The Transfiguration

Mark 9:2-9

Good News Translation (GNT)


  2   Six days later Jesus took with him Peter,
   James, and John, and led them up a high
   mountain, where they were alone. As they
   looked on, a change came over Jesus,
  3   and his clothes became shining white - whiter
   than anyone in the world could wash them.
  4   Then the three disciples saw Elijah and
   Moses talking with Jesus.
  5   Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, "Teacher,
   how good it is that we are here! We will make
   three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and
   one for Elijah.
  6   He and the others were so frightened that he
   did not know what to say.
  7   Then a cloud appeared and covered them
   with its shadow, and a voice came from the
   cloud, "This is my own dear Son - listen to
  8   They took a quick look around but did not see
   anyone else; only Jesus was with them.
  9   As they came down the mountain, Jesus
   ordered them, "Don't tell anyone until the Son
   of Man has risen from death."


Commentary taken from
'The Applied New Testament Commentary'

The Transfiguration

    Mark 9:2-9

Six days later Peter, James, and John saw Jesus changed into a glorified form.

Having confessed that Jesus was truly the Christ, now Jesus confirmed the disciples' faith by appearing to three of them as the glorified Son of God.

Moses and Elijah also appeared with Jesus in glorious splendour. According to Luke's account, they talked with Jesus about His coming departure - that is, about His coming death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.

From this we clearly see that the saints of God who have left this earth do not die; they only sleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

Just as the disciples recognised Moses and Elijah, so shall we recognise each other in heaven.

Peter thought that he should make three shelters for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus to stay in. He thought that Moses and Elijah would remain on the mountain with Jesus.

The three disciples didn't really understand what was happening.

The transfiguration was a sign that Jesus was the Son of God. This was further confirmed by God Himself speaking from a cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!".

From now on, the disciples should have no doubt who Jesus is.

And let them listen to Him! Peter especially had not been ready to listen to Jesus before.

Those who want to know the mind of God must listen to Jesus. At the sound of God's voice, the three disciples fell on their faces in fear.

But Jesus said to them, "Get up.... Don't be afraid" (Matthew 17:6-7). Then Jesus told His disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ, the Messiah.

We must understand why Jesus said this. All the Jews were expecting a victorious Messiah, who would come and be their king, free them from bondage to the Romans, and re-establish the kingdom of Israel.

He came to establish a spiritual kingdom, a kingdom that would last forever.

Jesus didn't come to give men political liberation; He came to give them salvation and eternal life.

Therefore, if the disciples immediately began to tell everyone that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, then the people would surely have tried to make Him their king.

He would not have been given the chance to suffer and die on the cross.

His purpose in coming to earth to die for the sins of all men would not have been fulfilled. Without His death men could not obtain salvation.

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