According to John’s Gospel, the first miracle Jesus performs in his public ministry is to turn water into wine at a wedding. John’s Gospel calls the miracles “signs” because through them we see the glory of God. This sign meant seeing God’s glory at a feast – a wedding banquet.
In this mysterious moment, known to history as “the Transfiguration,” Jesus reveals to the disciples his true nature. And to their shock, his true nature is the glory of God shining from his face. Present with the disciples, and beholding the same incredible sight, is Moses, the prophet who had asked on Mt. Sinai to see God’s glory. Only now, on Mt. Tabor, does he get what he hoped for. Only in Jesus does he see God face to face.
As good as the story of Esther is, however, it presents us with a problem: God is absent. Unlike other Old Testament stories, where we read of God appearing to Abraham or working behind the scenes to foil the plans of the Pharaoh, the story of Esther never mentions God. Rather, the characters in Esther appear to be acting on their own. God, it seems, is absent.