The last painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael. Commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de Medici (the later Pope Clement VII [1523-1534]) and conceived as an altarpiece for the Narbonne Cathedral in France, Raphael worked on it until his death in 1520.
He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).
Suddenly Jesus was dazzling—His face, His clothes! Then, He was speaking with Moses and Elijah, prophets of long ago! Astounding! Why was this happening?
I. Was it for Jesus’ benefit? Yes. Did not angels minister to Him after Satan tempted Him? Did not an angel strengthen Him in the Garden of Gethsemane while He earnestly prayed to His Father? Surely it was for Jesus’ benefit that Moses and Elijah came to speak with Him about His “decease,” His departure, His end. Moses and Elijah had labored among God’s people many years earlier to point them to God’s merciful and gracious atonement through the Messiah to come. Salvation through Christ was their “work.”
II. Was the transfiguration of Jesus for the benefit of the disciples (Peter, James, and John) who were with Him? Yes. They had heard Jesus speak wonderful words of forgiveness and compassion. They had seen Him work miracles of love and of might. They had heard Him soundly refute the Pharisees. Jesus was their Messiah, the “Christ,” the “Anointed One!”Read More »The Transfiguration of Jesus Is Your Glory!