The spiritual world is very near–even now at hand–and all around, and yet it is also inaccessible to us by normal human actions. The spiritual world is invisible, but it is there. From time to time, God permits us to experience the spiritual world, but those times are rare this side of the grave, like seeing a snow leopard or Haley’s Comet.
Peter, James, and John are given one of those rare glimpses of the spiritual world on the Mount of Transfiguration:
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. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.Matthew 17:1-3
They see Jesus as he is in the spiritual world–glorious and radiant. When the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, he humbled himself and became as we are, but on the Mount of Transfiguration, his glory is unmasked.
Understand, though, that his glory is not in spite of his humiliation, but because of his humiliation:
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,Philippians 2:5-11
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
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