A glimpse of who Jesus is — Matthew 17:1–2

The glory of Jesus — part 1

40 blogs of Lent — day 27

Jesus shows who he really is, but it was only for a short time and only in front of three people who were told not to tell of it. But it did not come out of the blue, there was a lot of stuff leading up to this. It’s time for a recap.

Transfiguration of Jesus by Armando Alemdar Ara
Used under a GNU Free Documentation Licence

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 

Matthew 17:1–2 ESV UK

Where this section of Matthew’s Gospel started, Jesus had been ministering in Galilee from a base in Caperneum on the North West banks of Lake Galilee. People following him from the towns he visited. The local Pharisees who ran the local synagogues had started to question what he was doing.

From near the end of Chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel and through the next three chapters the story of Jesus has two threads:

  • The opposition to Jesus’ ministry by the authorities grows:
  • Jesus attempts to escape persecution extend his ministry to Gentiles:

So Jesus takes the inner core members of his disciples up a mountain. He is metamorphised in front of them. What they see is Jesus’ body and clothes shining. This is no reflection of light from outside, this light comes from inside. It tells who Jesus is. This is the only time that Jesus allows people to see who he is. The essential glory of God shines from within him.

Jesus laid aside his majesty when he came to earth. After he died to save us all he received his glory back. This glimpse shows us the divine inside the human and Jesus now shares his glory with us (John 17:22–24).

We do not have to wait for heaven to share in Jesus’ glory. Paul tells us that when we submit ourselves to God, God transfigures our mind (Romans 12:1–2) and when we yield to the Holy Spirit we are transfigured from glory to glory (2 Cor, 3:18).

Are you willing to yield?

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