What Was the Importance of the Transfiguration?


it's impossible to appreciate what's

going on with the Transfiguration unless

you consciously factor in the reality

that that remarkable scene takes place

just a few days after Jesus had for the

very first time told his disciples he

was going to die and when he told his

disciples in Matthew 16 verse 21 that

was going to die they were offended they

were scandalized and Peter I think

speaking for the group grabbed Jesus and

said far be it from you can't happen and

Jesus of course was was it was upset

with Peter and told him hear you savor

the things of man and not of God this is

about three years into a three and a

half year ministry this is after four

months and years those disciples had had

followed Jesus they had seen his

miracles they had done miracles in his

name they they knew something palpably

and objectively about the power and and

the reality of who Jesus was again its

standard it totally totally knock them

off their pins and they they began to

wonder if he was really Messiah and

therefore for that reason Jesus took

three Peter James and John and he took

him into a high mountain apart not not

not a mountain apart from others but a

high mountain away from the other


by the way all of this is happening in

the foothills of Mount Hermon at 9,000

foot peak to the very north of what is

today Israel and it's a very rugged

mountainous territory and Jesus

evidently takes Peter James and John

into a very very secluded place and he

begins to pray and he asked the

disciples to pray and they fall asleep

and then as they wake up they see Jesus

standing before them

with an ineffable manifestation of light

and glory which will be his when he

reigns as king in days to come he had

laid aside that external glory and for

just a few minutes as they watched they

see him transfigured metamorphosed as a

group where the point is that that the

the caterpillar had become a butterfly

the the veiled the one who had so

carefully veiled his visible glory was

was took it to himself for a brief

season and the whole purpose of that

experience was to reinforce the

staggering faith of those apostles and

that's exactly what Peter gets out of it

when he remembers it he says we did not

bring you cunningly devised fables when

we made known to you the power and

coming because we were with him in the

holy mount we know he's Messiah we know

he's gonna reign this Messiah cuz we got

a down payment we saw him in his visible

glory the point of the Transfiguration

is to reinforce the staggering faith of

the Apostle now two things real quickly

number one it's interesting that he only

took three and that would be another

discussion as to why certainly it's not

hard to see why each of these three

these were the more influential it's my

personal tentative opinion I like the

SAG leave this with two or three fibers

it might be

that probably the reason he didn't take

all of them was because he didn't want

to take Judas because Judas had a role

to play and that's another issue but at

any rate what's clear is he took only

these three and I think the strategy was

this that these three were so

influential that if he could get them

back on board then then they could carry

the team finishing the other thing

that's interesting is that as Jesus

returns Jesus Peter James and John

return they find the other apostles

trying to drive a demon of them and

unable to do so when they say why won't

it work he says it is because of your

staggering fate now again the point is

that in the context what is it that has

staggered their fate it is Jesus message

that he's going to die and I think

that's exactly what the Transfiguration

Jam out its and it just it just sold in

such an interesting and compelling way

illustrates what a careful and sensitive

and creative and resourceful teacher

Jesus was he he's been trying to get

this cross whom he sees how desperately

crippled they are by the announcement

and so he is sensitive enough some days

later to provide that sort of a

condescending object lesson where God

condescends to give him that physical

glory just to reinforce their faith