Contemplating Jesus’ transfiguration (MT 17.1-9) has opened me up to a new appreciation for what transcendence entails in Christological terms. It’s not just a ‘vision’ which the three disciples have, a symbolic presentation that occurs only within their imagination. They see the world the way it truly is. Their eyes are opened to see abiding realities of Christ neither immediately perceived nor exhausted by the material order of their everyday vision.
Matthew 17:1-9 | 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. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”