Mark: According to
This is My Beloved Son
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly White like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.”
It was six days after Peter’s profession of faith that we studied in post 41. In that post Jesus had asked the question, “Who do people say that I am?” Peter had responded by saying, “Why you are the Christ.” Peter had admitted publicly what many of the disciples had been thinking that Jesus was the Messiah. Now, six days later, Jesus invited Peter, James, and John to come up on the mountain with him.
Why these three, because they had shown better understanding than their fellow disciples of the truths Jesus had sought to teach them. At the healing or rather raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead, they also had been specifically invited to attend. Because of there better deeper spiritual insight, they were also to see or witness Jesus hour of agony in Gethsemane. This event was to especially prepare them for that hour of fear and disappointment that was to happen when Jesus was betrayed, tried and then crucified upon the cross.
The location of the Transfiguration is not known. Some believe it to be Mount Herman in the region of Caesarea Philippi, while other believe it to be Tabor which is nearer to the sea of Galilee. Where ever it took place it made a lasting impression on Peter.
Luke, the New Testament Historian and Doctor makes a point of saying that Jesus came there with his disciples to pray because Jesus anxiously sought communion with his heavenly Father in order that He might know how to accomplish His mission. Jesus also sought wisdom in understanding how to better communicate to the disciples what was going to happen in the near future. So Jesus and His three companions climbed up the mountain until it became dark enough that they could no longer climb farther in safety.
2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
The Greek word used is metamorphoo which means to change into another form or to transform. For the disciples that were present, this must have been something to behold for as Peter had declared Jesus to be the Messiah, now divinity shown forth through Jesus. The divine features of the Messiah now shown forth, having been shielded by humanity. And to reinforce this, two persons, Elijah and Moses, stood by Jesus side.
The description of Christ here recorded closely resembles that given by Daniel (Daniel 10:5, 6) and by John (Revelation 1:13-15). It was a luminous glory that appeared to come from within. This was the glory that Jesus had in heaven before He assumed the form of humanity (John 17:5) and is the glory with which He will return again to this earth (Matthew 25:31; I Thessalonians 4:16, 17)
Moses had a similar glory radiate from his face as he descended from the Mount of the Law (Exodus 34:29; II Corinthians 3:7).
Somehow the disciples recognized that it was Moses and Elias (Elijah). Why these two, Because Moses was the great deliverer, lawgiver, and founder of the Hebrew Nation, and Elijah the one who saved it in a time of great apostasy and crisis. Here were living representative to bear witness to the divinity of Jesus even as Moses and all the prophets, through their written records had testified to Him.
The other important fact to remember is that Scriptures record that Moses was translated having seen death, and according to Jude 9 was brought to heaven by Michael which is another name for Jesus.
Elijah on the other hand never tasted death, being translated to heaven while he was still alive as the new prophet Elisha watched him ascend to heaven a chariot of fire. These two represent, God’s people, Moses representing those that have died in Christ having their names written in the book of life, while Elijah representing all those whose names are written in the book of life who will not see death before Christ returns.
Then God reinforces what is happening by once again, declaring the Jesus is His beloved son and admonishing the disciples to Hear Him!.
Jesus finishes this section of scripture directing them to not tell others what they have seen for they would be unable to understand it, but also revealing more information concerning his death.
As Elijah had come and restored Israel and the true worship of God in Israel, so did Jesus come to restore true worship in Israel.
As Moses came bringing the law unto the people, Jesus came bringing a better and clearer understanding of the law to all people, taking away the man-made traditions that had become a burden to the people and keep them from seeing the true Character of the law, which was to point the people to God.
In their own way, Moses and Elijah served as a type of Christ to the people, of which Christ is the fulfilment of that which Moses and Elijah taught, did and represented.