The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
When John wrote “we have seen His glory” he probably meant it literally. Although John himself never describes the event, the other three gospels do. It is sometimes called the “transfiguration”. Luke tells it this way:
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying. While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen. (Luke 9:28-36)
Peter makes reference to the same event when he says,
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (2 Peter 1: 16-18)
There are several other New Testament references to Jesus’ glory, but as we’ve already discovered, that subject may be a little too broad for the scope of this blog. I will tell you though, that the word translated “glory” here is the Greek word “doxa”. A discussion concerning the actual meaning of the word can be found here.
The point I want to make is this: Both Peter and John were part of Jesus’ inner circle (along with John’s brother James). They witnessed countless miracles in the three years they spent with Jesus. Here they actually saw Jesus with Moses and Elijah in “glorious splendor”; they were in the cloud, and they still didn’t get it!
Jesus called John and his brother James, “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17) probably because they did things like ask him if he wanted them to “call fire down from heaven” (Luke 9:54). Peter was impetuous and short tempered. When Jesus was crucified, they were both devastated, and hid with the other disciples in “fear of the Jewish leaders” (John 20:19).
Even after the saw the resurrected Lord, they still didn’t understand. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the “gift from the Father” (Acts 1:4.) The gift arrived on the day of Pentecost, 40 days after Jesus had gone back to heaven.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)
That day, Peter preached the first gospel message to the crowed gathered in Jerusalem.
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38-39)
The gift of the Holy Spirit; Christ living in us. Peter and John received it on that day, as did the rest of the twelve, and the 3000 who were baptized. Jesus had told them that the Holy Spirit would help them remember (John 14:26). They remembered, they finally understood, and they were changed!
Read the rest of the book of Acts and the letters written by Peter and John to witness the amazing transformation.
Over the last 2000 years, countless live have been changed in the same way.