In this excerpt, Warren Wiersbe shares some lessons from Christ’s transfiguration. At the end, you’ll find more information about the Wiersbe Study Bible.

Matthew 17, The Transfiguration

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

This incident in Matthew 17:1–8 is known as the “transfiguration,” and it reveals four aspects of the glory of Jesus Christ the King.

The following content is from the Wiersbe Study Bible.

The Glory of His Person

As far as the record is concerned, this is the only time Jesus revealed His glory in this way while He was on the earth. The word translated “transformed” (v. 2) gives us our English word “metamorphosis.” A metamorphosis is a change on the outside that comes from the inside. When a caterpillar builds a cocoon or chrysalis and later emerges as a moth or butterfly, it is due to the process of metamorphosis. Our Lord’s glory was not reflected but radiated from within. The change on the outside came from within as He allowed His essential glory to shine forth (Heb. 1:3).

The Glory of His Kingdom

The presence of Moses and Elijah is significant. Moses represented the law and Elijah the prophets. All of the law and prophets point to Christ and are fulfilled in Christ (Luke 24:27; Heb. 1:1). Not one word of the Old Testament Scriptures will be unfulfilled. The promised kingdom will be established (Luke 1:32, 33, 68–77). Just as the three disciples saw Jesus glorified on earth, so God’s people will see Him in His glorious kingdom on earth.

The Glory of His Cross

The disciples had to learn that suffering and glory go together. Peter had opposed His going to Jerusalem to die (Matt. 16:22), so Jesus had to teach him that, apart from His suffering and death, there could be no glory. Peter certainly learned the lesson, for in his first epistle he repeatedly emphasized suffering and glory (1 Pet. 1:6–8, 11; 4:12—5:11).

The Glory of His Submission

Peter could not understand why the Son of God would submit to evil people and willingly suffer. The transfiguration was God’s way of teaching Peter that Jesus is glorified when we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. The world’s philosophy is “Save yourself!” but the Christian’s philosophy is “Yield yourself to God!” As He stood there in glory, Jesus proved to the three disciples that surrender always leads to glory.

The Wiersbe Study Bible

Now you can experience Dr. Warren Wiersbe’s lifetime of powerful Bible teaching in one place. Whether through his bestselling “BE Series” commentaries or his popular “Back to the Bible” radio ministry, Dr. Wiersbe has guided millions into a life-transforming encounter with God’s Word.

Now, in this single volume, you have access to Dr. Wiersbe’s trustworthy, accessible explanations of the Bible’s truths and promises, through his comprehensive system of study and application notes. Make the most of your time reading, studying, and reflecting on Scripture with The Wiersbe Study Bible.

  • Thousands of verse-by-verse notes by Dr. Wiersbe
  • Hundreds of Catalyst notes which more deeply reveal important biblical themes and character issues to motivate transformation by the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • Book introductions featuring Dr. Wiersbe’s historical background, themes, and practical lessons for each book of the Bible
  • “Be transformed” section in each book introduction specifically pointing to the life-changing impact of that particular part of Scripture
  • Thousands of cross references, showing the connections throughout the Bible
  • Concordance with key words for deeper word study
  • Full-color maps


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