Blogging the Bible 274 – Luke 8:40-9:62 – A glimpse of the Kingdom

Reading Luke’s account of the Transfiguration, I’m stuck by a detail which in fact is also in Matthew and Mark (though they disagree in the detail). After Jesus has told his disciples that ‘there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God’, the gospel writers state that the Transfiguration took place ‘about eight days after these sayings’. (six days later in Mark and Matthew.)
It’s unusual to have so clear a statement about the time here – I can only think that it’s meant to link the Transfiguration with the promise of the vision of the Kingdom, to show that the promise was indeed fulfilled.
If that’s the case, then I come back to my belief that the Transfiguration is a moment where the disciples see reality as it looks when seen from heaven. Jesus is still the carpenter rabbi, but he is also the blazing-with-glorious-holiness God the Son.
Seeing the Kingdom, then, includes the transformation of our perspective on the world. The Irish and Northumbrian Christians of Saxon times saw the world as a sacrament of the presence of God, a constant sign of his glory. One thing I long to do more consistently and clearly is to look at the world of my daily life in that way. For God is here, so often unseen and unnoticed. He is King, and so this world seen through faith is surely his kingdom.
If that’s true, then how can anything be dull, insignificant or unworthy of notice? I can see that the world could become overwhelmingly glorious; but I’m willing to take the risk that, like Peter, I might say something a bit daft and try to cling on to the wonder. It would be worth it in exchange for the chance to say to Jesus, ‘it is good for us to be here.’

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