There are interesting things that people always say when commenting on the transfiguration incident in the life of Jesus. I thought it would be good to collect a few of these for handy reference here in the future, hence this short article was planned.
The text for this incident is recorded in Matthew 17, verses 1-9 and also in the books of Mark and Luke. In both of these latter two it's recorded in chapter 9. In Mark 9:2-9 and in Luke 9:28-36. I'll place a copy of the text from Matthew's gospel below as we go through...
Mat 17:1-3 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
So we see first of all that in this incident Jesus is transfigured in glory and His face and clothes become bright like the sun. But not just that, Moses and Elijah appear with Him and they are seen talking with Him.
Now I don't think that photographs and paintings of Moses and Elijah were in abundant
suply in Israel so that everyone knew what they looked like!
Mat 17:4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
Peter, ever willing to let his thoughts be known, then suggests that these three be treated equally and individual booths be built for each of them. This is like many people today who think that Jesus is just another prophet like Moses and Elijah. But...
Mat 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Next, a cloud envelops them and a voice from the cloud "bigs up" Jesus and says three things.
Three important comments to three witnesses on earth - Peter, James and John, and to three
witnesses from Heaven, Moses, Elijah and the voice of God!
Mat 17:6-8 When the disciples heard this, they fell face-down to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came
and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no
one except Jesus.
It's noticable how in the bible when people have an encounter with God they are terrified of His power and fall back or fall down. They usualy have to be told not to fear, also! Real encounters with God have a profound effect on the people involved.
When they get up they find that only Jesus is left in view, as Moses and Elijah have
disappeared. And the voice's instruction to "Listen to Him!" would come starkly to mind.
It's Jesus whom we should hold up as first authority. He is not equal to anyone else from
mankind. We are to listen to Him above all others!
You see when you use a map you apply your wits, your intelligence, your
knowledge and your wisdom to what you see. If you make a mistake on a climb you could
even die, because the map cannot rescue you if you fall!
Mat 17:9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you
have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”