March 10, 2006

The Splendid Prince

Mark 9:2-8

There he was transfigured before them. Mark 9:2


S?ren Kierkegaard, a Danish theologian, tells the story of a prince who falls in love with a beautiful peasant girl who lives in the poor part of his city. The prince wants to marry her, but he wants the girl to marry him for love and not just because he's a rich prince. How can he do that?

As a prince, he could order her to marry him. But even a prince wants his bride to marry him because she wants to. As a wealthy young man, he could impress her with his wealth and power. But then he couldn't be sure whether she married him for love or for money.

So the prince came up with another idea. He decided to give up his position for a while. He moved into the girl's village and lived among the people, wearing the same kind of clothing they wore. In time, the girl grew to love the prince for who he was and because he had first loved her.

Kierkegaard says that this illustration teaches us something of the ministry of Jesus. When the curtain gets pulled back on the mount of transfiguration, we see the Lord as he really is, in all his splendor. But he does not force us to love him. Nor does he try to overwhelm us with his power. He simply invites us to respond to the invitation of his Father: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"

Lord Jesus, I worship you as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Thank you for loving this world enough to come and live among us to bring us salvation. Amen.

About the author — Kevin DeRaaf

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