Matthew 17:1-8 The Transfiguration (One Greater than Obama or Romney Is Here)

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

The Transfiguration

Jesus is more than we think he is.  Peter was not able to think of something helpful to say when he saw a man shine like the sun.  He was lost for words, and should have kept his mouth shut, when he saw great leaders looking up to Jesus and having a discussion.  Jesus is more than a man.  He is The Son of God.  In the Transfiguration we see revealed a little of the cosmic scale of the person of Jesus.  Our thoughts of him are too small.

Some of us have a tiny Jesus who we invited into our hearts and then locked away for a rainy day.  That is not the real Jesus.  Some of us have a Jesus with whom we made a deal.  We would pay tithes, attend church, and be nice if he would make our standard of living a little better.  Jesus doesn’t make those kind of deals.  Some of us look to Jesus moment by moment to inform us on our Bible reading, shopping, families, and hobbies.  That’s more like it, but that Jesus is still too small.  Some of walk in a constant fear and trembling mixed with joy as all of life draws our thoughts back to Jesus.  That’s still too small because it is limited by our finite minds.  A relationship with Jesus is continuous, limitless, and profound.  Why do we have such little faith?

An election happened yesterday and America chose a leader who might be the best candidate to protect God’s creation.  He might care for the poor and seek to bring God’s justice to large corporations.  He might further the cause of homosexuals and bring in labour laws that threaten Christians’ ability to run businesses.  If we become people in our mothers’ wombs, less people may be safe under the present administration as they will never leave the womb.  Whether you were for Obama or against him, as Daryl’s (my son’s) teacher reminded me today, God is still God.  Jesus shines in his glory in ways that Romney and Obama never could.  Human government may be ordained by God to act for the good of the people, but ultimately all government submits to Jesus.  He now sits glorified at the right hand of the Father and he will come back for his own.


  1. How was Jesus appearance changed?
  2. What was Jesus’ disciples’ response?
  3. Why do you think the Transfiguration happened?
  4. How do people limit their perspective of Jesus?
  5. How can you grow your understanding of Jesus and move your life to a life of worshipful relationship?
  6. How does the Transfiguration inform your view of the American Presidential Election?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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1 Response to Matthew 17:1-8 The Transfiguration (One Greater than Obama or Romney Is Here)

  1. HeeJin says:

    1.How was Jesus appearance changed?
    – His face shone like the sun and his clothes were white as the light.
    2.What was Jesus’ disciples’ response?
    -They were fascinated by the extraordinary scene (Jesus changed his appearance and the presence of Moses and Elijah) so attempted to retain it.
    3.Why do you think the Transfiguration happened?
    – I think transfiguration of Jesus was to make the disciples(or believers largely)alert in realizing the presence of Jesus in everyday. By showing his divinity( through transfiguration and showing association with spirits of Moses and Elijah) and personhood(Jesus remained with the disciples although the spirits of Moses and Elijah disappeared) Jesus alluded he is God and person who is with the disciples(believers) at all times.
    4.How do people limit their perspective of Jesus?
    -people limit Jesus to an annual holiday event or energy drink by wishing the presence of Jesus or recalling the value of his cross when they undergo emotional ups and downs or spiritually high rather than having him as a living God. And I am no exception.
    5.How can you grow your understanding of Jesus and move your life to a life of worshipful relationship?
    -Everyday I will have to strive to understand of the true sacrifice that Jesus have made for me then true reverence and worship will be made in my life..
    6.How does the Transfiguration inform your view of the American Presidential Election?
    -Before the presidential election I often heard people saying that the election this year was about choosing less evil one out of the two. Of course, it is our right and duty to elect the good leader but I think we should not worry about what has happened because even if a devout Christian candidate had been elected as president we can never guarantee how wisely and godly the leader would rule the country because surely we are all fallen and imperfect human beings ulike God therefore, we will continuously have to seek God in the present rather than being discontent, being trapped into wishful thinking.

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