And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Mark 9:2-4
Loved by Jesus and led by Jesus, John saw Jesus transfigured on the high mountain. Jesus commanded Peter, James, and John to keep what had happened a secret until after he rose from the dead. Imagine keeping such an experience a secret!
After the death of Jesus, after the church had become established, and after apostles had established churches and served the Lord well, one-by-one the apostles were martyred.
Now, only 95 or 96-year-old John was alive.
Eusebius wrote that rulers tried to kill John by boiling him in oil, but he survived. Consequently, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. The rocky Greek island of a little over 17 miles is near Ephesus in the Aegean Sea.
In a cave.
In the Spirit.
On the Lord’s Day.
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Revelation 1:12-18
Holy and pure.
Keeper of His bride.
Word of God.
Brilliant, True Light.
Holy, Holy, Holy!
John had served the Lord for decades. He walked and talked with the Son of Man, he ate with Him, he learned from Him, and he received power from Him. John stood at the foot of the cross and watched Jesus give up His life to pay the price for the world’s sins. He took Jesus’ mother into his home to care for her after Jesus’ death. He established churches; he learned of his brothers’ martyrdom; he was boiled in oil and lived, as a result, he was now on this small, lonely island … in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.
4 Key Spiritual Questions
- Are we diligent to meditate on what Jesus has done for us and worship Him? John was in the Spirit observing the Lord’s Day, probably in a cave on the rocky island. Spiritual discipline, mixed with gratitude for what Jesus had done for him. As we choose to observe the Lord’s Day in genuine worship and gratitude, our lives are changed.
- When we hear His voice, do we turn all our focus upon Him? John heard a voice behind him and turned. Throughout the years, John had learned to listen for the voice of Jesus, and he was quick to turn his focus to the Lord. As we pray and worship, we learn to recognize the voice of God.
- Do we realize that we can do nothing until we are touched by Jesus and empowered by Him? John recognized the holiness of Jesus and his standing before this Holy One. That knowledge brought him to the feet of Jesus. Only when Jesus touched John, was he able to rise. In our prayers and worship, we hear from God and turn to Him. When we see His holiness, we realize our depravity and weakness.
- Have we accepted the calling of Jesus, obeyed His command, and taken action through His power and guidance? Jesus commanded John to write what he had seen, what is and what will soon take place, and John wrote the letter of Revelation to the seven churches. Sometimes, the calling is uncomfortable, but as we step out in faith, Jesus equips us for success.
All-knowing, All-powerful, All-loving Father, thank You for the Revelation of Jesus Christ. May the holiness of Jesus permeate our very being. As we meditate upon His sacrifice, bring to remembrance all that You have done for us and spark a life of gratitude in us that will turn our focus away from us and fix our gaze upon You. Cause us to realize that we can do nothing of significance without the touch of Your own dear Son. Touch us, empower us to accomplish the works that You have prepared for us to achieve from before the foundation of the world.
Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Lord God Almighty!
I know that you have insight in recognizing God at work in your life. Won’t you share that insight with our readers in the comment section, so that we can all learn together?