Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:1–13
Context: Just prior to the passage above, Jesus took time to teach His disciples that He would suffer, die and rise on the third day. He also told them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24b, RSV-CE).
Six days later, Jesus takes three of these disciples on a journey up a high mountain. It is there, on the mountain, that these three experience a powerful revelation of Who Jesus is in His glory. Moses and Elijah appear to Him, and Jesus Himself is transfigured before the disciples such that His garments become “white as light.”
Moses and Elijah represent the fullness of the Law and the prophets of the Old Testament. And the voice of the Father speaks, revealing Jesus as the new Law and new Prophet. The Father speaks the same words He spoke at the baptism of Jesus, only adding the words “listen to Him.” Jesus is not only the new Law and Prophet, He is also the Word that is spoken.
This experience gives strength and hope to the disciples who were most likely struggling with the idea that Jesus would soon die and that they would have to follow in His footsteps, dying themselves. By seeing this glimpse of His divinity, and by understanding He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, these future Apostles were strengthened to live out the mission to which they were called.
Reflection: Now prayerfully and slowly read the above passage again and feel free to use the points below if useful.
- Begin by pondering the six days after hearing Jesus say He would suffer, die and rise and that they would have to follow after Him. For six days they thought about this!
- Imagine the invitation to make this mysterious journey up a mountain with apparently little forewarning of what was to come. See yourself on the journey with these three.
- Reflect upon the moment when Jesus stopped and was suddenly transformed with radiance. Notice our Lord conversing with Moses and Elijah. Hear the clear and thundering voice of the Father.
- Look into the mind and heart of Peter. He said, “Lord, it is well that we are here…” Sense his joy, amazement and awe.
- Sit quietly with this whole scene and with the conversation as they walked down the mountain. As you ponder it silently, wait on our Lord and allow Him to speak to you personally if He so chooses.
- Baptism of the Lord
- Two Standards
- Three Classes of Men
- Calling of Apostles
- Wedding at Cana
- Cleansing the Temple
- Sermon on the Mount
- Calming the Storm
- Walking on Water
- The Apostles were Sent to Preach
- Conversion of Mary Magdalene
- How Christ Fed the Five Thousand
- Transfiguration of Christ
- Resurrection of Lazarus
- Supper in Bethany
- Three Ways of Humility