This Sunday we celebrate the transfiguration of Christ on what is traditionally believed to be Mt Carmel (Lk 9:28-36). Everything remained the same for the three disciples present. He was still human and their friend, but now everything had changed. They had seen his glory. He was, as his miracles had suggested, God in flesh. Furthermore, his teaching about his coming suffering, death and resurrection just before his transfiguration, now had to be taken seriously (Lk 9:21-26). His death would be for a purpose and that purpose has been the central reason for the church’s existence from then on. Even after we are glorified (Rom 8:18-25), we will still be singing praises to God the Father and the Son, for his infinite gift of his Son that we glimpse in the transfiguration of Christ.
The transfiguration exploded the disciples expectations of just seeing things as they are, thinking nothing else is possible. We can do the same. We can assume that our emphasis of Christianity or our understanding of it, is the true one. The transfiguration blew that assumption up too for the disciples. Now they knew without doubt, that Jesus’ teaching about his coming suffering, death and resurrection was going to happen, and it would be for a purpose (Luke 9:31). They are told by God’s voice, no less, to ‘listen to him’, (Jesus) not the religious leaders of their day which offered a different messiah (Luke 9:35). We too, are invited to see things differently and be changed.