Strengthened Faith

[1] And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. [2] And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. [3] And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.(Matthew 17:1–3)

While this account rightly focuses on Jesus’ transfiguration, what strikes me is the potential future impact of the transfiguration. 

Jesus’ transfiguration was remarkable because Jesus rarely revealed his divine nature during his earthly ministry. After this transfiguration, Jesus will head to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and rise. I’m thinking Jesus’ transfiguration strengthened Peter, James and John for the trial they were about to experience with Jesus. I’m also thinking that Moses and Elijah appeared in part to strengthen Jesus for his most difficult hour. 

We look at God for strength as we face trials and tribulations. God can choose to strengthen us however God sees fit, meeting our individual needs. However, God has also given specific promises that have strengthened the faithful throughout the history of the Church. 

For example, the author of Hebrews gives us this promise from God: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

God also strengthens us when we face temptation. We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

[13] No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (ESV)

The transfiguration truly was a glorious revelation of Jesus’ divine nature. Yet it was so much more, including an opportunity to strengthen Jesus and his followers.  

(A Second Look devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District LCMS.)

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