A Miracle of Transfiguration

Read: Matthew 17:1-9

Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead. (v. 9)

When people think of the miracles of Jesus, they don’t usually think of the one in our reading today. That’s because the transfiguration is not a miracle about what Jesus does, but a miracle of who Jesus is.

Jesus took only his three most trusted disciples, Peter, James, and John, to “a high mountain.” On the mountain, they saw Jesus differently than they had ever seen him before. His face shone like the sun, and his garments were white as light (v. 2). Moses, giver of the law of God, and Elijah, greatest of all God’s prophets, appeared, talking to him. And then the disciples heard the voice and instruction of God: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (v. 5). The disciples were understandably terrified. Despite all the time they had spent together, they didn’t really know him, and they wouldn’t know him fully until after the resurrection.

Matthew shows us here that you cannot keep Jesus at a distance, comfortable in his “humanness.” In his transfiguration, Peter, James, and John began to see Jesus as he really is, and only then did they begin to understand his true identity. Jesus’s presence can be terrifying, but he invites us into it, as he did them, in preparation to know the one and only God who can deliver you from death itself, through suffering and sacrifice.

As you pray, open your heart to Jesus. Ask God to reveal his glory to you.

About the Author

Fred Van Dyke is a conservation biologist dedicated to the care for God’s creation. In this role Fred has served government agencies, private consulting firms, and academic institutions doing research, management, and teaching in conservation science. He is also the author of two books on faith and environmental stewardship.

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series The Miracles of Jesus