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m) The Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Hermon
(Matthew 17:1-8)
1Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;2and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.3And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.4Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”5While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”6And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.7But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.”8When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. (Matthew3:17, Mark5:37;9:2-13, Luke8:51;9:28-36, Romans1:16,2Peter1:16-18)

Six days after their suffering from shock as a result of the news of Jesus’ imminent trial, death, and the teaching of denying themselves, Jesus left His disciples. Their worldly hopes had been dashed, and they had to prepare themselves for persecution. He chose three of them and led them up the high Hermon Mount to pray. While He was praying, His appearance changed. His face was shining like the sun, because the veil had been taken away from His divine essence. His eternal glory became apparent. This transfiguration took place while He was praying. Then His disciples recognized the reality of His life which could not be overcome by death. Jesus transfigured Himself before His disciples that they might become certain of His promise to raise in glory.
Those that by faith sense the beauty of the Lord cannot but desire to dwell there all the days of their life. It is good having a place in God’s holy presence – a constant abode in the holy place of God as if in the comforts of your favorite home, not as a wanderer lost in the dark.
Christ foretold His sufferings and told His disciples to expect the same thing. Peter forgets this, or, to prevent it, desires to build tabernacles on the mount of glory, out of the way of trouble. He still insists, “Master, spare yourself,” though he had been lately rebuked for it.
Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus. Dead saints live, think, talk, and serve God in the beauty of holiness and glory. This wonderful appearance validated the faith of the three disciples, confirming that Christ is the Lord of the Mosaic Law and the fulfillment of all prophecies. He would die as a blameless sacrifice, being the true Christ promised to the Gentiles. The death of Christ would be in full harmony with Moses, the intercessor of the Old Testament, and in conformity with the message of John the Baptist, the preparer for the New Testament. It also guides them to the fact that God Himself wanted His Son to die, since no one enters into His glory except through Christ’s atonement.
Moses and Elijah were great men and favorites of Heaven, yet they were but spiritual slaves, and servants that God was not always pleased with. Moses spoke unadvisedly, and Elijah was a man subject to passions. But Christ is “a Son,” and in Him God was always well pleased. Moses and Elijah were sometimes instruments of reconciliation between God and Israel. Moses was a great intercessor, and Elijah a great warning prophet. In Christ, God is reconciling the world to Himself. His intercession is more widespread than that of Moses, and his reformation more effectual than that of Elijah.
Peter expressed the longing of all men for this paradisiacal meeting with luminous spirits in the presence of the glory of Christ, for we all long to live with God in heaven. This is what our hearts whisper. Peter wanted to cling to heaven by building huts for the glorified patriarchs, totally forgetting his friends and himself. He was not fully conscious because the glory of God surpasses all understanding.
God overshadowed the patriarchs with a cloud of His glory full of light, life, and protection. How wonderful it would be if that cloud of God’s love covered our nation that we might fall down for fear of the presence of the Holy One and worship Him. O, that we might hear the voice of our heavenly Father proclaiming that Jesus Christ is God’s love made flesh. Christ’s way to the cross is God’s plan to save the world. The Father was pleased with the obedience of His Son that He might redeem the world by His atoning death.
God’s voice penetrated into the hearts of the surprised apostles. But Christ embraced His disciples and lifted them up again. He who hears His word will die for his sins, but live for righteousness. Let us forget all the shining lights in our world, and see nothing but Jesus, the true light of the world. Have you seen him? Is He the center of your heart, the focus of your life?
Unlike Moses with his law and Elijah with his prophetic proclamations, Christ will tarry with forever. Our earthly guides will depart, but Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:7-8).

Heavenly Father, we glorify You for the transfiguration of Jesus before the chosen disciples, and for His appearance as a Savior in His original glory. We thank Him because he emptied Himself and died for us fulfilling Your promises in the Mosaic Law and revelations of the prophets. Help us to see no one else but Jesus, Your only Son, that His picture be sealed into our hearts, that we may be changed into His full obedience, and that we may offer His salvation to the people around us. We praise You because Christ, through His death, drew us from sin to glory.
Why was Christ transfigured before only a few of His disciples?