Not long after Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, “the Son of the living God,” Jesus begins to prepare his disciples for his death and resurrection. (Matthew 16: 13-28 NIV)
The disciples seem slow to understand and accept this forecast, almost as if their minds are blocking a reality they do not want to accept. It may be partly for this reason that Jesus selects Peter, James, and John to witness His transfiguration. Even with all the evidence the disciples had already witnessed of Jesus’ special nature, this is a compelling event that dramatically emphasizes His divinity and His fulfillment of prophecy.
Jesus takes them to a high mountain by themselves: “There he (Jesus) 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.” (Matthew 17: 2-3 NIV)
Peter is so moved that he suggests three shelters to honor Jesus and his visitors, and perhaps deep in his heart, he is still longing to keep all that is good and holy here with him and the other disciples.
While Peter is still speaking, “a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’”
Though the disciples are terrified and fall face down on the ground, Jesus comforts them and asks them to tell no one about the experience until He has been raised from the dead.
Sometimes, we, too, are slow to accept the reality of God’s great goodness and love even with all the evidence we have for that conclusion. We are indeed blessed to have the Bible account to reinforce our faith and to provide a continual point of reference when we waver.
Best of all, we have the personal relationship we are building with Jesus day by day as we study God’s word and try to obey His will. We do serve a living Savior, one whom death could not hold.
As we prepare ourselves for Holy Week, we can rejoice in His Presence through the Holy Spirit that dwells with us and in us always.
Mary-Ellen Grisham is the Editor of Eternal Ink, a bi-monthly Christian ezine. She also writes poetry, fiction, devotions, and other non-fiction. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org