TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS

The Transfiguration of Jesus is an episode in the New Testament narrative in which Jesus transfigured and becomes radiant upon a mountain. Jesus and three of his apostles go to a mountain (the mount of transfiguration). On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them. Jesus is then called “Son” by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father as in the Baptism of Jesus.

The Transfiguration is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus himself as the connecting point, acting as the bridge between heaven and earth.

Jesus takes Peter, James, son of Zebedee and John with him and goes up to a mountain.Matthew (17:2) states that Jesus “was transfigured before them; his face shining as the sun, and his garments became white as the light.” At that point the prophets Elijah and Moses appear and Jesus begins to talk to them. Luke is specific in describing Jesus in a state of glory, with Luke 9:32 referring to “they saw His glory”.

Peter asks Jesus if the disciples should make tents, one for Elijah, one for Moses and one for Jesus. But before Peter can finish, a bright cloud appears, and a voice from the cloud states: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him”. The disciples then fall to the ground in fear, but Jesus approaches and touches them, telling them not to be afraid. When the disciples look up, they no longer see Elijah or Moses.

The Transfiguration not only supports the identity of Jesus as the Son of God (as in his Baptism), but the statement “listen to him”. At the Transfiguration God assigns to Jesus a special “honor and glory” and it is the turning point at which God exalts Jesus above all other powers in creation, and positions him as ruler and judge. The feast of transfiguration is celebrated by various Christian denominations.

Sharon Vas, Student representative, ACC.

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