The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ – Matthew 17 and Mark 9

Difficult Bible Passages

Jesus took three Apostles (Peter, James, John) aside from the other Apostles and disciples, on to a high mountain. He then was miraculously transfigured before their eyes. This event was for the purpose of teaching the Church about Her future. The Church will be transfigured; She will undergo a leap forward in holiness. And this transfiguration, this increase in holiness, occurs at multiple times in the future of the Church: At the time of the great Warning of Garabandal (2016), at the time of the Unification of all Christians in one Catholic Church (early 2020’s), at the end of the first part of the tribulation, when the Three Days of Darkness occurs (late March 2040), and finally at the end of the second part of the tribulation (2437 AD), when Christ returns.

{17:1} And after six days, Jesus took Peter and James and his brother John, and he led them onto a lofty mountain separately.
{17:2} And he was transfigured before them. And his face shined brightly like the sun. And his garments were made white like snow.

The appearance of Jesus was a figure for the intense holiness of the Church in Heaven, as well as future increases in holiness for the Church on earth. The 3 Apostles allowed to see this miracle are a figure for three future leaders in the one Catholic Church: the Pope and two other leaders (the leader over the Eastern Christians and the leader over the formerly-Protestant Christians, after all Christians are united in one Church). These two other leaders are above the other Bishops but below the Pope in authority.

{17:3} And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, speaking with him.
{17:4} And Peter responded by saying to Jesus: “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you are willing, let us make three tabernacles here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

When the Warning occurs, and at other times of transfiguration for the Church, the Pope will reaffirm the goodness and holiness and truth found in other religions, especially Judaism and moderate peaceful Islam. Moses represents Judaism, and Elijah (a prophet) represents Islam.

{17:5} And while he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud overshadowed them. And behold, there was a voice from the cloud, saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
{17:6} And the disciples, hearing this, fell prone on their face, and they were very afraid.
{17:7} And Jesus drew near and touched them. And he said to them, “Rise up and do not be afraid.”
{17:8} And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.

But in the end, there will be only Christianity. The conversion of faithful Jews and Muslims, to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, occurs near the end of the second part of the tribulation, shortly before Jesus returns.

{17:9} And as they were descending from the mountain, Jesus instructed them, saying, “Tell no one about the vision, until the Son of man has risen from the dead.”
{17:10} And his disciples questioned him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that it is necessary for Elijah to arrive first?”
{17:11} But in response, he said to them: “Elijah, indeed, shall arrive and restore all things.
{17:12} But I say to you, that Elijah has already arrived, and they did not recognize him, but they did whatever they wanted to him. So also shall the Son of man suffer from them.”
{17:13} Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them about John the Baptist.

One meaning of the term “Elijah” is as a figure to represent John the Baptist. Why not simply say “John the Baptist”? It is because another meaning is that Elijah himself literally returns during the second part of the tribulation, to preach against the Antichrist.

[Mark 9]
{9:1} And after six days, Jesus took with him Peter, and James, and John; and he led them separately to a lofty mountain alone; and he was transfigured before them.
{9:2} And his vestments became radiant and exceedingly white like snow, with such a brilliance as no fuller on earth is able to achieve.
{9:3} And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were speaking with Jesus.
{9:4} And in response, Peter said to Jesus: “Master, it is good for us to be here. And so let us make three tabernacles, one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
{9:5} For he did not know what he was saying. For they were overwhelmed by fear.
{9:6} And there was a cloud overshadowing them. And a voice came from the cloud, saying: “This is my most beloved Son. Listen to him.”
{9:7} And immediately, looking around, they no longer saw anyone, except Jesus alone with them.
{9:8} And as they were descending from the mountain, he instructed them not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until after the Son of man will have risen again from the dead.
{9:9} And they kept the word to themselves, arguing about what “after he will have risen from the dead” might mean.
{9:10} And they questioned him, saying: “Then why do the Pharisees and the scribes say that Elijah must arrive first?”
{9:11} And in response, he said to them: “Elijah, when he will arrive first, shall restore all things. And in the manner that it has been written about the Son of man, so must he suffer many things and be condemned.
{9:12} But I say to you, that Elijah also has arrived, (and they have done to him whatever they wanted) just as it has been written about him.”

Mark recounts the same event. But notice that Mark describes a dispute among the disciples as to what Jesus meant by “risen from the dead”. Similarly, even after each transfiguration event for the Church, there will continue to be contentious disputes among the faithful about the meaning of various teachings in Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium. In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity.

Salvation for Jews, Muslims, other non-Christian believers, and even non-believers (e.g. agnostics, atheists) is possible without conversion to Christianity or to believe in God. How can this be? See my book for the explanation:

Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone
available in print (paperback, 510 pp.) and in Kindle format.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Gallery | This entry was posted in eschatology, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ – Matthew 17 and Mark 9

  1. Max says:

    Thanks Ron

Comments are closed.