Verse: “After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them, and His clothes became dazzling- extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’ – because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified. A cloud appeared, overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!’ Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone.” Mark 9:2-8
Here is the context of this passage. Jesus took Peter, James and John onto the mountain top. Some scholars believe the three were Jesus’ favorites. Others suggest these men were most likely to get into trouble, so He kept a close eye on the Disciples.
It was there Jesus manifested His divine glory (John MacArthur Study Bible). Imagine this sight. For a short period Jesus took on the appearance of the Almighty King of the Ages, rather than a humbled carpenter. Matthew stated “His face shone like the sun.” (Matthew 17:2) Mark describes the experience very similarly, where Christ illuminates like a bright star.
Elijah and Moses are present as well, representing those who have died and are caught up in the glory of the Lord. “Right in front of them, the Disciples saw evidence of life beyond this life. When they saw Moses and Elijah, they knew Moses had passed from this world 1,400 years before and Elijah had passed 900 years before. Yet there they were, alive in glory before them. It gave them confidence in Jesus’ claim to resurrection.” David Guzik
Once again Peter’s enthusiasm got the best of him, when he offered to build three tabernacles for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses. Essentially the Apostle was declaring the three equal. Obviously Peter was afraid. Yet, this is more of an understandable fear, as He was in the presence of the Lord God Almighty. This very well would happen to us all.
The transfiguration affirmed many things. The first being that despite suffering and rejection Jesus would experience on earth (Mark 8:31), He is still the everlasting King Christ. Though Jesus would experience agony like no one had ever done before, God was in fact still sovereign and in control.
Many doubt the existence of God because there is sorrow and suffering in this world. The idea of a Heavenly Father is impossible unless all can exist in a pain free world of bliss and sunshine. However, these individuals have failed to fully understand the life of Christ- The One who is truly acquainted with pain and suffered immensely.
God frequently allows pain to occur to bring us closer to His Son Christ Crucified. It is through the valleys of brokenness that we see Jesus in the most intimate light. Not the sunshine of the mountaintops. There, we are often too busy acknowledging the views of success rather than interacting with our Savior.
In the end, God never promised a pain free journey through this life…only a safe landing for those who trust in Jesus. But when those difficulties arise we can focus on the solidarity of Christ, rather than our fears or trepidation.
Quote: “Peter was openhearted, bold, and enthusiastic. To my mind, there is something very lovable about Peter; and, in my opinion, we need more Peters in the church of the present day. Though they are rash and impulsive, yet there is fire in them, and there is steam in them, so that they keep us going.” Charles Spurgeon
Additional Readings: Matthew 17, Mark 8, Mark 9
Prayer: Father God, I pray that I am bold and enthusiastic today for Jesus Christ. Help me keep my eyes on You Lord and not the suffering in this world. When sorrows come I pray that You carry me through that valley. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.