Years ago, when I was working as a youth minister in my hometown, I had the job of driving around a guest for special event that the church was promoting. I was assigned to pick up Frank Runyan. I helped him get ready for a one man show that he was performing at the local middle school. At an earlier stage in his life, Frank Runyan had a decent run on a soap opera, playing opposite the then unknown Meg Ryan. Their careers took different trajectories and Frank became serious about his faith and began to perform in Christian plays. Personally, I didn't watch soap operas, so I only knew vaguely of his prior glory. Mostly he seemed like a friendly middle aged man trying to revive an acting career. But, as we traveled around town, preparing for the show, several people recognized him. Middle aged women who remembered his former celebrity status swooned in his presence. As they whispered, "Is that Frank Runyan?" I got a glimpse of his true glory.
The disciples weren't sure who Jesus was. Peter had just named him the "Christ," only to have Jesus begin to speak of his own rejection and crucifixion. When Peter questioned this, Jesus rebuked him as a messenger from Satan. The disciples must have been having their doubts. Were they following the future king, or was Jesus a middle aged prophet on the downward slope of his career?
But, on the mountain top, Jesus was finally clearly revealed. His true glory shone forth. The glory that had always been his, the glory that he had allowed to be enveloped with human flesh in the mystery of the incarnation shone out. The true Jesus was revealed. With the great prophets of old, Jesus stood in a cloud of glory. And the voice from heaven - the voice from his heavenly Father - repeated the affirmation of his baptism, "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased." The three disciples got a glimpse of who Jesus really was.
Today, Jesus is known by all, but only worshiped by some. In the world, his name is used most often as a curse word and his claims of being the exclusive savior and the king of the world are openly mocked. Though he is the reigning King of Glory, he is not recognized by the world - yet. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Lord (Philippians 2). Until then, we have by faith a foretaste of his glory. We see in the transfiguration and in the resurrection the true nature of Jesus.
Look to Jesus, the reigning King of Glory and worship. -MK