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Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Transfiguration

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Jesus’ transfiguration took place on a high mountain, possibly Mt Hermon, not far from Caesarea Philippi in northern Palestine (Matthew 16:13; Matthew 17:1). The event was a revelation of Christ’s glory, witnessed by only three chosen disciples. In coming into the world, Jesus had laid that glory aside, but now it reappeared briefly, displayed through a human body. It was also a foretaste of the glory that Christ would receive after he had completed the work that he had come to do (Matthew 17:2; John 17:4-5).

Moses and Elijah, the two people of the Old Testament era who appeared with Jesus, possibly symbolized the law and the prophets (Matthew 17:3). Jesus was God’s chosen one, to whom the Old Testament pointed. Their conversation with Jesus about his coming death confirmed what Jesus had told his disciples a few days earlier, namely, that though he was the Messiah, he was also the suffering servant. Though he was a glorious figure of heavenly origins, he had to die a shameful death (Luke 9:30-31; cf. Matthew 16:16; Matthew 16:21).

This was further confirmed in the words that the Father spoke from heaven. His statement of approval of his Son combined words from one of David’s messianic psalms with words from one of the servant songs of Isaiah (Matthew 17:5; cf. Psalms 2:7; Isaiah 42:1).

The Father’s final words, ‘Hear him’, indicated that this one, besides being the kingly Messiah and the suffering servant, was the great prophet who announced God’s message to the world (Matthew 17:5; cf. Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22-26). The entire transfiguration event showed God’s satisfaction with all that Jesus had done and with all that he intended to do as the climax to his ministry approached. (See also MESSIAH; SERVANT OF THE LORD.)


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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Transfiguration'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bbd/t/transfiguration.html. 2004.

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Wednesday, February 19th, 2020
the Sixth Week after Epiphany
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