What is the Transfiguration of Jesus?

What is the Transfiguration of Jesus?

Beautiful mountain landscape of Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir state, India

The transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ is commemorated on August 6, an event where Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain. Here is a look at this event, what it means and why it’s celebrated.

What does transfiguration mean?

In a general sense, when we say something is transfigured, it means it has been transformed into something that is more beautiful or elevated.

In biblical terms, Transfiguration refers to a change of form or appearance into a spiritual or more beautiful state. In the Bible, it means an event in which Jesus became radiant in glory on top of a mountain.

What is the Transfiguration of Jesus?

An event commonly called the Transfiguration is recorded in the four Gospels of the New Testament, as well as referred to in the second epistle of Peter.

The Transfiguration refers to Jesus leading Peter, James and John to the top of a high mountain. The event is described in Matthew 17:1-8Mark 9:2-8Luke 9:28-36, alluded to in John 1:14, and referred to in 2 Peter 1:16-18.

“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no onea on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.’ And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.”

– Mark 9:2-8

What is the significance of the Transfiguration?

The significance of the transfiguration was Jesus revealing his divine nature. The event was a manifestation of his glory. The transfiguration showed the radiance of the spiritual nature of Jesus before he came to earth in a human body.

The presence of Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, particularly those of Moses relaying God’s message regarding the Messiah.

“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”

– Deuteronomy 18:18

Lastly, we have the voice of God emanating from a cloud telling the disciples Peter, James and John that Jesus is his son.

What is the feast of the Transfiguration

The Feast of the Transfiguration commemorates the Transfiguration of Jesus and is honored by various Christian communities such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican church (Church of England), and others who celebrated on August 6.

Most Protestant churches, after the Reformation, abandoned the feast of Transfiguration. However, in the US and Canada, some Evangelical Lutheran churches celebrate the Transfiguration on the last Sunday after the Epiphany, which is the Sunday immediately preceding Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.

Some reformed Calvinist and Presbyterian churches, while rejecting liturgical fees, still acknowledge the Transfiguration with a service.

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