Mark 9:2-4-“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.” NKJV
Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.Mark 9:9-10 NKJV
Most of the time when I read that Jesus told someone not to say anything, I have to admit that I’m a little confused by the request. But on this occasion, I completely understand it. Can you imagine what would have happened if the disciples had shared that they witnessed Jesus speaking to Moses and Elijah? Someone may have wanted to have them committed!
Jesus takes them to the mountain to get away. I believe He knows exactly what is about to happen, and His disciples are clueless, as usual. He takes a select group with Him, Peter, James and John.
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.Mark 9:2 NKJV
When they got to the place that Jesus was leading them to, He was transfigured. The Greek word for transfigured is “metamorphoo” which means to change into another form. What form could He have been transfigured into? I think, based on my studies, that He looked more like His divine presence of Glory, then He looked like a man. The glory of God resonated so brightly through Him, that the disciples didn’t know how to describe it. Yet, they tried.
His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.Mark 9:3 NKJV
This transfiguration was about more than Jesus’ clothes being white. However, Mark states that they were whiter than white, and whiter than any person on earth could have ever gotten them. Matthew wrote:
And He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.Mark 9:2 NKJV
In Matthew’s description of the event, Jesus’ clothes were white as light, but He added that Jesus’ face shone like the sun. Matthew wasn’t there, but when he heard it described, someone told him that the whiteness was like light! This certainly sounds like the Glory of God being released in Jesus! Luke used a different word to describe what happened:
As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.Luke 9:29 NKJV
I read that it is believed that Luke used the word “altered” instead of “transfigured” because he was writing to a Gentile audience and didn’t want to confuse them with their ancient beliefs of gods. But whatever word was used, something unusual took place on that mountaintop and the disciples had a hard time putting it into words. If that wasn’t enough, Jesus had visitors!
And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.Mark 9:4 NKJV
Can I just say that if I was the disciples, by now I would be freaking all the way out! Maybe it would have been happening inwardly, and maybe I would have been shouting! But I would have had a reaction I am sure! First, Jesus changes into a different person, He looks like God and not like a man! Then two men appear to talk with Him and they are recognized as Moses and Elijah! Moses disappeared on Mount Nebo before the children of Israel ever crossed the Jordan! When He died and where He was buried was only known to God. (See Deuteronomy 34:5-6)
And now, this great leader of Israel, the one who brought the children of Israel out of the promised land and gave them the Law from God on tablets of stones is before them! That’s more than amazing, that’s supernatural. And if that isn’t enough to cause them to be in a state of shock, Elijah that great prophet, the one who was carried away in a whirlwind on chariots of fire before Elisha was also standing there talking with Jesus! (See 2 Kings 2:10-11)
Can you just imagine how the disciples were feeling at this time? Jesus allowed them to witness this incredible moment in His life. They saw Him in all of His glory, and they also saw two men they thought were dead and buried, and but a memory, a spiritual icon. And according to the word, they were greatly afraid!
Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.Mark 9:5-6 NKJV
Peter is the one who probably shared all of this with Mark before he wrote it down. I can imagine that Mark asked him, “Why did you tell Jesus that you thought you should build tabernacles for them?” And Peter probably replied, “I don’t know Mark. I was so scared that I didn’t know what to say, but the first thing that popped in my head was that we should build tabernacles and I just said it!” Yep! In the presence of the glory, people don’t always know how they will respond, and this was such a case! Peter may have said something that showed he hadn’t thought, but he recognized the moment as being monumental!
And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.Mark 9:7-8 NKJV
At that moment, when the disciples probably felt that their thirst for the supernatural had been thoroughly quenched and was more than they could handle, God Himself descended in a cloud and overshadowed them all! God spoke and said, “This is My beloved Son! Hear Him!” In other words, Moses had his opportunity to speak to the people and he fulfilled his assignment. Elijah had his opportunity to speak to my people, and he fulfilled his assignment. This is Jesus’ time! There will not be any tabernacles made for anyone. Just hear what my beloved Son has to say!” And just like that, everyone was gone but Jesus!
Just describing this scene is causing my spirit to leap at the awesomeness of what they witnessed. Jesus being transfigured would have been enough. Seeing Moses and Elijah was more than enough! Having God descend on them and speak to them was indescribable! It was too supernatural to truly put into words. That’s why the descriptions seem so vague. How do you truly describe a God encounter?
I skipped over verse one, but now I will return it.
And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”Mark 9:1 NKJV
I’m wondering if this is that moment that Jesus spoke of when He mentioned the kingdom of God being present with power? The one that some of them would see before they left the earth! What could be a more powerful demonstration to His disciples, outside of His resurrection, that He is God and the kingdom is really real? I’m telling you, this is deep! This is power! This is supernatural! I am truly at the end of my words as I reverence the God we are serving. Thank you, Father! Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!