Matthew 17, The Transfiguration
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.”
This incident in Matthew 17:1–8 is known as the “transfiguration,” and it reveals four aspects of the glory of Jesus Christ the King.
The Glory of His Person
As far as the record is concerned, this is the only time Jesus revealed His glory in this way while He was on the earth. The word translated “transformed” (v. 2) gives us our English word “metamorphosis.” A metamorphosis is a change on the outside that comes from the inside. When a caterpillar builds a cocoon or chrysalis and later emerges as a moth or butterfly, it is due to the process of metamorphosis. Our Lord’s glory was not reflected but radiated from within. The change on the outside came from within as He allowed His essential glory to shine forth (Heb. 1:3).
The Glory of His Kingdom
The presence of Moses and Elijah is significant. Moses represented the law and Elijah the prophets. All of the law and prophets point to Christ and are fulfilled in Christ (Luke 24:27; Heb. 1:1). Not one word of the Old Testament Scriptures will be unfulfilled. The promised kingdom will be established (Luke 1:32, 33, 68–77). Just as the three disciples saw Jesus glorified on earth, so God’s people will see Him in His glorious kingdom on earth.
The Glory of His Cross
The disciples had to learn that suffering and glory go together. Peter had opposed His going to Jerusalem to die (Matt. 16:22), so Jesus had to teach him that, apart from His suffering and death, there could be no glory. Peter certainly learned the lesson, for in his first epistle he repeatedly emphasized suffering and glory (1 Pet. 1:6–8, 11; 4:12—5:11).
The Glory of His Submission
Peter could not understand why the Son of God would submit to evil people and willingly suffer. The transfiguration was God’s way of teaching Peter that Jesus is glorified when we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. The world’s philosophy is “Save yourself!” but the Christian’s philosophy is “Yield yourself to God!” As He stood there in glory, Jesus proved to the three disciples that surrender always leads to glory.
Prayerfully reflect how God is changing you or helping you to grow in faith
love and prayers Revd Sara