Thursday, October 27
Matthew 17:1-13 NRSV
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 there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, 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.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
And the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.
We gain physical perfection, not by asserting the perfection of the body, but by realizing that in Jesus our bodies are made perfect through His resurrection when we are identified by surrender to Him. His deathlessness becomes ours! As to perfection of “emotions,” you don’t find it by asserting the perfection of the emotions, but by loving God “with all your heart” —the emotions—and in loving Him we find our emotions come back to us perfected as we perfectly love Him. As for “perfection in all our external affairs,” that comes when the Kingdom comes and the Kingdom comes when we “receive” it by surrender. We make an external paradise through an internal Paraclete—the Holy Spirit within.
E. Stanley Jones, Christian Maturity.