And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart,…
I have seen men "transfigured by love, by duty, and, in death, by faith.
1. Love was within Christ, perfect, undefiled, intense, filled with the joy of giving and blessing. On the mountain He let His love loose, and oh, what the face of Christ must have been then, when infinite love overflowed His eyes and trembled on His mouth, no tongue can tell.
2. And the mighty stress of duty, filled full with the ideas, infinite in beauty, majestic in truth, which He was yet to accomplish — that and these arose like a tide of light into His expression.
3. And He, too, had come to endure death, cud here, on Hermon's side, He realized the last sacrifice. And death seemed to Him then, in that hour of the ecstasy of love and duty, not sad as it was when its power to subdue was brought home to Him by the sin and sorrow of earth, but most beautiful and joyous, full of glory and life. It was beautiful, for it was death for the sake of ideas of eternal beauty; it was joyous, for it was filled with impassioned love; it was glorious, for it was filled with the splendour of the truths He was through death to make alive among men. Therefore as He spoke of His death His face shone like the sun.
II. WE SEE CHRIST HERE IN THE UTTERMOST REALIZATION OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION WITH GOD. Always God and He were at one; but the rapture of that union was not always present. From end to end, body, soul, spirit, brain, and heart were all vividly happy with the indwelling God. This the highest conception of prayer ever given to the world — the transfiguration of man through perfect and rapturous union of being with God. There were two special means through which that was reached, and they had been wrought by Christ always.
1. Obedience to God's will. A man must be free to pray perfectly, and no man is free who is under the yoke of his own will to do wrong, who loves pleasure more than God's righteousness. There must be the freedom of love; the man can pray and feel himself one with God. It is possible for him at rare moments to stand on the Mount with Christ and be transfigured.
2. The other element in Christ which secured this communion was loving as God loved. God is love. In giving He is blest and blesses. Such prayer cannot be ours; we are not able to obey and love as Christ did.
III. How Is THAT PRAYER TO BE LIVED? Not in continued solitary contemplation. In the common tasks of life; making them the Father's business; in it finding communion, prayer.
(S. A. Brooke, M. A;)
Parallel VersesKJV: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,