Select Wisdom Brand

Why Does the Transfiguration Matter?

by Stephen Davey

Nancy from Michigan asks, “What is the significance of the transfiguration?”

The transfiguration was primarily a display of Jesus’ glory for the benefit of His disciples—Peter, James, and John. Jesus already knew His divine origin and purpose from His Father, and Moses and Elijah had already completed their earthly purposes thousands of years before.

In Matthew’s account of the transfiguration, he says the moment occurred “after six days” from the previous chapter (Matthew 17:1). At the end of Matthew 16, Jesus tells His disciples about the trials and suffering He will face in Jerusalem. The disciples would have been understandably confused and perhaps even unsure of Jesus’ power if He—the Messiah—was going to suffer and die.

Matthew and Mark both emphasize in their accounts that three of Jesus’ closest disciples were present with Him during the transfiguration, and that He transfigured “before them,” and that Moses and Elijah appeared “to them.” This was clearly a display meant to be seen by the disciples, so that after Jesus died and rose again, they could share this moment with others as a continual reminder of the glory of God.

Moses and Elijah had both already witnessed the glory of God during their earthly ministries, Moses on Mount Sinai and Elijah atop Mount Horeb. They were present at this moment because, together, they represented both the Law and the Prophets, the elements Jesus came to earth to fulfill.

So, simply put, the transfiguration is significant because it reminded Jesus’ disciples then, and us now, of His divine power, His marvelous glory, and His power over the law.

Add a Comment


Dwight Osborne says:
Yeshua told the disciples, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” The Greek phrase can be rendered as seeing the glory of the kingdom and this scene Peter, James and John witnessed was a picture of the glory of the kingdom. Some have misinterpreted Yeshua as saying some would live till He returned but that's ot what he said at all. Certainly the apostles including Paul would be alive when the rapture occurred but obviously it didn't work out that way; John was the last one to die, a natural death at an old age, having seen as it were the glory of the kingdom in the transfiguration
Dwight Osborne says:
Jesus had also said that "“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”, Luke 9:27, Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1 In the Greek, this phrase may be rendered as seeing the glory of the kingdom. Hence, they were allowed to see the glory of the kingdom in Jesus then, such that they could die having seen the glory of the coming kingdom. Many have misunderstood that passage to mean that one of the apostles, John the beloved, would remain alive until Jesus returned to earth. Obviously, that couldn't be what He meant, given the fact that John died about 1921 years ago