Was the Transfiguration a One-Time Event? (Y1.T2.D6)
Unsplash; "Dulcey Lima"
Let me begin by stating this question cannot be definitively answered, but we might gain encouragement from contemplating the possibility.
Hebrews 11 provides a list of people—from Able to the prophets— whose lives exemplify faithfulness which is why the first verse of Hebrews 12 states: "Therefore let’s also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with perseverance the race that is set before us."
The men and women of Hebrews 11, although they were imperfect, continued to serve God. And since Jesus existed since the earth's creation (see the blog post Is God Singular or Plural?), he would have known these individuals personally.
We also know that during the Savior’s earthly ministry, he habitually rose "very early in the morning, while it was still dark, . . . and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35).
It's not hard to imagine him conversing with others who knew better than his disciples what he was going through. He may even have chatted with Moses, Elijah, or others prior to this moment.
Let me clarify that I'm not someone who prays to anyone but God. And if a supernatural being suddenly appeared during my quiet time, it would terrify me.
Yet, whether the transfiguration happened once or many times, I can be encouraged by those who’ve preceded me on this journey. I can “remember the days of old, meditate on all [God's] doings, and contemplate the work of [his] hands” (Psalm 143:5) to help me "lay aside every weight and sin which so easily entangles" me (Hebrews 12:1).
More Eyewitness Examples
31 who appeared in glory, and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory, and the two men who stood with him. (Luke 9:31–32)
1 Therefore let’s also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don’t grow weary, fainting in your souls. (Hebrews 13:1–3)
6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid.7 Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up, and don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 17:6–7)
10b questioning what the “rising from the dead” meant. (Mark 9:10b)
4 “Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, even statutes and ordinances. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:4–6)
13 Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptizer. (Matthew 17:13)
Thank You for telling me about earthly things and helping me believe their connection to heavenly things. You alone descended out of heaven and have returned there (John 3:11–13) to sit at the right hand of God making intercession for me (Romans 8:34). Open the eyes of my heart and enlighten me so I may know the hope of Your calling, and the glorious riches and inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18).
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