Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus[a] 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!”
Reflection from Don Ankeny:
This passage tells us that Jesus took some of his disciples up on a mountain and began to pray. It does not indicate what Jesus prayed, but God sure seems to have answered him. The verses just before this passage give us a clue. In them, Jesus tells his disciples that he will soon be rejected by the authorities and will be killed. It seems likely that this is what Jesus was praying about because we suddenly find Jesus is talking to Moses and Elijah? They are talking to Jesus about what Jesus would accomplish in Jerusalem in a few days. Why did God send Moses and Elijah? I think God wanted to be sure Jesus really understood what God wanted to tell Jesus about his crucifixion. So he sent human messengers to deliver his message. Jesus was still a human and needed to hear it with his own ears.
This passage is particularly appropriate to consider for this Lenten season because this where Jesus is praying about his coming crucifixion. And it is Jesus’s crucifixion that ultimately leads us to participate in this Lenten season so we can also prepare for his crucifixion.
Note that Peter completely misunderstood what had happened. So, God stepped in and came to them in the form of a cloud and told the disciples, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” For me, this message is also the most important message for us today some 2,000 years later. Jesus is God’s son and we must listen to Him. That message was important for the disciples and it is also just as important for us today.
Thank you for sending us your son Jesus. Please help us to “Listen to Him” and follow his teachings and examples as we go about our lives today. In particular, please help us listen to what Jesus is saying to us today about the issues we are facing today.