. He invites us to be transfigured through faith in Jesus. He wants us to be able to live in the truth that we are His children in whom He is well pleased!
The pages that both Rach and I are blogging are not our most recent pages. This page was completed in May but it is great that it has come up this close to Christmas. A time when we are thinking of baby Jesus being the son of Mary. I intend to remind myself in this season, where I could be focusing on the cloud, to look beyond and celebrate the birth of a child who is the Son of GOD, the one who has changed everything.