March 04, 2011

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

2 Peter 1:16-18

When we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power … we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2 Peter 1:16


Decades after it happened, Peter wrote about the awesome moment when Jesus was transfigured (metamorphosed) on a mountain before their very eyes (see Luke 9:28-36). The disciples who witnessed that event saw his glory, and they never forgot it. It changed their lives forever.

That, says the apostle Paul, is the secret of our own metamorphosis: “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord‘s glory, are being transformed into his image” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Imagine looking in a mirror, especially during your teenage years: “Is that a new pimple? Do I need to shave? Is that hair out of place?” That’s the idea behind this text, except that Paul talks about gazing not at himself but at the glory of Christ. Change will come when, as an old hymn says, we “turn [our] eyes upon Jesus, [and] look full in his wonderful face.”

In Greek mythology there’s a story about Medusa, a terrifying woman with snakes for hair. Anyone who looked directly at her would turn to stone. But that was a myth. Paul tells the good news that if you look directly at Jesus in faith, he will transform your stony heart into a heart that beats for God.

We need to turn our eyes to Christ, who was not only transfigured but was also crucified and raised from the dead to live and rule forever. And we will be transformed to new life.

Lord Jesus, in a world filled with flickering screens and dazzling images, help us to turn the eyes of our faith to you. Amen.

About the author — Stanley Mast

Beginning in 1971, Rev. Stanley Mast has served churches in Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan. After teaching at Calvin Theological Seminary for a few years, he was the minister of preaching at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until his retirement in 2012. Stan and his wife, Sharon, enjoy time with their two sons and five grandchildren.

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