1Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10And the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; 12but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.
The mountain of Transfiguration is the end of the uphill climb in the Gospel. Everything that happens before leads up to this revelation of Jesus’ specialness, and everything that happens after leads down to the cross. Moments of revelation are like that. Maybe something happens and you can’t possibly see the world the same way. All of a sudden the disciples see Jesus and they understand that they are in the middle of the great drama. John the Baptist is the great prophet Elijah returned. Jesus is nothing less than the Son of Man, God’s cosmic judge come to right the wrongs of the world. One line of thinking has it that Jesus didn’t actually change on the mountain but that, for only a moment, the disciples saw him for who he really was. It was they who changed. How do we change with a vision—a vision of injustice, or grace, or hope? We don’t know yet; but we know that we change when we learn to see with God’s eyes.
Lord, let your light shine within us, to show the way you would have us walk, and a vision world you would have us know, through the grace and love of the Savior. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.