Luke 9:28-36 (ESV)
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to pray up on a mountain. As Jesus prayed, he physically changed. He grew radiant, and even the clothes he wore dazzled with light. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Moses and Elijah showed up and talked to Jesus. The three of them discussed what the future held, as Moses and Elijah looked forward to all that Jesus would fulfill in Jerusalem. When Peter, James, and John listened to Jesus pray, they grew tired and fell asleep, yet when they realized Jesus had changed and was conversing with Moses and Elijah, they jolted wide awake. Can you imagine how Peter, James, and John must have felt? They had no idea what was happening or going to happen. When Moses and Elijah began to leave, Peter said, “Wait! Umm… let’s set up some tents so that you guys can stay longer.” In other words, “Don’t go yet!” While Peter was talking, a cloud came, and God spoke from it. God’s focus wasn’t on Elijah or Moses, but on Jesus, his Son. In Deuteronomy, God said he would raise up another prophet, and the people were to listen to him. Moses had set the standard, but now someone even greater than Moses was present. God told Peter, James, and John that they were to listen to the ultimate Prophet, Jesus.
Peter had just confessed that he and the other disciples believed Jesus was the Messiah. God added to their knowledge of Jesus’ identity by revealing that Jesus was the ultimate Prophet, greater than any of the prophets who had gone before him, even Moses. Although some of the things Jesus taught were not what the disciples expected from their Messiah, Jesus was the Son of God and the One who ushered in the New Covenant. As we read through the gospels, it can be hard for us to embrace all that Jesus taught. We are overwhelmed with gratitude when we consider what he went though to provide for our sin problem. We are awestruck when we ponder his amazing love for us. But it is still difficult to consider that he desires us to follow in his footsteps in willingness to do things God’s way instead of our own. May we have a renewed passion to listen to Jesus today, and may we be determined to meditate on and put into practice all that he said and did.