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 7 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

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
To me, the Transfiguration means victory in our lives. Jesus was to conquer death. He told His disciples not to tell anyone until after "the Son of man should have risen again from the dead." In other words, He was to die first, then triumph over the grave. This gives us hope as we too will follow. It showed Him in His glorified body. And we shall be like Him (1 John 3:2).

May 15 2024 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Dave Larsen Husband, father and grand father. Student of the Messiah.
Through the transfiguration event the LORD is revealing what will take place before Yoshua’s millennial reign begins, and when it will begin. 

Mark 9:1- 13: And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." 2 And after six days Yoshua took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Yoshua. 5 And Peter said to Yoshua, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.) 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Yoshua only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him."

The gospels of Matthew and Mark both say the event took place 6 days after Yoshua said, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” The prophecy of the event, and the event are revealing aspects of what will take place leading up to Yoshua’s millennial reign and when it will start. (Revelation 20, and Matthew 25:31-46) 

Peter’s comment about setting up 3 tents (tabernacles) and the disciples' question about Elijah coming first reveal they fully understood what they were witnessing. It was the fulfillment of Yoshua’s prophecy given 6 days earlier. The LORD'S 7th feast is called “Tabernacles” (Leviticus 23:33-34) and represents Yoshua’s millennial reign. Knowing that helps to better understand their next question. “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?" Yoshua answers, “Elijah does come first to restore all things." (Malachi 4:4-6)

The disciples are confused because Malachi prophesied Elijah was to restore a period of righteousness prior to the horrible day of the LORD (wicked judged). According to prophecy Yoshua’s reign wouldn’t start until after the wicked were punished (Matthew 25:31-46). Yoshua then tells them John the Baptist was a type of Elijah, revealing Malachi’s prophecy is fulfilled in the spirit of Elijah. 

Joel 2:28-32: “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 

The transfiguration takes place 6 days after Yoshua said, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” The 6 days represent a period of 6000 years from the year of Yoshua’s death to the start of His millennial reign. Prior to His millennial reign He will send the spirit of Elijah to restore a period of righteousness as Joel prophesied.

May 16 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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