Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" - not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!" Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
From Mary and Joseph, Jesus learnt the extraordinary events surrounding his birth. What did it all mean? When he was twelve years old he had the conviction that he must be about his Father’s business. Then at his baptism Jesus receives a revelation, personal to him. God spoke. The Holy Spirit descended and declared: “You are my Son, the Beloved, in you I am well pleased.” Immediately he knows who he is, understands his mission. A staggering revelation.
There are two parts: ‘You are my Son the Beloved’ Psalm 2.7. A text that identifies the Messiah, the promised Saviour, the anointed one, the Christ. The second phrase: ‘In you I am well pleased’ is rooted in Is 42. It identifies the servant of God whose mission will end in suffering Is 53, the suffering servant of God.
In this revelation Jesus understands he is the Messiah and is called to be the suffering servant of the people. A stunning revelation. Now he understands his mission. For almost 20 years he had lived as a village carpenter. Now he must assume the role of the Messiah, the Saviour of his people.
In Lk 9:28-36 Jesus is setting out for Jerusalem. On his way, he takes Peter, James and John up a mountain to pray. He needs time with his Father. As he prays he is transformed. “Luke's account focuses entirely on the experience of Jesus. Mark, on the other hand, presents what happened to Jesus as an experience of the disciples.”
As he prays, Jesus talks with his Father and his messengers, his face lights up. Now he understands the meaning of what ‘he is about to accomplish at Jerusalem’. The glory that they saw (Luke 9:32) was the radiant joy of his communion with the Father. His death will achieve the fulfillment of God’s saving plan.
This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists
Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries