What was the meaning and importance of the transfiguration?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
About a week after Jesus plainly told His disciples that He would suffer, be killed, and be raised to life (Luke 9:22), He took Peter, James and John up a mountain to pray. While praying, His perso...

July 01 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-10, and Luke 9:28-36 all tell of the Mount of Transfiguration event. Jesus was miraculously changed into a glorious and shining appearance. The Greek word for “transfigure” is like the English word, “metamorphosis.” 

Jesus selected Peter, James, and John to go with Him. This was one of the three occasions that Jesus took just these three disciples, Luke 8:51, Matthew 17:1, and Matthew 26:37. 

The purpose of the transfiguration was to show these disciples how Jesus would eventually be glorified and to have a glimpse of the kingdom glory to come. 

The transfiguration fulfilled the prophecy of Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27. All three gospels have the transfiguration happening right after the words of Jesus. Peter, James, and John were the only ones alive and standing there who would witness this rare moment when Jesus literally appeared the only time in His royal majesty or kingly splendor. Others would not see this while living.

The impact of the experience made Peter suggest building booths/tabernacles, as done at the Feast of Tabernacles, as if the kingdom were present. 

It was also the time Elijah and Moses, giants of the faith, talked with Jesus about His death, or departure (Greek “exodus,” Luke 9:31), which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem, Luke 9:31. 

It was one of the three times God spoke from heaven, Mark 3:17, Matthew 17:5, and John 12:28.

When God spoke here, He directed their attention to focus on His Son. After the disciples had fallen to their faces in fear, they looked up to see Jesus only.

Jesus commanded them to not tell anyone about this until after His resurrection, Matthew 17:9, Mark 9:9, 10. They must have been itching to tell what happened. As one of the witnesses of His majesty and glory, Peter explicitly speaks of this transfiguration in II Peter 1:16-18. 

John also attests to witnessing it, John 1:14. The only time he saw the “glory” was when he was on that mountain. 

Many suppose James did not leave any writings because he was martyred in 44. But potentially there were eleven years, so he could have written the epistle bearing his name. The audience could have been those saved at Pentecost and were scattered abroad afterward, James 1:1.

Supporting this, James mentions the “Lord of glory,” James 2:1. Twice in the New Testament, Jesus is called the “Lord of glory.” One is in I Corinthians 2:8. Paul saw the Lord in His glory when he was on the road to Damascus, so it was appropriate for Paul to use this title. The other is found in James 2:1. If James is truly the writer, he, as an eyewitness of the Lord of glory on that mountain, rightly uses this title as well. 

If this is the case, all three allude to this moment in their writings.

The transfiguration was an event revealing the future glory of Jesus and, by implication, the future glory of all who believe in Christ.

August 30 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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