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Jesus transfigures
Bible Passage Matthew 17: 1- 13
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books ISAIAH, Luke, Matthew, Psalm.

Jesus transfigures

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached July 11, 2023

1 Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

2 His appearance was changed in front of them, his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.

3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

4 Then Peter told Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here! If you want, I’ll set up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

5 He was still speaking when a bright cloud suddenly overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with him. Keep on listening to him!”

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.

7 But Jesus came up to them and touched them, saying, “Get up, and stop being afraid.”

8 When they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus all by himself.

9 On their way down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 So the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

11 He answered them, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things.

12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, yet people did not recognize him and treated him just as they pleased. In the same way, the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”

13 Then the disciples understood that he had been speaking to them about John the Baptist.


Jesus’ transfiguration took place on a high mountain, possibly Mount Hermon, which was not far from Caesarea Philippi. The event was a revelation of Christ’s glory and was witnessed by only three chosen apostles. In coming into the world as a human being, Jesus had laid His divine glory aside, but now it reappeared briefly through a human body. It indicated the glory He would receive after He had finished the work He came to do.

Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus during His transfiguration, possibly to symbolize that the law and the prophets found their fulfillment in Him. He was the one to whom the entire Old Testament pointed. They talked with Jesus about His coming death, confirming what Jesus had recently told the apostles. The Messiah had to die before He could enter His glory.

Mark and Luke find different ways to describe Jesus’ clothes at this time. They were shining and they were white. Mark says that nobody could make them whiter. Luke says that they were bright, like lightning.

Both Moses and Elijah had left the earth in strange ways. Their appearance with Jesus now suggested that there is life after death.

The disciples were confused about what was happening, but the Father’s voice from heaven told them that it was an expression of His satisfaction with the entire ministry of Jesus.

Peter offered to make three temporary shelters. He did not know what to say. Perhaps he wanted to stay on the mountain. Perhaps he wanted this experience of Jesus’ power to last longer. Sometimes Peter spoke before he really thought about his words.

God declared that the kingly Messiah would lay down His life as the suffering servant by combining words from one of David’s psalms with words from one of Isaiah’s servant songs (in verse 5). This Messiah was also God’s prophet, and people were to listen to His message (see Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 42:1).

When the transfiguration was over and Jesus’ appearance returned to normal, He again told the disciples that they were not yet to reveal what they had learned (verses 6-9; Luke 9:36 ).

The vision of Elijah prompted the disciples to ask if Elijah would come before the Messiah. If Jesus was the Messiah, why had Elijah not come? Jesus replied that John the Baptist was the promised Elijah, but just as people rejected the Messiah’s forerunner so would they reject the Messiah (verses 10-13).

🔷 Jesus Christ is the chosen one of God that each person must listen to

🔷 There is life after this death and each person will receive a reward for how they lived this life

🔷 We must yearn to stay in the presence of God always

🔷 We should carefully choose our friends and who to involve in any activity we want to undertake

💥 Pray that you will always experience God
💥 Ask to stay in God’s presence always

Just as John came and people did not receive his message and we’re expecting another forerunner, so did people not believe Jesus today. If we accept Jesus as the Messiah, He will change our lives and make us like Him.

In series Bright Morning Reflections