THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS
"Now about eight days after these sayings he took with Him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance was altered and his raiment became dazzling white. And behold, two men talked with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His departure, which He was to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with Him were heavy with sleep but kept awake, and they saw his glory and the two men who stood with Him. And as the men were parting from Him, Peter said to Jesus, 'Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah' - not knowing what he said. As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud saying, 'This is my Son, my Beloved; listen to Him!' And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone."
- Luke 9:28-36
Research into the workings of the human brain has come a long way. For example, we now know that substances called neurotransmitters carry electrical impulses across synapses, which are the gaps between the axons (outgoing 'wires') of one neuron (brain cell) and the dendrites (receiving 'wires') of others. We know exactly which neurotransmitters are found in the different parts of the brain, and exactly how the mechanics of the various brain systems work.
But, you know what? We still don't have a clue about exactly HOW all that activity translates into thought and logic and emotion and memory. We know that it somehow DOES, but we really don't understand it at all. It's a mystery that scientific research may never be able to solve.
There are many things that we simply aren't capable of understanding. They are just beyond us. God is sometimes like that. Today's Scripture passage tells of an event that no human has ever really understood: the Transfiguration of Jesus. Have you ever wondered just why Jesus needed to go up on that mountain and meet with Moses and Elijah? We know it wasn't simply for the benefit of the three disciples Jesus brought along, because He and the two Old Testament saints discussed Jesus' impending death, Resurrection and ascension. So it wasn't just a cameo appearance: there was a purpose to it, and obviously an important one at that. But WHY they needed to discuss those upcoming events at that time has baffled even the mightiest theologians for almost 2000 years.
Let's face it, we can't really understand God. His totality is beyond our comprehension. He HAS given us His Word, the Bible, which contains as much of His mind as we are able to understand with our relatively limited thought processes. Studying that book and diligently attempting to live by it does allow us to get a basic handle on how God operates. But there is so much more about God that we are just never going to 'get', no matter how we try. We're just not capable of understanding the depth and vastness of His knowledge and wisdom.
And you know what? That's a GOOD thing! If the fullness of God wasn't beyond our comprehension, He wouldn't really be God. It's precisely because I know that His mind is far, far above mine that I have confidence that He understands all the complexities of life on earth that so often elude my own intellectual grasp. Knowing that He understands everything, and is in control of everything, means that I don't have to worry if something happens that doesn't seem to make sense. I can rest assured that the One I have committed my life to DOES understand, and will ultimately bring good out of even the worst situation. As Paul wrote, "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him." (Romans 8:28) That's a wonderful assurance that brings daily joy to those who embrace it.
Why did the Transfiguration happen? There IS a correct answer to that question: WE DON'T KNOW! But we know that GOD knows, just as He knows and understands everything else that we can't comprehend.
Doesn't it make sense to love and submit yourself to the One who knows ALL the answers?
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