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Transfiguration of Our Lord


Jesus Christ, in speaking to His disciples, often told them that He was to go to Jerusalem to receive suffering at the hands of the high priests and the teachers of the Law, that he was to be killed and to be resurrected on the third day. The apostles believed that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, but they were deeply distressed at the thought of His suffering and could not bear to hear that He, the Son of God and the Messiah, would be degraded, would suffer, and would die. The disciples still had earthly hopes about the glory of the Savior. They hoped that Jesus would free Judea from the Roman Empire's rule and would restore the Kingdom of Israel.

To strengthen their faith for the time when they would see Him suffering and to take their minds off earthly thoughts, Jesus Christ showed His disciples His Divine glory. Not long before His suffering, Jesus took three of His disciples - Peter, James, and John - and led them up a high mountain, Tabor, to pray. Walking a little distance from them, He began to pray while the exhausted disciples fell asleep. When they awoke, they saw their Teacher transfigured: His face shone like the sun, and His clothing was white as snow and glittering like light. And standing with Jesus were two prophets - Moses and Elijah - who appeared in their heavenly glory to talk with Jesus about how He would soon fulfill God's purpose by suffering and dying in Jerusalem.

"When they awakened, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. And it came to pass as they departed from Him, Peter said unto Jesus, 'Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah' - not knowing what he was saying" (Luke 9:32-33). "While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. And behold, a voice out of the cloud, said, 'THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED. HEAR YE HIM!' And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them and said, 'Arise, and be not afraid.' And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, except Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no man until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead' (Matt. 17:5-9).

The disciples fell to the ground in fear. Jesus came near them, touched them and said: "Arise, do not be afraid." The disciples arose and saw Jesus as He always was. When they were descending from the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to speak of what they had seen until He had arisen from the dead.

After such proof of His Divine glory, the apostles' faith in Christ as the Son of God could no longer be swayed.

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