Homily for Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9)

Here is an excerpt from my homily for tomorrow:

For the disciples, the Transfiguration was one of those “Just what I needed” moments. They needed to see for themselves that there was more to Jesus than meets the eye. They needed to see this so that they would understand that no mere man hung on the cross and bled, that no mere man bowed his thorn-crowned head in death, but He who is “God of God, Light of Light, and very God of very God.” No doubt this vision was meant to strengthen the disciples’ faith, and to prepare them for the difficult days ahead, when they would see this same Lord beaten, mocked, and finally crucified on Good Friday. 

Could it be that Christ wanted them to remember this glorious vision so that they would not despise Him in his hour of agony and shame? Christ certainly knew that the time was coming for Him to be glorified in His death. The time was coming when the clothes which now gleamed white would be stripped and divided among the soldiers; when the face that now shone with the brilliance of the sun would be marred beyond recognition, according to the prophecy of Isaiah; when the Temple of His flesh would be pierced with nails and spear. Surely He wanted this image seared into their minds, imprinted in such a way that they would never forget it. In the end, it wasn’t enough. All of them would fall away and abandon Him despite what they saw when He was transfigured. The cross was too much even for their eyes.

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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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