Leap of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ
Chapter: The Life of John and Jesus (Pages 295-297)
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name…”
Recall that at the baptism of Jesus (Hidden Truth), the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove.
In the Gospel of John, we see it is emphatically the spiritual gospel, whose aim is to show who Jesus is. Much of what is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke is here omitted, and “on the other hand,” much material is added, the type of material that brings into clear focus the glory of the Lord: His Messianic office and deity.
The arrangement of John’s Gospel is superb. We see the Word in His pre-incarnate glory, so that His condescending love in the salvation of sinners may be deeply appreciated. In his earthly ministry (mission), he reveals himself to ever-widening circles but is rejected both in Jerusalem and in Galilee. Nevertheless, he makes his appeal to sinners that they may accept him. Meanwhile, overcomes the world and brings to completion the glorious work of redemption, and by means of his resurrection and loving manifestations, he proves his claims and reveals himself as the true Son of God.
When we consider Jesus’s life, we must consider the legendary development of a resurrection story. To fully understand the depths of the transfiguration, it would take years, perhaps lifetimes, to explore it-the presence of God returning fully into the person of Jesus Christ.
The transfiguration refers specifically to the appearance of Jesus Christ in a glorified form, especially when referring to his disciples. A voice was heard that declared Jesus to be the beloved Son.
“The disciples began looking at one another, as a loss to know of which one He was speaking. There was reclining on Jesus’ breast one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.”
“Therefore the soldiers did these things. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
“That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
The transfiguration story places Jesus on the same level as the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah), making him the true source of divine truth for those who are willing to embrace him. Some regard this transformation as a misplaced resurrection narrative, while others think that it might be a report of a mystical experience, which some disciples had while in Jesus’s presence. Often as Jesus prayed, he was transfigured before them (also testing to see who could hear his thoughts-often his prayer was in silence), especially in his facial appearance.
The transfiguration reveals Jesus’s true divine nature to break out of his human form. When I think about this, I believe this is similar to Superman. He only transformed himself into his divine form when he needed to do so. He would transform himself in order to heal or reassure those that believed in him that he was the Son of God.
In the life of John throughout the Bible, we are able to see the transition from one man to another. Through the eyes of John, we can envision the life of Christ. John “paints” a picture for us to see the transformation of John’s life to another in a spiritual or supernatural sense. For those who are not believers, this will be a difficult process or impossible concept to grasp. It is all a step-by-step process that leads up to the Revelation of the Messiah.
In the New Testament, we are not told much about the early life of Christ as a man. I believe that Jesus had to learn, as any man, throughout many different stages in his life, what his Father desired of him as the Son of God (suffering). He learned how to teach and prophesy to all peoples. He dropped his prior understanding of the world and underwent a great deal of education on many different levels (realms) in order to be able to minister to people from all walks of life. When the time came, “around” the age of 30, Jesus began his ministry and writing.
The life of John is the example of how by putting our full trust in Jesus Christ, that he came in the flesh as a man, we are rewarded with Eternal Life.