BIBLE INSIGHTS in 500 words*
Jesus: An Authentic Human Being
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.
The story of the Transfiguration is an astonishing event, a true and historical event, but an experience that is beyond our full comprehension. Nonetheless, let me suggest a fresh way to think about this mystical moment when Jesus “. . . was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).
People often suggest that Jesus was shining brightly as a display of his divinity. Certainly, Jesus is divine in all his glory and majesty. However, let me suggest that Jesus was actually displaying his humanity, his authentic and glorious humanity. Consider these three facts from Scripture:
- In Luke’s account of this story, Moses and Elijah are also shining, “Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus” (Luke 9:30). Moses and Elijah are not divine.
- Remember, Jesus said that all God’s people would shine like stars in God’s kingdom, “the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43, quoting Daniel 12:3).
- Paul challenges us to “shine among the stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:15).
In the New Testament, the humanity of Jesus is a glorious thing. It is in his humanity that he was tempted like us (Hebrews 2:14-18, also Psalm 8:4-6).
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
His humanity gives us confidence that he empathizes with us (Hebrews 4:15-16).
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Jesus is a human being who is our example. Jesus is the perfect and model human being (1 Peter 2:21).
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
Think of it, one day every one who is in Jesus Christ will also share in his authentic humanness, perfect and full of glory.
*This article is 495 words