Mark 9:2-8

The Transfiguration is a mystery, to say the least. But there are two kinds of mystery. One kind is mystery because we have not yet understood it. The other kind is mystery because we will never understand it. The Transfiguration is the second kind.

Think about it. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to a mountain. Then he appears in raiment that has an otherworldly glow and sits down to talk with Moses and Elijah, who are long since dead. Then the disciples receive the privilege of hearing God pronounce that Jesus is God’s own Son. Who could ever understand this? Not us. Our minds are too small. The event is too big.

Of course, the Transfiguration is not meant to be understood. It is meant to be experienced. After all, Jesus does not take Peter, James, and John to the Mount of Explanation, but to the Mount of Transfiguration. He does not take them to a place where they can understand the mystery, but to a place where they could behold the mystery.

Most of the time, I would choose a place where I could understand. I have so many unanswered questions, so many wonderings. But Jesus invites me to a higher place, a place where I can behold and be dazzled. And when I experience that place, I realize that my deepest yearning is not to understand at all, but simply to behold.

Once Peter, James, and John behold Jesus transfigured, Mark tells us they could see nothing else but him. Whenever I have followed Jesus to the highest mountain peaks of worship, that has been my experience as well. And mystery of mysteries, it is enough.


Describe for yourself an instance when you simply beheld the mystery of God.


God, let the mystery of your presence come upon us in this moment while we pray. Amen.

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