Tue., Feb. 8/22
“I was there!” shouts Peter. “We have not been telling you fairy tales,” he writes. “My own eyes have seen… I heard…” (2 Pet. 1:16-18, TLB). John was also there on that mount. He too describes his knowing in tangible, visual, terms. “I myself have seen Him with my own eyes and listened to Him speak. I have touched Him with my own hands” (1 John 1:1).
Matthew gives more detail: “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” They saw also Moses and Elijah, the bright cloud that covered them, and they heard. They heard the Father’s Voice coming from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” At the sound of it, records Matthew, “they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.” (Matt. 17:1-6).
John later describes the spectacle of His magnificence as he saw Him on Patmos – no longer a swaddling-clothed infant, nor a seamless-robed teacher, but One
“wearing a long robe circled with a golden band across His chest. His hair was white as wool or snow, and His eyes penetrated like flames of fire. His feet gleamed like burnished bronze, and His voice thundered like the waves against the shore. He held seven stars in His right hand and a sharp, double-bladed sword in His mouth, and His face shone like the power of the sun in unclouded brilliance.”
“When I saw Him,” John relates, “I fell at His feet as dead” (Rev. 1:13-17).
Yet, despite the overwhelming magnitude of his experience John is able to pick up quill and write. Peter, though utterly awed, can say “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” and even suggest a construction project (Matt. 17:4). Mortality communing with the Immortal, Creature conversing with Creator! Yet all these are but precursors of the final reality. Ponders Chrysostom,
“What then will we say, when the very reality of those things is made known, when the palace gates are thrown open, and we are allowed to look on the King Himself: no longer through a glass darkly, but face to face – no longer by faith, but by sight!” – John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)
I can only imagine!
Link to the song, “I Can Only Imagine!” – Artist: MercyMe, Album: The Worship Project, Released: 1999.