©Roger Wood/Corbis

Divine light emanates from Jesus in this sixth-century mosaic of the transfiguration from the apse of St. Catherine’s Monastery, at the foot of Mt. Sinai. According to the Gospels, after climbing Mt. Tabor with his disciples John, Peter and James (shown, from left to right, on the ground beneath Jesus), Jesus underwent a miraculous transformation: “His face shone like the sun, but his garments became white as light” (Matthew 17:2). Moses (standing to Jesus’ left) and Elijah (at his right) appeared beside Jesus, “talking with him” (Matthew 17:3). And a divine voice called out, “This is my Son, whom I love” (Matthew 17:5).

According to the midrash, another means of sharing in the divine is to share God’s clothing. God, the text explains, robes the messiah king in his own garment of glory.

The medallions around the mosaic scene depict the other apostles, the evangelists Luke and Mark, and the Old Testament prophets.