Key Text: Mt. 16:21-17:9, Mk. 8:34-9:13, Lk. 9:22-36
To strengthen the fleshly person of Jesus with the work of God’s divine person in Jesus, demands a special event to render the entire being of Jesus, able to voluntarily take hold of death and defeat it. That is the purpose of the event we call the transfiguration of Jesus.
After Peter had confessed his faith in Jesus as the Christ and Son of God. Jesus begins to foretell his own death & resurrection, Mt. 16:21, by teaching all his disciples that his death was laying down a principle we all must accept and apply to our daily life. This principle is essential to experience, if we want to follow Him and see God, Mt. 16:24-28. What else do we need in order to see God? Read Hebrews 12:14.
Matthew, Mark & Luke were not eye-witnesses of the transfiguration but they were near and wrote of it. John was an eyewitness, but he seems to avoid it, In the gospel of John, there are three occasions of Jesus speaking about his death, 3:14, 8:28 & 12:32. The eye-witness experience of John in the transfiguration, to him, seems to be of no high priority for possibly three reasons. 1-He knew the earlier gospels already recorded it. 2-His personal credentials are of no real consequence since his gospel seems to be written to a future generation, Jn. 20:29-31, 21:24-25, putting an emphasis on the deity of Jesus, rather than his own additional details. Lastly, his theme of Jesus being the light of the world is unique to his account and His life or light was handled, Jn. 1:1-14, 8:12, 1st Jn. 1:1-7, this is unique to John and may be his way of expounding on his personal experience of His glory in the transfiguration, it’s sort of his way of teaching on what the transfiguration meant, proof that God’s light is indeed shining in a dark world even today.
God is “well pleased” with Jesus, Mt. 17:5. We are godly when we find Jesus pleasing. God does not want us to be “ashamed” of Jesus, Mk. 8:38. The exact opposite is desired of God, and that is to confess Jesus before humanity in our daily lives, Mat. 10:32. God wants “daily” living sacrifices from us, Lk. 9:23. This is the whole point of why Jesus told them and us of his death and went through it, so that our sacrifices can be acceptable to God in His blood. It is humbling to recognize that God can not accept the sacrifices of charities, soldiers or any individual, unless that sacrifice is holy and perfected by the blood of Jesus.
Moses & Elijah (Law & Prophecy) were both enforcing the fact of his crucifixion as the means by which the demands of God’s law (Moses) would be satisfied and His prophecy (Elijah) would be fulfilled as true. Lk. 9:28-30.If we will listen to Jesus, we will be learning about the law of faith in Christ, Gal. 6:1-2.If we will listen to Jesus, we will be a living fulfilment of prophecy, Jer. 31:31-33, 2Cor. 3:2-3.
“Glory” is sometimes understood in many different ways. We may glory in something, as in rejoicing or being glad about a person’s fame. That is using glory as a verb, in the Greek, that is Kauchema. But here in the transfiguration of Jesus, we see God’s glory as a noun, a different word in the Greek, it is Doxa. The noun is used in two different ways, to speak of His splendorous illumination from Heaven, and also to speak of His divine attributes which influence humanity. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it was spoken of as God’s glory, Jn. 11:4, and also when Paul spoke God’s attributes in the earth as “glory”, Romans 1:19-23.
What do we ‘glory’ in? Do we desire to see His glory, here and in the future?