Jesus is Transfigured

Matthew 17:1-13

Shortly after Simon Peter was told he would receive authority to perform work that would have impact beyond this life, Jesus took him and the brothers James and John to a mountain.  There they had an amazing experience.

These three disciples saw Jesus transfigured before them.  Jesus’ appearance was changed to be shown in a complete state of glory.  The Bible says “his face did shine as the sun” and that even his clothing was made bright.  

At this time, two prophets of the Old Testament, Moses and Elias, appeared and talked with Jesus.

Peter told Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.”  Peter asked if they should build three monuments here, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elias.  

The Transfiguration by Carl Bloch

While Peter was still speaking, a “bright cloud” developed around them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

Peter, James, and John were afraid and “fell to their face.”  Jesus touched them and told them to arise and be not afraid.  When they looked, they saw no one but Jesus.  

These three disciples had gained another witness, this time from the voice of God the Father, that Jesus was the Son of God.

As they went down the mountain, Jesus asked them not to tell anyone about this experience until Jesus had risen from the dead.  

A few more details, likely not needed for younger readers:

The disciples wondered what “risen from the dead” meant, but they were also wondering about something else.  This Elias who had appeared, was Elijah the prophet of old times.  The scribes taught scriptural prophecies mentioning that Elias must come before the Messiah comes.  They wondered if this Elijah who appeared to them was the man who needed to come before the Messiah.  Jesus confirmed that the prophecy of Elias coming was true, but the Elias meant in the prophecies had already come, did his work, and was killed.  The disciples then knew Jesus was talking about John the Baptist and that the prophecies of Elias coming had already been fulfilled.

What do you think?

  • Why did Jesus only take a few of his disciples for this event?
  • What do you think Jesus talked about with Moses and Elias?
  • What does God the Father mean when he says “hear him?”
  • What do you think Peter, James, and John thought of this event?
  • How would seeing this help these disciples after Jesus was gone?
  • What do you think Jesus looks like today, much like he did at this time of transfiguration?

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