Luke 9:28-29 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white.
Today we have a simple questions, How do you see you self? Itís a simple enough question, and yet it has 2 parts, first, is the method for seeing yourself, how do you really see yourself? And second, is what do you see? What do you look like? And we will conclude in the very Lutheran way, by considering what does this mean?
How do you see yourself? Often the first thing that comes to mind is a mirror, that is one way of seeing yourself. We often use a mirror to get dressed, and to comb our hair. How we appear is very important, at least to the world. A Mirror can be very helpful, but it is only a reflection, and it can only show outward appearance, it cannot show what is inside. Outward appearances can be deceptive, If I showed you 2 rocks, one was gold, and one was fools gold, and asked you to choose, most people choose fools gold, because it has a better appearance, even if it has no real value.
So if you do not really come to see yourself in a mirror, how can you see yourself? Sometimes we look to others, and we learn about ourselves as others tell us how they see us. It can be helpful, if we have good friends who can really see us, and tell us what they see. But sometimes, some people only say what they thing we want to hear. And some people really can see anything but outward appearances, and thatís not much help.
Another way to see yourself is in your imagination, who is your hero, who do you try to be like. The problem is that often who our hero is depends on what is the last show we saw, it keeps changing. And yet, it does have an effect, and it does tell you a little of how you see yourself, and often you find yourself acting like your hero acted, and talking like your hero talks.
But how do you see clearly who you are, really? What would be a better tool? One tool would be the LAW, it can show you your sins, it can tell you about everything youíve done wrong, it can tell you what God expects you to be like, and remind you of the consequences of not being right with God. The law will show us all the times weíve turned from gold and chosen the fools gold. And that is part of who we are, sinners, who make mistakes.
But by the grace of God in Jesus Christ, we are more than just sinners. We are also saints. Some people think that this is all that they are, but that is not seeing clearly, for as long as we are on earth, we are a mix of saint and sinner. But the sinner part is usually bigger than we like. Perhaps because we have many more examples that we see daily, of what sin is like. So where do we see good examples of what it is like to be a saint? Hopefully we see them, at home, and at church, and especially as we read the Word of God. Jesus is a good example to us of what it is to be a saint. For first of all, a saint is a child of God. And Jesus gives us a good idea of what a child of God is supposed to be. In our text, we get a glimpse, not of the outward appearance, but of the real nature of who Jesus really is, as Jesus was praying, he was changed, and his disciples saw in him the glory of God. Previously they had seen the power of God in the miracles they saw Jesus do, and they had heard the wisdom of God when Jesus was teaching. But now they saw the glory of God, a glory that Jesus was calling them to share in, and not just them, for Jesus is also calling us to share in His glory, just as he calls us to share in his victory, over sin death and the devil. Jesus calls us to be the sons and daughters of God by grace through faith, in Christ.
What does this mean? Sometimes we need to hear the law, so we can see our sins, repent of our sins and receive forgiveness. But we always need to hear the gospel, so we can remember what it is that God has called us to be. In baptism, God made us a new creation. We often loose sight of who it is that we really are in Jesus Christ. We often loose sight of where we are going by the grace of God in Jesus Christ. And so we give thanks to God for this epiphany season wherein God has revealed to us the glory of Christ, and we continue to look at Jesus, our Savior, hero and friend as we will soon begin our travel through Lent.