Message Library

The Transfiguration

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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. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Matthew 17:1-3

Why did Jesus take Peter, James, and John up the mountain to see the transfiguration? What effect did seeing this have on the three apostles? We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only (John 1:14). Imagine being in the place of Peter, James and John and seeing Jesus transformed into his divine glory, talking to Elijah and Moses. I think it would have been a powerful event that left an unforgettable image imprinted in my brain.

The three apostles saw Jesus in his glory, and heard the Father; While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5). The apostles knew without a doubt that even though Jesus was a man, he was spiritually the Christ and that his glory was being revealed through the flesh.

This image certainly destroyed any pride they may have had: Recall that it was James and John who wanted to sit on the right and left of Christ in his kingdom (Mark 10:35-45). After seeing the transfiguration, the relationship that Peter, James, and John had with Jesus was surely changed. They would see Jesus now with the image of the transfiguration in their minds.

The transfiguration would tell the disciples that Jesus was divine, and it helped them to understand what Jesus meant when he said that he would be killed and raised to life on the third day. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” (Luke 9:31). However when Jesus was crucified and buried, the apostles didn’t appear to be waiting for his resurrection on the third day. Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus after his resurrection and they didn’t believe her story. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb (Luke 24:9-12). Peter ran back to the tomb with John.

The transfiguration helped to prepare the apostles for what was about to happen to Jesus. Understanding the divinity of Jesus enabled them to understand his resurrection. The Lord does the same for us by preparing us for whatever he has planned for our lives. The Lord will always equip us with whatever we need to fulfill his divine calling for us. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

Today see the vision in your mind of Jesus transformed into his heavenly glory and know that all authority in heaven and earth have been given to him. Know that if you trust the Lord, all things are possible and you will never fail in his sight. Don’t let Satan’s fear take hold of your thoughts.

Let’s Pray: Lord, help me to visualize your transfiguration, and let your glory fill my heart with your love and power. Let this vision increase my faith, knowing that you are God and that your love is perfect. Help me to reflect your perfect love and blessing to others. In Jesus name, Amen