Sometimes we take for granted that large sections of the New Testament give us eye witness descriptions of Jesus doing stuff. They contain first and second hand accounts of actual events. Listen to John:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we haveseen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us…This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light…”
Throughout the gospels, people who traveled, ate, laughed, and spoke with Jesus describe moment after moment when they watched him bridge the gap between the dimensions of Heaven and Earth–his parables, his miracles, and (my personal favorite) his transfiguration. This strange and mysterious happening reveals that “Jesus is light” is not just a convenient metaphor. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Peter all describe the event:
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 [Matthew]. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them [Mark]. The appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning [Luke]…As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until [he] had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant [Mark again].
Who is Jesus? What is Jesus? What is “the eternal life?” What is light? Who is light? What does the transfiguration have to do with “rising from the dead?”