On the Mountaintop with the Lord
“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.”
- Mark 9:2-8
You have to love Peter! Peter says what we would like to say; he is impulsive and quite expressive with his thoughts and feelings. It can be refreshing to see that someone who walked so closely with Jesus still struggled as we struggle today.
Peter, James, and John have all beheld the most glorious and frightening sight as the veil of Jesus’ flesh is pulled back so that these men can see the glory underneath. Moses and Elijah join Jesus on the mountain and the spectacle becomes even more grand. Caught up in the moment, Peter exclaims that they could build dwelling places for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Clearly, Peter enjoyed the glory. He wanted to remain in that place gazing at the glory. Mark tells us that the men were terrified, It is interesting that in that fear, they did not run but fell to the faces.
God the Father interrupted Peter and his plans: “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”
The voice from heaven was even greater confirmation than Moses and Elijah. Jesus was the incarnate Son; Jesus was worthy to be worshipped, to be heard, and to be obeyed. Indeed, Jesus was the promised Messiah, the one for whom the Israelite nation had been waiting. There was the confirmation and then the sending. While Peter wanted to stay in that place of glory, he was to come down the mountain with Jesus, James, and John. For now, this story would be kept secret but one day soon they were to declare what they had seen and heard.
Like Peter, James, and John, God calls us to behold his glory. He calls us to our own mountaintop experiences. These are intended to build our faith; however, we are never to stay on the mountain. We, too, must come down and share what we have seen and heard. Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God. He is the one who came to reveal the nature of God and then to take away the sin of the world. Jesus, the glorified one, is the one in whom we find salvation.
Jesus is the one who we must seek – seek in our everyday lives and seek in the mountain experiences. It is imperative to make time away to meet with God. That can be a quiet time each day or a retreat with the church. Just get away. Make time to take your eyes off this world and to put them on the Savior. That time will strengthen you to walk out your faith and to proclaim the Good News about Jesus Christ just as it did for Peter, James, and John. We are now the disciples who have seen and heard. Reflection:
How can you carve out some time for your own mountaintop experience with the Lord?