Transfiguration Sunday | February 11, 2018
3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5 You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake.6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6 | New Living Translation (NLT)
This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday. The gospel passage above tells that story. Jesus took his inner circle disciples to a mountain top to pray and while they were there, Jesus’ likeness changed. Jesus shone as a light to the world. Peter – the impetuous one – said, “Isn’t this wonderful, we should build some memorials and just stay here and worship Jesus.”
To this Jesus replies, “No, there is work to do – the gospel needs to be preached to the world.” We know that Jesus called himself the light of the world. Jesus wants us to take his light and shine it to others, not hide it under a bushel – to quote an old kid’s song.
I had an interesting “conversation” yesterday. It really wasn’t a conversation, but a statement that I didn’t want to respond to. Part of that was because I was busy trying to pound out 10 minute miles on the elliptical. A man said to me, “I heard a “progressive” girl say to someone, how can you even teach or speak about the Bible.” Like I said, I was really pushing it on the elliptical, so I really didn’t want to engage. My thoughts weren’t so much about the girl, but the man who spoke that comment. So often in Christian circles we are quick to curse the darkness and do nothing to light a candle – that is – to shine a light.
Take a look at this passage in 2 Corinthians. Paul is reminding us that the Good News is hidden from people who are perishing. He writes, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe.” I felt that the man’s comments were judgmental of the woman, when it isn’t her fault. Satan has put a veil in front of her face so that she can’t see the truth. Why must we do this? Because of the veil, Paul says that they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News – they don’t understand the glory of Christ. If you think about it for a moment, neither did those who were closest to Jesus. Peter was oblivious to the glory of Jesus and he was standing right beside him there on the mount of transfiguration.
This passage is a great reminder that those who don’t know Jesus, haven’t necessarily rejected Jesus as much as their eyes are blinded to Jesus. One of those reasons is because Satan blinds them, but then I think sometimes we – as followers of Jesus – become a stumbling block. Rather than point the way and shine the light of Christ, we simply say “how in the world could they believe that?”
Let’s be careful not to preach about ourselves, but let’s preach the glory of Jesus Christ – that Jesus Christ is Lord. Let us preach this:
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has mad this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
Instead of cursing the darkness and asking why don’t they understand…Let us light a candle and shine the light of Christ. Let us preach the Good News. Let us shine light the face of Jesus Christ.