2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.
3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.
4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.
11 And they asked him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
12 Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?
13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him."
A Glimpse of Glory (9:2–10)
Jesus’ disciples have their world turned upside down as He confirms that He is the Messiah, predicts His death, and unveils His divinity. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a high mountain, where He is transfigured before them, revealing His divine glory. The appearance of Moses and Elijah is mysterious but likely has to do with their symbolic representation of the Law and the Prophets, which are fulfilled by the life and ministry of Jesus. It is the voice of the Father, however, that is the key to Jesus’ transfiguration. He affirms that Jesus is His beloved son, and He instructs the disciples to listen to Jesus. This instruction still applies to us today, as we are called to behold our risen Lord and obey His commands.
- The Father’s command to the three disciples was simple and direct—to listen to Jesus! What does it mean to fully listen to and obey Christ?
The Spirit of Elijah (9:11–13)
The disciples ask Jesus why Elijah must come first, for they are familiar with the passage from the Book of Malachi that prophesies that Elijah will come to restore all things (Mal. 4:5–6). Jesus corrects their understanding of Elijah. The disciples thought that the same, literal Elijah would come back in the flesh. However, this figurative Elijah was John the Baptist, who had the same anointing and spirit to bring restoration before the coming of the Son of God who also came to bring restoration in a way they did not expect. Both John and Jesus embrace God’s call, willingly laying aside their own desires to serve in God’s great story. Let us be encouraged and challenged to choose God’s will above all else, even when it may cost us dearly.
- Who in your life fosters restoration like Elijah and John the Baptist did? How do they encourage you in your walk with Christ?
A letter to God
Father, thank you for the example that Jesus, John the Baptist, and Elijah have set in pursuing Your will above all else. Help me to stay close to Your Son, heed His voice, and follow Him. May my life be one of complete surrender to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.