In the Greek New Testament, we have accounts of the Transfiguration. It is an incredible event, and one that has been intriguing to people since it happened. HOWEVER, the Greek word that is used in those accounts, which we translate as “transfigure” is μεταμορφοω!
Transliterated into the English alphabet that is metamorphoo!
That’s where we get the word “metamorphosis”!
The Transfiguration of Jesus is the Metamorphizing of Jesus!
Jesus “changed” right before the eyes of Peter, James and John on Mt. Tabor. Well, you could say he changed, or that he was simply seen as he truly is.
And there is something to say in all of this about us. Yes, that we are to hopefully always grow more and more into seeing Jesus as Jesus truly is, but also recognize that there is a change that we must go through as well.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die.” All of us must go through a necessary kind of death. We must end one way of existing in order to start a new way of existing. We must essentially be open to change, to metamorphizing, to our own transfiguration.
Peter, James and John were all changed in some degree or another on that day they saw the transfigured Jesus. In their view of the transfigured Jesus, speaking with Moses and Elijah (the main figures of the Law and the Prophets), Jesus became the light that illuminated their way.
Granted, they were not able or ready to fully comprehend Jesus in his entirety, but that is okay. All of us have our entire lifetime to learn how to die to self, to commit to being transfigured ourselves, and to learn to look upon Jesus as he truly is.