|"The Transfiguration" Artist unknown|
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Peter 1:1-21
TO CHEW ON: "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" 2 Peter 1:16,17.
Do you think first-person accounts of people seeing visions of heaven and Jesus are believable? Or hoax? Or maybe you view them as sacrilege? In the last few years many such modern stories have surfaced. Several—Heaven is for Real and Miracles from Heaven—have even been made into movies.
I wonder if Peter's account of Jesus' transfiguration, which he refers to here (and is told in full in Luke 9:28-36) met with the same mixed response. There was no doubt in Peter's mind, though, as to the reality of what he had seen and heard. He used this vision as grounds for his authority (2 Peter 1:18-21). Indeed, most if not all of the prophetic writings in the Bible derive from God's communicating with people in ways we would call extrasensory or supernatural.
Most of us humans, though, live in a state of limited reception, especially to the spiritual realm. So when someone claims to have a vision, even Christians, especially us 21st century ones, influenced by the prove-it-in-the-lab-or-I-won't-believe-it mentality of humanistic naturalism, are skeptical.
I know there is room for caution when we hear stories of people experiencing the supernatural. Still, I hope that I am not so cautious as to disqualify myself from hearing from God in any way He should want to speak to me.
In this regard, let me leave you with some quotes from a book by author Mike Mason. The e-book Adventures in Heaven is the story Mason tells of his friend who claimed to have many supernatural and heavenly experiences. Mike himself saw Jesus only once. Here is some of his account:
"No sooner had he said these words than I found myself looking at Jesus! He was right there in front of me, larger than life. … The first thing that struck me was His joy. He was positively beaming like ten thousand suns. … And that face—how full of character! … And what is revealed in the face of Jesus is all love, all beauty, all wisdom, all goodness…." Kindle Location 3399.
This is how that vision affected him:
"Seeing Jesus, it turned out, far from leaving me with my head stuck in the clouds, was absolutely the best thing that could have happened. I didn't tell anyone else my experience. I didn't have to. I'd been filled with the joy and the love of God, and so all my contacts with people over the next few days took on a wholly different quality" - Kindle Location 3433.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I'm glad that You are not bound by the limitations I feel within my human tent. Help me to perceive You in whatever way You choose to reveal Yourself to me. Amen.
MORE: The Feast of the Transfiguration
Today the church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration. The liturgy for this day begins with this prayer:
The CollectO God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.