To Transfigure – To Transform
The transfiguration of Christ is the most glorious event in His earthly ministry. His glory shined in human flesh. “Transfigure” means “a change from within, to transform.” Clearly enough, Jesus’ transfiguration reflects his inward glory.
The context of transfiguration occurred before Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, and God the Father. For Peter, James, and John were those who, later would also wisenessed the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-46). For Moses and Elijah, they were representative for Old Law. Both in glory and in agony, Jesus revealed Himself to his disciples about his true nature, his true calling, and his true mission. Like Christ, we are called to a mountain where we can be totally transformed
Like Christ, we are called to a mountain where we can be totally transformed
According to Matthew 16: 24-28, right before the transfiguration, Jesus openly talked about a condition for his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me….For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Therefore, the transfiguration was about His glory, and also an encouragement for those who would follow Christ.
First, the purpose of transfiguration is to let his disciples see His glory. The glory of God was hidden in Jesus of Nazareth. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). God’s glory is present in simple things. God is with His creatures, especially in human being who is God’s image. We can see God’s glory in each every person. Transfiguration can happen in our life if we allow ourselves to be dipped in God’s love.
Second, the transfiguration also encouraged His disciples to face the same cross that He would face. The glory of Jesus happened in the presence of Mose, Elijah – it was the picture of kingdom of God; however, the conversation was about “exodus” at Jerusalem. The conversation was not a monologue among human beings, but also was with God the Father. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Mt 13:5). The voice came from God the Father who encouraged Jesus’ disciples not to be discouraged when seeing Jesus’ suffering, cross and death.
Today, Father’s voice also encourages us who are daily experiencing sufferings under many different ways. Like Christ, we are called to a mountain where we can be totally transformed as the Father had planned for us. Likewise,the process of transformation demands us of self-sacrifice, self-giving, and self-denial. Without going through this process, we hardly experience a true transfiguration.
Transfiguration transforms us into a new person who is willingly to open to God’s invitations through our small daily choices.