In September 2012, EFC celebrated its 25th Anniversary. And in January 2013, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. This means that in 2014, I will be celebrating my 50th birthday. (Yikes!) We all celebrate milestone events in our lives. Similarly, the Christian church celebrates two familiar milestone events in Jesus’ life: Christmas (Jesus’ birth) and Easter (Jesus’ death). But there are a few other events from Jesus’ life that are just as important though not widely recognized. One is the baptism of Jesus, and another is the transfiguration of Jesus.
The story of the transfiguration is in all three of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Jesus took the disciples James, John, and Peter up to a mountain, where three incredible things happened.
The first thing that happened was that Jesus was transfigured before them, or transformed into another form or image. The Bible tells us in Luke 9:29 that “the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” Jesus showed the disciples His true nature and divine glory!
The second thing that happened was that Moses and Elijah appeared in glorious splendor and spoke with Jesus about His departure. Moses and Elijah were two of the most important men in the history of Israel, and not only did they represent the Law and the Prophets, but their presence gave credibility to the supremacy of Jesus as God’s Son (Hebrews 1:1-3).
Thirdly, God’s voice was heard, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him” (Luke 9:35). As it did when Jesus was baptized, God’s voice again affirmed Christ’s identity and authority.
How did the disciples respond to all of this? At first they were sleepy! But then Peter babbled about setting up three shelters for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Luke tells us that Peter did not know what he was saying (Luke 9:33). But after the transfiguration and when Jesus was standing there alone, the disciples were silent and didn’t tell anyone what they had seen.
Do you identify with the disciples? Here was a miraculous event, right before their eyes and they didn’t know how to respond.
Why is the transfiguration so important and worthy of a response? The transfiguration shows us again that Jesus is God: His divine glory is manifested, Moses and Elijah testify to His mission, and the voice of God confirms Christ’s identity.
How will you respond? If Jesus is God, then His words are true. Not only are His promises of salvation, God’s love, and provision secure, but His warnings of eternal punishment and the necessity of repentance are true as well.
Are you listening to Christ? Are you being transformed into His image? Commit this week to spend some time listening to Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform you.