Hidden Identity

Uncovering More Than We Expect

Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, warned me, “Researching your ancestry is asking for trouble. It is like uncovering hidden wiring and plumbing in a house, knowing you could find unwelcome hazards and costs. Best to let hidden skeletons alone.”

I agree with Ed that searching your ancestry can be costly to some of your prejudices. Researching five generations may not hold a lot of surprises, but things change surprisingly, the farther back you go. I see searching for your hidden identity in your ancestry as valuable. Things are not always what they seem or as we have been led to believe. We need to be aware of hidden connections as well as the obvious ones.

The disciples were aware of the hidden identity of Jesus. Living and traveling with Jesus, they knew he was truly human. He was hungry, he wept and was thirsty. He had flesh and bones. He was a baby boy, who grew into a man working as a carpenter, and then as a rabbi. He was their teacher.

When Jesus gave the blind sight, made the lame to walk, cured diseases, brought the dead back to life, it was evident he was more than a man. Hidden in Jesus, there was the power to do what would be impossible for other men to do. At various times Jesus showed the power of God like walking on water or changing water into fine, aged wine. Much of the time, Jesus was an ordinary rabbi with a group of disciples.

The question of Jesus’ hidden identity was a mystery to all, especially his disciples. As the time grew closer to Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus allowed Peter, James, and John to experience an exceptional occasion to strengthen their faith for the challenges they would face during and after Jesus’ crucifixion, and resurrection.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain, and there he was transfigured or changed before his three disciples. His appearance and body changed before them; that is, his face shone like the sun; his clothes became white as light. Moses and Elijah representatives of the law and the prophets in the Old Testament appeared and were talking with Jesus.

Peter spoke out that it was good that they were there to see this great event and that three tents could be made to show that Jesus, Elijah, and Moses were once there talking. Before he was finished speaking, a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The voice from the cloud terrified the disciples, and they fell on their faces, in fear. Jesus came to them and said, “Rise and have no fear.” When the disciples looked, only Jesus was there in his human appearance. As they went down the mountain, Jesus told the disciples that they couldn’t tell anyone about this vision until He (Jesus) was raised from the dead.

After Jesus’ death, as a witness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Peter would proclaim, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” We heard the voice of God the Father say on the mountain, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”

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