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The Transfiguration of Christ

The Transfiguration of Christ

By Kevin Cowdrey

A Glorious Preview

The transfiguration of Jesus is not often spoken of in Christian teaching or expounded upon from the pulpit. The great hymn writers have penned lines about many other events in the life and ministry of our Lord, yet hymns about the transfiguration are rare. Many theology textbooks, say little to nothing about this magnificent display of the divinity and power of Christ in those moments on the mountain top. What is the reason for so many pastors, theologians and authors avoiding the transfiguration account? A systematic approach to the events of the transfiguration will help form a conclusion as to why Christ allowed the disciples to see His transfiguration, and what the reader of scripture can draw from this glorious preview.

The Precursor to the Preview

In the events leading up to the transfiguration, Jesus had moved his disciples from the coasts of Magdala to Caesarea Philippi. The context of Matthew 17 is extremely important in understanding the transfiguration. In Matthew 16, Jesus had asked the disciples about how the public and the disciples themselves perceived Him; “And they said, some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets” (Matt. 16:14). However, the disciples who had a more intimate knowledge of Jesus, had begun to perceive that He was the promised Messiah.

In Jesus’ teaching of His disciples there were two basic phases;
1) identification and
2) understanding.

In the first part of Jesus’ ministry, the disciples accompanied Him all over Galilee observing His power and listening to His teaching. This program of teaching was to bring the disciples to identify Jesus correctly, not as just another prophet, but as the Son of God. The disciples reached this point in Matthew 16:16 with Peter’s confession: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16).

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Also in this edition

Powerpoint - Charles Sommerville
From The Editor
In Touch with the General Director
The Transfiguration of Christ - Kevin Cowdrey
Signs of Christ’s Promised Return - Jim Allis
Signs of The Times - Tony Pearce
If It’s New, It Can’t Be True - John Williams
Living Beyond The Moment - Jonathan Brentner
Israel Desk - Tony Pearce
Through The Eastern Window - Samuel T Carson
What In The World Is Happening? - Brian Papworth
‘What’s On?’
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