The Father’s Use of Scripture about the Son at the Transfiguration

In Matthew 17 Jesus unveiled his glory at the transfiguration where “his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matt. 17:2). Peter, James, and John witnessed this event.

Sight was followed by sound. A voice from an enveloping cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matt. 17:5). Here the Father spoke about the Son, and each phrase alluded to the Old Testament.

“This is my beloved Son”–an allusion to Psalm 2:7. Psalm 2 speaks of the king whom Yahweh established on Zion (2:6). And the Lord says to the king, “You are my Son” (2:7).

“with whom I am well pleased”–an allusion to Isaiah 42:1. Isaiah 42 speaks of the Servant figure who will later be described as the iniquity-bearer in Isaiah 53. God says, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights” (Isa. 42:1).

“listen to him”–an allusion to Deuteronomy 18:15. Deuteronomy 18 foretells a prophet whom God would one day raise up. Moses says, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers–it is to him you shall listen” (Deut. 18:15).

In the Father’s own words of confirmation at the transfiguration, Jesus was the beloved King, the pleasing Servant, and the anticipated Prophet.

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