Luke 9:28 37

Only the committed ever stand on the Mount of Transfiguration. The unbelieving declare that they would believe
if they could only stand on the mountain, but only the believing ever stand there. About eight days earlier Jesus
had asked the great question at Caesarea Philippi. He had asked, "Whom do you say that I am?" Peter had
boldly declared for himself and others, "You are the Christ of God." It would have been easier to make such a
confession if he had already been to the mountain, but it never happens in that order.

The transfiguration was time of encouragement for the Savior. He went to the mountain to pray. The inability of
His disciples to comprehend the plan of God, and the evident opposition He was encountering in the world drove
Him to the mountain. He needed some time with the Father to renew His own sense of mission. That need was
surely met. He came down from the mountain to set His face steadfastly toward Jerusalem. With the
encouragement of this experience He was ready to face the ordeal of the Cross.

The transfiguration was a time of confirmation for the disciples. He took Peter, James and John with him to the
mountain. Since they were the apparent leaders of the twelve, they needed the confirmation that the mountain
would provide. As they came down from the Mountain they were more assured that their confession of Him as the
Christ of God was correct. This passage should provide confirmation to all of us.

Peter had already confessed that Jesus is the Christ. However, it was a confession based upon an inner
conviction of faith. He did not have any firm evidence that it was true. On the mountain God gave to Him some
firm evidence of the identity of Jesus.

A. The Vision
Actually the three apostles almost missed it. Because the event took place late at night, they went to sleep while
Jesus was involved in prayer. Peter always had trouble staying awake in a prayer meeting. But prayer meeting is
not a good place to snooze. There is always the possibility that you will miss something very significant. But when
the three awakened from their sleep very suddenly, they saw a remarkable sight. The countenance of Jesus had
been "altered". There was about His face a beautiful glow as though it were the reflection of a light within Him. It
was evident to the three that Jesus was in direct communion with God, and that He was partaking of the glory of
God in a special way. It affected His clothing to the point that it was "white and glistening". Literally these words
suggest that there was about His clothing the radiance of the light¬ening. It must have been something to behold.
It was as though His humanity had suddenly been glorified. He was in a state that would have made it possible for
Him to go directly to heaven.

In addition to these there were two heavenly visitors with him. They were Moses, the Lawgiver, and Elijah, one of
the great prophet reformers of the Old Testament. Both of these men left the earth under unusual
circumstances, but now they have returned form the realm of the dead. They, too, reflected a glorious
appearance. It is as though they were in a glorified state. As the three saw them, they were discussing with Jesus
"His decease". The Greek word here is the word from which we get the word "Exodus". There are many
implications there which we cannot explore now. It was obvious that they were discussing with Him His death
which would be the fulfillment of His mission. We are not sure how much of the conversation that the three
actually heard.

However after Peter had blurted out his untimely words, which we will consider in a moment, another remarkable
thing happened. The cloud of the shekinah glory of God settled upon the three. Jesus, Moses, and Elijah were
covered by the cloud, leaving the other three outside, frightened within an inch of life itself. They recognized the
cloud as being the cloud of the divine presence. It was the cloud into which mere men did not dare go. Yet Jesus
went into the cloud as though it was a natural place for Him. And it was. Surely this One must indeed be the
Christ, the Son of the living God. He stands apart from all living men in His relationship to this cloud. None other
could dare enter the cloud in such a fashion.

The vision was a confirmation of His identity, but then out of the cloud there was the voice.

B. The Voice.
Peter, James, and John recognized the voice even though they had never heard it before. There is just
something in man that recognizes the vision and the voice of His God when he hears it.  One does not have to
wonder about who has spoken to him.

The voice said, "This is my beloved Son." That this was spoken for the benefit of the disciples is clear from the
way it was stated. He did not address the Son, but the disciples. This could be translated "this man". It is strongly
emphatic in the original statement. "Son" reminded the disciples of the language of that Messianic Psalm two.
T'hey knew that prophetically such an identification had been made. The newer translations reflect another
reading of the original. Instead of “beloved” they have "chosen". The older manuscripts have "elected" or
"chosen" in this place. This identifies Him with the suffering servant in Isaiah. He is the one who has been chosen
by the Father, and the one who stands as the choice of the Father.

It is of special note that the Father will still so identify with the Son at the climax of His ministry. He had made such
a confession when the mission had been begun, but now as He is concluding His work in Galilee, the Father still
counts Him as the chosen one.

This is the Father's way of giving personal confirmation to the confession of Peter. If you will make your personal
commitment and give confession to Christ, there will be a personal confirmation to you. Your confirmation will not
take on the physical dimensions of the Mount of Transfiguration, but the Holy Spirit will begin to unveil to your
under¬standing the glories of the Son of God in such a way that you too will be able to declare, "I know in whom I
have believed". You will come to love Him even though you have not seen Him. You will be so sure of Him that
you will be able to rejoice in Him day by day.

We have recorded only two statements made on the mountain. We have the voice of man and the voice of God.
They stand in opposition to one another.

A. The Voice of man.
Peter would speak even when he did not have anything to say. That is what he did on this occasion. He did not
understand what he was seeing so he said, "Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three
tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." Luke adds, "not knowing what he said". He was
right when he addressed Jesus as Master, but after that He was all wrong. It was good to be "here", but Peter
was thinking of "here" in contrast to Jerusalem. Jesus had been speaking of death in Jerusalem and bearing a
cross. This was surely better than bearing a cross. He was ready to build three booths  one for Jesus and one for
each of the heavenly visitors. Did this suggest that he saw Jesus as being equal to Moses and Elijah? If that is
what was reflected, then he was surely wrong again. He would make the authority of Jesus great, but not the

This is what natural man is always ready to do. He is ready to include Jesus with the authoritative figures of the
past. He is ready to compare him to Moses, David and others in favorable way. But the voice of the Father has
something different to say when He speaks from the cloud.

B. The Voice of the Father.
"This is my Son, my Chosen One, hear ye him." This identifies Him as the One with greater authority than Moses
or any of the prophets. He is not the bearer of a word from God, He is the Word of God. He is not just the servant
of the Word, He is the Son of the Father. He is the One in a position to know the mind of the Father like none
other. He is the Prophet that would come with all authority.

In light of who He is, the Voice says, "Hear him." It is a present tense verb, and imperative, that calls on us to
always be listening to Him. We are to put ourselves under His authority and to follow His counsel as a way of life.
Peter has been prompt to try to correct Jesus just a few days before. He actually thought that Jesus was
mis¬taken about the necessity of the cross. Now the Father assures Peter that the words of Jesus are always
right. He speaks as the divine Son, and His words are to be heeded!

When you commit yourself to Him, there will be a confirmation in your life of His authority. He will call on you to do
something that goes against the counsel of men so that He may confirm to you that His word and His ways are
always right. Have you had His authority confirmed to you?

There is first commitment, and then confirmation. You cannot change this order no matter how hard you may try.
However I can assure you that if you make the commitment and confess Him as your Lord, the confirmation will
come. He will take you to your personal mountain of transfiguration by the Holy Spirit and will confirm to you both
His identity and authority, both His person and His power.

Now is the time to make the commitment, and leave the confirmation up to Him.