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The Transfiguration of Jesus

The biblical account of the transfiguration of Jesus is recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. All three leave the majestic peak where it took place unnamed, and instead focus our attention on the majesty of Jesus. Peter, who was present for this amazing event, refers to it in his second letter stating that he was an “eyewitness of His majesty.”

Their record enables us to see Jesus in his glory. His clothing glistened – white as light, white like snow. His face was altered so that it was shining like the sun. Our Lord was luminous – as if the divine light inside him finally burst forth, unable to be restrained any longer. Truly He is “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3). He is “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9). The transfiguration accentuates the deity of Jesus.

The Father demands that we hear Jesus exclusively. As the cloud of his presence overshadowed the disciples, he spoke – “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” Peter’s suggestion for three tabernacles placed Moses and Elijah on a plane equal with Jesus. Moses and Elijah stood with Jesus, but they were not equal to him. Moses and Elijah were great servants of God, but Jesus is God’s only begotten Son. Moses and Elijah did great things for God, but only Jesus could finish the Father’s work. The Father’s declaration punctuates the superiority of Jesus.

The apostles were awestruck by what they saw and heard and fear brought their faces to the ground. But a touch from Jesus’ hand relieved their fear and a word from his mouth commanded their silence until after his resurrection. For the light in him could not be extinguished – his death was only temporary – he lives again and, as the true Light, he lights the way for us – how to live our lives, how to go to the Father.

The transfiguration made the glory and power of Christ visible to the disciples – we must live our lives in such a way that he is seen today through our transformed, obedient lives.

Thomas Larkin

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