the brilliant face of God

the brilliant face of God

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Mark 9:2-9
Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and His clothes became dazzling white (Mark 9:2-3).

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Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-6. What’s happening if we’re unable to see the good news God offers in Jesus Christ? Read verses 4 and 6 again. How does Jesus show us who God is and what He is like?

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What are some of your biggest fears or doubts about God’s love or goodness? How does Jesus’ example help you deal with your concerns?

The Incan Empire had practices that make us recoil. One was child sacrifice. Each year, certain families would surrender their child. They would celebrate their child and then give her corn alcohol to dull her fear. Then they would carry her up a mountain and knock her unconscious so that she wouldn’t feel pain. The child was then left to die of exposure. It would be wrong to surmise that these families de-valued children. Quite the opposite, this was a grave decision for the parents. They simply felt that their gods demanded this action.

One’s vision of God really does make a difference. If you think God is supposed to be angry and spiteful, you won’t have the courage to come to Him with the openness of a child. If you think God is supposed to be distant and uninterested, you probably won’t come to God at all. But Scripture tells us that if we want to know what God is like, we must begin by listening to Jesus.

This truth is illustrated in Jesus’ transfiguration, when Peter, James, John, and Jesus climbed a hill. Suddenly, Jesus’ clothes changed to “dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them” (Mark 9:3). The disciples watched, stunned, as “Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus” (Mark 9:4).

Not knowing what to say (but apparently feeling the urge to say something), Peter blurted out that they should build three shelters, one for Jesus and one for each of the two patriarchs (Mark 9:5). Immediately, the sky darkened and God’s voice boomed from the clouds: “This is My dearly loved Son. Listen to Him” (Mark 9:7). Before Elijah, before Moses, listen to Jesus.

In Jesus, we know that God is just and compassionate, willing to lay down His own life for us. Jesus Christ, shining in brilliant love, is our best picture of God.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Hebrews 12:1-13

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6 Responses to “the brilliant face of God”

  1. tom felten says:

    Praise God for Jesus and His becoming God incarnate—God in the flesh. As we face devastating news and the horrific effects of sin, our hope is bound up in Him. He came and began the restoration of real life, real light, real beauty.

  2. dossk says:

    Dear Winn, You have won the heart of many by writing this. The Incan dynasty practices are practised even today. Certain tribes who have been habitually practising child sacrifice, have turned to Christ by the perseverance of Indian missionaries. They are now experiencing the brilliant love of Jesus and are emboldened to spread this brilliant light in their own communities.
    Even though prohibited by Indian law, still many ethnic groups practise this horrific sacrifice to appease god. Pl.pray for them.

  3. mike wittmer says:

    Praise God that we know who He truly is! I can’t imagine living under the painfully false delusions that afflicted previous generations and entire cultures. What a heavy yoke to bear!

  4. daisymarygoldr says:

    Child sacrifice to appease the gods was a religious custom that was observed in all ancient cultures throughout the world. Abraham was familiar with this pagan practice. This is why when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac he didn’t regard it as unusual and readily obeyed. Thankfully, Abraham did not have to sacrifice his son because God provided the sacrificial animal for Himself (Genesis 22:8 NKJV) while Isaac was spared and set free.

    God does require sacrifice for sin which He provided for Himself 2000 years later by offering Jesus Christ as an appeasement for our sins (1 John 2:2). Just as the animal was killed in Isaac’s stead, Jesus willingly died on our behalf, so we might be spared and set free. Does it make us recoil that God the Father left His only child to die for our sins? Let us then sin no more—now that we have seen the love and goodness of God.

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