A Glimpse of Glory (Luke 9:28-36)

All three Synoptic Gospels feature an account of the transfiguration of Jesus—that moment where Christ appears in a radiant, glorified state alongside Moses and Elijah. While John doesn’t give us the story per se, he does refer to it. Speaking of Jesus he writes, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Despite having the outward form and appearance of a mere man, Jesus in his very nature and essence is simultaneously divine. He is deity dressed in a human body.

Jesus no doubt received great encouragement from this heavenly event as he faced the cross, but it was primarily a revelation for the sake of the disciples. They needed to be prepared for the dark days ahead—days that would feature the rejection, conviction, and brutal execution of their leader. The voice from heaven assured the disciples that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, as it had once assured John the Baptist at the Jordan (Matthew 3:17) and would again assure the multitude in Jerusalem (John 12:28).

The Gospel writers came to see in this Christophany a preview of resurrection glory—both for Jesus and for his followers. In Jesus we see a glimpse of the glory to come. As the Apostle Paul writes, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4).