The Transfiguration of Jesus

Q. I have a question related to the Transfiguration of Jesus. Why did He only take three apostles to witness it instead of taking all twelve?

A. On several occasions, Jesus took His “inner circle” aside for a special event or teaching. This group always included Peter, James, and John and sometimes Andrew was there as well. The transfiguration was one of these events, the Olivet Discourse of Matt 24-25 was another, and the raising of Jairus’ daughter still another. To my knowledge He never explained why He did this, but it had the effect of giving this inner circle an extra measure of intimacy with Him.

There’s a fascinating feature about the transfiguration that’s often overlooked, and it concerns what the attendees represented. There was the voice of the Father, the glorified body of the Son, and the cloud, or Shekinah Glory, the Holy Spirit. All the Trinity was there.

Then you had Moses, giver of the Law and the Prophet Elijah. Together they stand for the Law and Prophets, a name for the Old Testament, and represent Israel.

And finally you had Peter, James and John, representing the New Testament Church.

And the topic of their discussion? According to 2 Peter 1:16-18 it was the Second Coming. Further evidence that in Jesus the faithful of all ages would be restored in the Kingdom.

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