Today’s reading includes the account of Jesus’ Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13; also found in Matthew 17:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36). In all three accounts it is prefaced with Jesus’ promise to His disciples that some of those with Him would not taste death until they had seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Up to this time in Jesus’ ministry, His disciples had only known Him in His earthly body. But here Peter, James, and John were given a glimpse of Jesus’ deity. In the previous chapter, Jesus had announced His coming death and resurrection. Here in chapter 9, they are given a glimpse of His glory to help them understand His coming death. The transfiguration of Jesus was more evidence to Peter, James and John that Jesus was the divine Son of God. The appearance of Moses and Elijah was evidence that Jesus was the One of whom the Law and the prophets spoke.

Here we have a preview of the coming kingdom of God. Jesus is presented in His glorified body. Moses, with his new body represents those who will enter the Kingdom through death. Elijah, who never died, represents those who will enter the Kingdom without experiencing death. They will enter through the Rapture of the church. Jesus’ disciples and even the multitude that were gathered around them (v. 14) represent the various nations who will also enter the Kingdom.

I am sure that the disciples never forgot what they witnessed on the mountain that day! John wrote of it in his gospel (John 1:14), “We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only”. And Peter wrote “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).

And this is our hope! As sure as Jesus appeared in His resurrected body, one day each of us who have placed our faith in Christ will receive our own new bodies in God’s eternal kingdom!

by Paul Schmidt, Elder

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