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Daily Devotional Matthew 17:1–8

I will never forget standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunrise. The air was chilly and darkness lingered. Then, the first light appeared, and suddenly, the sun burst forward with radiance, the landscape transformed with breathtaking beauty!

This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!


A few choice disciples were privileged to experience an even more spectacular image. In Matthew 17 we find the account of Jesus’ transfiguration. Jesus leads Peter, James, and John up a high mountain, where He is transfigured before them (vv. 1–2). The Gospel of Matthew contains seven mentions of Jesus going up on a mountain, but this one is unique.

At the top of the mountain, Jesus’ face shines like the sun, and His clothes become dazzlingly white. Moses and Elijah appear, talking with Him, affirming His divine mission (vv. 3–4). Just as a sunrise transforms the Grand Canyon’s landscape, Jesus’ transfiguration revealed His divine glory to His disciples. The full essence of His divine presence which had been muted ever since He took on human flesh at the incarnation was now only temporarily on display for those present with Jesus at this moment.

The disciples wanted to maintain this glorious scene by building structures to memorialize and perpetuate what was happening here, but this was just a momentary glimpse of what the full presence of God is capable of without any limitations. Once the disciples heard the voice from the cloud, they reverently fell face down in awe and worship. They heard a direct interjection by God (v. 5): “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” God’s message encapsulates the whole book of Matthew and what our main response as readers should be in listening and obeying Jesus’ teachings.

Go Deeper

What would happen if you refocused on the presence of God during the ordinary moments of your life? How would they be transformed? Try to seek moments of His presence as you go about your day today.

Pray with Us:

Jesus, our risen Savior, thank You for the wonder of Your salvation! Like the disciples in today’s reading, may we lift our eyes to You to see You for who You are and to hear the Father’s words: “Listen to him!” (Matt. 17:5).

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