Daily reading: 19 January
Importance of identity
Something to read
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white…. suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’
- Matthew 17:1-2, 5-7..
Something to think about
It’s understandable that a fictional teacher named Madame Gazelle, is terrified when she takes her class on a school trip to the zoo and is met at the gates by an apparently escaped lion. But Mr Lion quickly introduces himself as the zookeeper, ready to take Peppa Pig and her on their tour of the tortoises, penguins and butterflies, and the startled teacher can breathe a sigh of relief.
The image of Jesus on top of a mountain – the place of God’s tremendous glory descending in Old Testament narratives – blazing and dazzling with light, is alarming; it’s out of the ordinary, and not what we expect to happen to any old carpenter’s son from Nazareth. But the voice from the cloud confirms that this is certainly no ordinary man. The true identity of the fearsome being makes all the difference to the way we onlookers respond.
In Jesus, the perfection of God and the fragility of humanity are at last brought together. At last we need not shield ourselves behind protective limits from the glory of God, finding in the radiance of Jesus the God who says ‘Do not be afraid’.
Something to do
Read through this passage again, engaging your imagination. Picture yourself in the scene, witnessing the extraordinary events. What stands out to you? Speak with Jesus as you meet him on the mountaintop.
Something to pray
Jesus, beloved Son of God, thank you that you draw together humanity and divinity so that we can truly share in the life of God. Help me to find myself in you, and know myself beloved too. Amen.
Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones
Published on 19 January 2023