Transfiguration
Jesus and the Scriptures

Jesus Changed For Us

Peter declared Jesus was the Christ. Six days later, Jesus led Peter, James, and James’ brother John up a mountain, so they could be alone. There, Jesus changed right in front of them. His face shined like the sun. And his clothes were as white as sunlight. Suddenly, the three followers saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. Peter spoke up, “Lord! We’re lucky to be here! If you want, I’ll pitch three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While Peter was speaking, a light-filled cloud suddenly covered them. Just as suddenly, a voice spoke from the cloud, “This is the Son I love. He pleases me. So listen to him.”

When they heard the voice, the three followers were so afraid, they fell down and put their faces on the ground. Jesus came up and touched them. “Don’t be afraid. Get up!” Jesus said. When they looked up, they didn’t see anyone else but Jesus. As they climbed down the mountain, Jesus gave them an order. “Don’t tell anyone what you saw until God raises the Son of Man from the dead.”

Based on Matthew 17:1-9

When Jesus took his friends up the mountain, he changed his appearance for them. He showed them his glory so they would know where he came from, why he was there, and where he was going. He came to earth from God the Father. He was on earth to show everyone what God was like. And, he was going to Jerusalem to die for everyone, so he could rise again.

Where did Jesus come from? Jesus is God. And he became human. Imagine what like would be like to pour God into a human being. Someone once described it as pouring all the oceans into a single soda bottle. When the Son of God became a human being, he limited himself with a human body, mind, heart, and soul. He did this for us! We call “God becoming man” the Incarnation.

Why was Jesus there with his followers? When Jesus walked the earth, he taught about God’s Kingdom. And he healed the sick. When he changed his appearance on the mountain, he showed his followers the source of his teaching and healing: God himself. To make the point, Jesus appeared with Moses, the one who gave the people God’s Law. Jesus also appeared with Elijah, the first of the prophets. In the time of Jesus, Jews called the Bible “the Law and the Prophets.” Since Jesus appeared with the people who represented the Bible, and since the Bible came from God, Jesus came from God. He was God’s living Word.

Where was Jesus going? Jesus was with Moses and Elijah. What they were discussing gives us the answer.

Suddenly, Moses and Elijah were talking to Jesus about his death, which would happen in Jerusalem. They appeared as bright as Jesus.

Based on Luke 9:30-31

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to die and to rise on the third day. On the cross, Jesus would show everyone that God loved them so much, he would let his Son die for them. In the resurrection, Jesus would show everyone the power of God over death itself. But Peter and his friends would not understand what this meant until after his resurrection. When the Spirit came to teach them, then they did understand where Jesus came from, why he came, and where he went. And they knew he did all this for us.

Jesus Still Shows Us His Glory Through the Bible

How do we know about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? We read about Jesus in the Bible. But the Bible is more than a book of stories. It is God’s word.

Just as God spoke through Moses and Elijah, God speaks through the Bible to us. The Holy Spirit directed people to write down God’s message so people could come to know their Creator and come to follow their Savior. The direction the Spirit gave is called “Inspiration.” In this way, the Bible teaches us the truth about God “firmly, faithfully, and without error” (CCC 107).

There are two parts to the Bible: the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament tells us how God created the world, called the Israelites to be his people, and was active with his people. The Old Testament can be divided into four sections: 1) the Law, 2) the Prophets, 3) history of his people and 4) Wisdom writings (Psalms and other books of sayings). On the mountain, Moses and Elijah represented the Old Testament.

Jesus represents the New Testament. This part of the Bible focuses on the Lord and his Church. The New Testament can be divided into four sections: 1) the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), 2) the Book of Acts (a history of the early Church), 3) letters from Paul and other writers, and the 4) Book of Revelations.

Together, the Old and New Testaments tells us about our life with God, as both point to Jesus, God’s living Word. In Jesus, we find everything God is and everything God says to us. We honor the Bible as God’s word because it shows us God’s Eternal Word, the Christ. The Bible shows us where Jesus came from, why he came, and where he went. It tells us Jesus did all this for us.