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The account of the Lord’s transfiguration is found in Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9.  Let’s read Mark’s account in Mark 9:1-9.  That says, “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves. And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.”

The account begins with the Lord telling His disciples that some of them would see the kingdom of God come with power before they died.  He then took Peter, James, and John with him to a mountain.  These three disciples seem to be closer to the Lord than the others.  They were with the Lord when he raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead in Mark, chapter 5.  It was Peter, James, and John that accompanied the Lord Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His crucifixion in Mark, chapter 14.  These three were privileged to get a glimpse of the kingdom of God in its power as they watched the Lord change into His Heavenly form.

Luke tells us that the Lord Jesus was praying when he began to change.  We read in Luke 9:29, “And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.”  It’s Mark that tells us that his raiment, or clothes, became whiter than anything on earth.   Matthew 17:2 says that the Lord, “…was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”   Can you imagine that sight with the Lord’s clothes whiter than white and His face brighter than bright?  It must have been spectacular!  According to Mark 9:6 this sight caused Peter, James, and John to become afraid.

The word, “transfigure” comes from the Greek word, ‘metamorphoo’ which means to transform or to change.  It is the word from which we get metamorphosis.  So here on this mountain, the one who came in humility was changed into the glory that we will see Him in as the glorious Son of God.

Moses and Elias, or Elijah, were with the Lord there in the mountain.  Why these two men?  Why were they there?  Moses, as the giver of the law, and Elijah, as a mighty prophet represent the law and the prophets.  We read in Romans 3:21, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.”  The righteousness of God was revealed by the law and the prophets.  Did you notice how that the three disciples knew who these two men were?  That gives us the realization that in Heaven we will know one another, as we read in 1 Corinthians 13:12 which says, “…then shall I know even as also I am known.”

What did Moses and Elijah talk to the Lord about?  We read in Luke 9:30-31, “And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.”  The Greek word for “decease” here is ‘exodus’, which means departure.  The Lord, Moses, and Elijah were speaking of the departure of the Lord from the earth, which, of course, was accomplished through His crucifixion on the cross.

Now let’s read Luke 9:32, “But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.”  So, when the Lord was transfigured and Moses and Elijah were with Him, the disciples were asleep.  What a lesson for us to learn from.  If we become sleepy or complacent regarding the Lord, we will miss out on so much.  Thankfully, the disciples woke up and saw the glory of the Lord, but still they missed out on some of the event because they were asleep.  Notice what happened next.  Mark 9:5-6 says, “And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.”  Upon waking, Peter began to talk, telling the Lord they should build three tabernacles, or booths for the Lord, Moses, and Elijah, to honor each one, thus putting them all on the same level.  We’re told here that Peter said this because he didn’t know what to say.  Perhaps we should learn the lesson that if we don’t know what to say, it is best not to say anything at all.

Then, from the glory the Father speaks, honoring His dear son, the Lord Jesus.  Mark 9:7 says, “And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.”  This is not the first time that the Father spoke from Heaven concerning His son.  At His baptism, we read in Matthew 3:17, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  We have this double commendation of the Father that the Lord Jesus is His son and that He is well pleased with His son, and the exhortation that we should listen to Him.  Of course, in that day, people could actually see and hear the Lord and listen to His teachings.  How do we do that today?  We do it by reading His Word, the Bible.

The occasion of the transfiguration ends now as we read in Mark 9:8, “And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.”  May our hearts and minds be so occupied with the Lord that we see no one else but Jesus.  May we say as King David said in Psalms 141:8, “But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust…”  (32.1)