Matthewby Mike Raiter
There are few passages in the New Testament more awe-inspiring than the transfiguration, literally the ″metamorphosis″, of Jesus. Jesus had taken Peter, James, and John up a mountain. In the Bible, momentous revelations often take place on mountains: God gave the law to Moses on a mountain (Exodus 19:1-3); Jesus gave the new interpretation of the law on a mountain (Matthew 5:1); the Great Commission was given on a mountain (Matthew 28:16).
Before their eyes, Jesus' form was changed. This is Jesus in His divine glory. Even after His resurrection, before His ascension, the disciples never saw Jesus like this. The one overwhelming impression and sensation they receive is of light: His face and clothes shone. This was not a light that was shining on Him; it was part of His essence. He was the source of the light, and those around Him shielded themselves from the stark glow of the One who is the light of the world.
Then Moses the great lawgiver and Elijah the great prophet appeared before them. Notice the great significance of those five men who are gathered around Jesus. On one side are Moses and Elijah, who symbolise the law and the prophets, the Old Testament. On the other side are the apostles who symbolise the New Testament. They are all focused on Jesus and listening to Him. All of the Old Testament points forward to Jesus and His salvation. The New Testament reveals the fulfilment of God's promises, and explains how His saved people should live. Jesus is the centre of the whole Bible. It has been said that the Old Testament and the New Testament sing duet, but the New Testament carries the melody, and that melody is Jesus.
″This is my Son . . . Listen to him!″ (v. 5). This is God's message to the whole world. Nothing we do can be more important than spending time listening to Jesus. Matthew's final words are: ″When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus″ (v. 8). Only Jesus was transfigured. Only Jesus was honoured by God. Only the word of Jesus is to be listened to and obeyed by everyone.
Reflect on verses 6 to 7. What do they teach us about how we should respond to the Lord Jesus?
How important is listening to Jesus in your life? What changes do you think are needed in your life to give the word of Jesus more prominence?