2 Corinthians 4.3–6
It is not indeed as risen, exalted, living, divine, but as crucified, that this Jesus Christ is distinguished unmistakably from the many risen, exalted, living gods and deified founders of religion, from the Caesars, geniuses, and heroes of world history.
Hans Küng, On Being a Christian
I want to tell you a couple of stories about my family today. Firstly, one of our sons. Karen and I took each of our kids on a plane trip when they had finished primary school and were entering high school. We thought it would be a good experience for them, and in those days you could get a ‘mystery flight’ for $100 to places like Sydney and Melbourne. It was a way of filling empty seats.
I remember taking one son who was just entranced as he was looking out above the clouds and onto the ground below. He just kept saying ‘Wow!’. I don’t know how many times he said ‘Wow!’, but it never got old for him or me. It’s one of my favourite memories, up there above the clouds with nothing but innocent pleasure.
It was a lovely time, but it didn’t teach me about the Transfiguration of Jesus. Preachers often talk about the experience of the disciples as a Wow! kind of time, a time to be in the presence of Christ who is revealed as God’s Son. A time to be amazed at Jesus, shining like the sun.
But do you remember a couple of weeks ago, we heard about the time Jesus spoke with authority in the synagogue in Capernaum and people were amazed? Jesus didn’t want their amazement. He wanted their faith.
So let me turn from the clouds and bring you back to earth, where we do learn what faith is. Let me tell you about my dad. Dad died of cancer just over 27 years ago. He was only 59.
Our relationship was fine, but I have to say that when I lost my heart to Christ in my teens, a strange barrier developed between us.
Dad was initially hostile to my Christian involvement, and then neutral, and finally it was obvious he was proud of the way I knew my bible and went to church.