“The word became flesh and dwelt amongst us and we beheld his glory.”
There is no transfiguration scene in John’s Gospel. This is because the glory of Jesus is glimpsed throughout Jesus’ whole ministry. Glory is a tricky concept to define and it may be one of those things that we can recognise when we see it. We can think of words like renown, fame; it has connotations of brightness and weight.
The mention of glory takes back to the Old Testament accounts of the tabernacle in Exodus 40 and the temple in 1 Kings 8. Upon completion of each, God‘s glory descends. Ezekiel saw the glory depart from the temple in judgement upon Israel in Ezekiel 11 but the hope of Israel was that one day the Lord would return and dwell in the midst of them, according to Zechariah 2:10.
And now this glory is ‘beheld’ by those who saw the word made flesh. The original viewers of Jesus did not just see, they observed, looked intently, perceived the glory and we benefit of course from their beholding as we now can behold the glory ourselves in the pages of the Gospel; in the pages of Scripture.