Scriptural Gem for February 2014

In Romans 12:2 we read: 'Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.'

When we think of something being 'transformed' we often think of that which keeps its current form but after being 'transformed' it looks much better than before. It is interesting to note that the word translated as 'transformed' in the passage above is only used four times in the entire New Testament. The Greek word translated 'transformed' is 'Metamorphoo'. Let us turn to those scripture references where this word is used. Paul himself uses the word 'Metamorphoo' again in 2 Corinthians 3:18: 'And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.' The other two references are surprising: Matthew 17:1-2: 'After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.' And in Mark 9:2 we read: 'After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them'... That's right, the word 'Metamorphoo' means to be transfigured. The same 'transfiguration' happened to Moses as we read in Exodus 34:29: 'When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.'

Dear friends, let us lay aside our human idea of transformation which implies the same old structure with a few 'tweaks'. In the transfiguration of Christ, the life and presence of the living God in Him was being revealed to the disciples. This is what Paul means when he uses this word 'Metamorphoo' in reference to you and me. What are you after - a few changes or to have the living Christ revealed in your mortal body? There is a vast difference between the two. Father, forgive us for thinking that you want to make a few 'changes' to us so that we can be 'better'. The only way is for us to die completely and to have your glorious life fill us. Transfigure us dear Lord. Amen.