Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
The transfiguration of the Lord is one of the most perplexing events described in the Gospels. In this passage, we see Jesus and the three most intimate of his disciples, Peter, James, and John, ascend a mountain. Jesus was changed in his appearance. Peter, James, and John saw Jesus speaking with Elijah and Moses.
This passage has so much that could be speculated about and so little that could be confirmed as a clear purpose, it’s difficult to shed any light on it at all. Here are a few ideas.
First, it may well be that here God is showing that Jesus is in fact the Glorious one, God of all, and that he is revealing himself to his disciples so the news of the Gospel will be delivered to all generations. The sign of the transfiguration acts as a confirmation that Jesus really is who he says he is. This is entirely possible. It lends strength to our understanding that the apostles, after the resurrection, actually would have known how to carry on the work of the glorified Lord, because they had been in the presence of his glory before.
A second idea is that Jesus, by speaking with Moses and Elijah, shows himself to be the one who can communicated with the living (Elijah didn’t die) and with the dead (Moses did die). Again, this happens in the presence of Peter, James, and John so that they would believe as well.
There may be some other directions we could go with the passage as well. What’s important is that we realize it is a description of some event which appears to be very real. Three of Jesus’ twelve saw him chnged in his appearance. At that time they were given a tool which they were instructed to use later, after the resurrection. They apparently knewwhat to do with this revelation, even if we don’t quite know what to do with it.
How have we seen Jesus? Are we prepared to tell about him, not about ourselves? May the Lord have mercy on us, as he did on his earliest saints.
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